Over 70% Gen Z job applications rejected in second wave: LinkedIn study

72 per cent students say internship opportunities were reduced, 90 per cent of applicants were demotivated in the second wave, according to a study.


Rejecting job applications | LinkedIn Survey | Coronavirus

Vinay Umarji  | 

Over 70 per cent of generation Z (Gen Z) job applications were either rejected or cancelled during the second wave of Covid-19 in India, according to LinkedIn, one of the world’s largest online professional networks.

On Thursday, that is also the World Youth Skills Day 2021, LinkedIn launched the ‘Career Aspirations Gen Z India’ study by research firm GfK that focuses on insights of 1,000 Gen Z students and professionals in the age group of 18 to 24 years, across June 2021.

The survey captured the young generation’s current sentiment, changing perceptions, and future outlook towards jobs, skilling, and networking opportunities. It looked to understand how the pandemic affected the careers and education plans of India’s youth, and what barriers they face when pursuing jobs and skilling opportunities in this day and age.

Among the top findings from the survey, 72 per cent students and 65 per cent Gen Z Indians were professionally impacted during the second wave of Covid-19. Moreover, 72 per cent of students stated that internship opportunities had also greatly reduced during the pandemic’s second wave. Among those who are currently employed, 32 per cent of Gen Z Indians experienced a pay cut while 25 per cent lost a job opening because the company cancelled the job role due to the pandemic.

As a result, the study found that 90 per cent of Gen Z job applicants are demotivated after job offer rejections.

With such a high number of Gen Z professionals, whose new-age skills can revitalise our economic recovery, facing job application rejections, employers must treat this as a distress call to urgently reimagine how they hire and develop talent, according to Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

According to the study, the second wave of Covid-19 has also disrupted the education plans of nearly 75 per cent students and Gen Z Indians. Moreover, 40 per cent of those with higher academic aspirations have postponed or cancelled their plans due to safety concerns, financial constraints, and travel restrictions. Further, every fifth (20 per cent ) Gen Z Indian is now pivoting to a different learning program than originally planned.

A majority of Gen Z Indians are redefining their academic plans to cope with the changes at such a career-defining juncture.

“Consumer sentiment from the report shows that 85 per cent of Gen Z Indians are willing to take up online learning, despite ‘too many distractions at home’, ‘connectivity issues’, and ‘limited interaction with peers’. When asked how they choose their online courses, more than half of Gen Z Indians said they look for quality of faculty (58 per cent), affordability (56 per cent), and accessible content (52 per cent),” the study found.

In fact, Gen Z Indians are sharpening their focus on upgrading their skills to improve their self-confidence (47 per cent), widen career opportunities (45 per cent), and fast-track growth (34 per cent) and productivity (32 per cent).

Meanwhile, the top five soft skills pursued by Gen Z Indians include Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Time Management, Leadership, and Effective Communication; while top 5 hard skills include Data Science, Marketing, Engineering, Financial Management, and AI & Automation.

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