Last year, the media reported extensively on how students are too picky and companies can’t fill their student job vacancies. But is this really true? Are students really so picky, demanding, and selective? Or are they mainly just interested in earning money? Our annual student survey puts this media reporting in a broader context.
We asked the students themselves and the answers were quite surprising. 44% of the students indicate that they would accept any job. Of course, this still means that 56% of them would not be willing to do just any job. But does this mean students are really (too) picky employees? Not necessarily. If we consider their timetables, students are in fact very flexible. Three out of four students wouldn’t have a problem with evening and weekend work. So what influences them the most when choosing a job?
Pay is the most important factor for a student who is seeking a job. When students consciously think about choosing a job, they are mainly focussed on the wages. Except for a number of basic requirements, students are not really interested in the content of the job itself. Work experience, career opportunities, and current studies are not so relevant.
So some employers may wonder if they are motivated enough. You bet they are! Students want to be informed adequately and work in pleasant surroundings so they can show what they are capable of doing.
It’s fair to say that students as well as employers are missing out on opportunities. Students do have every right to be a bit picky and more selective. A student job can function as a stepping stone to a permanent job. Relevant work experience puts job seekers in a better competitive position. On the other hand, employers also underestimate the value of student work, which can be an ideal recruitment channel. Student jobs provide opportunities to test future employees and to develop a sustainable relationship with them.
Students today simply have more choice. On the whole, demand is greater than supply. So it’s only natural that they choose the job that suits them best. In other words, if they can choose between two similar jobs, they’ll go for that job with that extra something. So companies are now facing a new challenge: they must attract students. Many employers have started to use recruitment campaigns, but they often lose sight of the student target group. Companies need to promote the benefits they offer so that students can make better choices in the future.
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