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Turmoil is less impactful on Gen Z as they’ve known only economic and political strife

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
August 6, 2020

Every industry is blessed with the presence of a small number of thoughtful, sharing people. The people who read, watch, and listen and then freely share their insights with their customers, vendors, partners, and even competitors.

The recruitment industry of which College Recruiter is a part is no exception. One of those people in our industry is Mike Temkin, Vice President of Strategic Strategic Planning and Development for Shaker Recruitment Marketing. Mike does a masterful job of sharing with his network economic data and analysis, including articles about the impact of the economy on different sectors or groups of people. An example is an article that he just shared on Facebook from National Public Radio’s website, ‘Nothing Feels Tangible’: Virtual Is New Reality For Grads Starting New Jobs.

The job and employment data cited in the article are certainly devastating, and largely accurate. But some is also misleading, such as the continuing reliance by the media on the number of postings.

That kind of metric made perfect sense until a few years ago, but the massive growth of programmatic, cost-per-click advertising have changed the underlying premise that almost all postings run for 30-days and so a fair measurement of job growth is to compare the number of postings from five years ago (or whenever) to today, but that’s just not the case.

What is very common now is for an employer or their intermediaries to post a job on day one, deactivate it on day four when the number of clicks or applications hits some pre-defined number, re-activate it a day later, de-activate it two days later, etc. In a 30-day period, you can easily have 10 versions of the same job. Is that 10 times the number of postings? No, but there isn’t really a good way to equate the old way of measuring the number of jobs with the new realities.

The more subjective aspects of the article were great. The quotes from and empathy for this year’s graduates were well done. What could have been even better would have been to pull in this generation’s resilience.

My youngest is 21 and entering her fourth year of university. What struck me years ago about her cohort was that they’ve never known a time of peace. She was born in 1999 and so was only two on 9/11. We’ve been at war for her entire life.

This is not a generation like mine (Gen X) whose formative years came largely during times of peace and prosperity. Gen Z has, instead, life in an era of terrible wars and economic strife. There have certainly been good times too, but never without also struggles by many in their inner circles and society-at-large.

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