It t is the generation of Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. Today’s young professionals are at the forefront of the digital revolution. EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre teamed up with Campus Lab to see how the digital age is shaking things up in recruitment for the younger generations.

Tracking trends

EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre was launched in 2013 and monitors the ambitions and skillsets of students and young professionals. With the help of Campus Lab, they analyzed data from 1,799 students and recent graduates from across the globe. The findings, called ‘Recruiting the Gen Z,’ reveal a generation of ultra-connected talent. 87% are registered on one or more professional social networks and 78% consult their account at least once a week. “This means many young professionals also expect a simplified application process,” explains NewGen Director Manuelle Malot. “45% of those surveyed said it is important to be able to apply to jobs in just one click. For companies this means far more applications, so Artificial Intelligence is increasingly popular for sorting through CVs.”

74% of respondents use their smartphone to look for a job, whereas 28% of students have also been contacted by recruiters for a job via social media

Ahead of the curve

Almost half of those surveyed use intranet and college career websites to find work placements. At EDHEC, such facilities are readily available, and students are required to join the online career center as soon as they begin their studies. “Here they find job offers, events, information about companies, careers and alumni,” explains Manuelle Malot. “A resource that gives them a head start in the job market and because we encourage them to sign up to professional networks very early on, they really stand out.”


The survey revealed that 74% of respondents use their smartphone to look for a job. One third go the next step and apply using their cellphones. This number has risen substantially from 13% in 2016. Previously, computers and tablets were the preferred devices for sending job applications. In fact, more than half of the survey’s respondents have their CVs ready-to-send on their smartphones.


Social media is increasingly valuable to young talent. 83% have looked at job offers on professional social networks and 60% have gone on to apply. 28% of students have also been contacted by recruiters for a job via social media and one in five respondents recommended joining a company through a social network. However, traditional recruitment methods are still the most effective as only 18% of respondents have successfully found work placements through professional social networks.


Young professionals are gradually becoming more active on professional social networks. Eight out of ten update their profiles, 7% create their own content and 10% comment on other posts. A fifth share content online, which is a 5% increase since 2017. Linkedin is by far the most popular network with 86% of respondents using the service. Taking second and third place are Viadeo with 6% and Xing with 2%.