Class of 2024 - blue graduation cap with yellow tassel

The Class of 2024’s Unique Perspective on Work: How COVID-19 Shaped a Generation

The Class of 2024 started their college journey during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expectedly, this jolt into the college experience brings a unique set of expectations and priorities to the workforce. LaSalle Network’s comprehensive report provides in-depth insights into how these experiences have shaped their views on work environments, company culture, and career growth. Here are some key highlights from the report: 

Transforming the College Experience 

The global pandemic reshaped the college experience for millions. Remote learning and social distancing became the norm, leading to a generation that values both flexibility and in-person connections. This cohort’s entry into the workforce is marked by a blend of these preferences. 

According to our survey of 1,500 graduates, 51% of the Class of 2024 had accepted job offers by April 2024, compared to 62% of 2023 graduates. However, many graduates continue to seek new opportunities, with one-third still actively applying and interviewing. 

Work Model Preferences 

A significant 66% of graduates accepted positions requiring them to be 100% in person, a notable increase from the 48% of 2023 graduates. This shift highlights a growing desire for community and direct interaction, likely a response to the isolation experienced during their college years. 

Prioritizing Career Growth and Culture 

Career growth and a supportive company culture are top priorities. Nearly half expect a promotion within their first year, and career growth opportunities are the primary factor when evaluating potential employers. This generation seeks workplaces that invest in their development and provide clear advancement pathways. 

Importance of Community 

Having spent their college years amid a global health crisis, the Class of 2024 highly values a sense of community and belonging. In-office perks have surpassed remote work options as the most important benefit, and a significant number of graduates express concerns about feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace. 

Mental Health and Volunteerism 

Mental health and community involvement are crucial for these graduates. Paid time off for volunteering and comprehensive mental health benefits are highly valued, reflecting a broader awareness of well-being and a desire for meaningful engagement. 

Continuing Education 

About half of the Class of 2024 plans to pursue further education, indicating that the talent pool for full-time positions may be smaller. Employers may need to offer more flexible or temporary roles to attract these graduates. 

Compensation Insights 

While salary remains important, many 2024 graduates report being offered less than expected. This indicates a shift in priorities, with a focus on career growth and community over monetary compensation. 

Job longevity is declining, with many planning to stay in their first roles for less than two years. Employers must offer compelling career advancement and development opportunities to retain this new talent. 

Understanding the Class of 2024’s unique perspectives can help employers adapt their hiring strategies to better meet the needs of this new generation. For a deeper dive into these insights and more detailed trends, download our comprehensive report. 

Curious about how the Class of 2024’s experiences will impact your hiring strategy? Download our comprehensive report to uncover all the insights and trends shaping the future of the workforce. 

About LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network is a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm with business units that specialize in accounting and finance, administrative, call center, healthcare revenue cycle, human resources, management resources, marketing, sales, supply chain, technology and executive search.

We partner with companies across the country to help find top temporary and direct hire talent and grow their teams.

Our team is here to help you find your next role or find great talent for your team. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


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