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Gen Z Research:

3 ways to support your new Gen Z hires

Graduation season is upon us, which means a fresh wave of new grads and eager summer interns. But it’s no secret this year is looking a little different…

In our most recent Knit Insights study* on the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing on Gen Z consumers, we found 65% of Gen Z-ers said their summer job/internship has been canceled, delayed or postponed.

Everybody knows the current global pandemic is affecting all generations, but above all, it is proving to be a defining moment for Gen Z.

When people think of Gen Z, it’s easy to picture Snapchat-happy teens who love memorizing TikTok dances. But amid COVID-19, the harsh reality is these soon-to-be adults have their career paths and financial wellness top of mind. For example, our study found 61% of respondents feel COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their financial stability. 

If your business is hiring Gen Z candidates in the next few months, here’s what you can to do to stay on the right track:

1. Overcommunicate updates.

Almost 30% of survey respondents said they were unsure about the status of their upcoming job or internship.

As employers, we know the reality is we are unsure if positions will be open – but that’s ok! To do your part, make an effort to over-communicate your updates to Gen Z prospects. More information, even if it is “we don’t know”, is better than no information.

2. Provide predictability if you can.

If your business has explored summer plans and you are fortunate to have some insight into what’s ahead, share that predictability with your Gen Z future hires. 83% of our respondents said they are concerned about COVID-19 having a long-term impact on their current or future jobs/internships. If possible, alleviate some of that concern by providing expectations of what’s ahead or what factors are driving future decision making.

3. Don’t cancel – go virtual.

Lastly, if your business is in a position to bring on your new hires or summer interns, consider hosting the program virtually instead of canceling. 74% of respondents said they would rather a company hold a virtual summer 2020 internship program than cancel the summer internship program altogether. While this requires operational changes and planning, Gen Zers would jump at the opportunity to work virtually rather than experiencing a canceled opportunity.

We hope our study was able to provide you with a peek inside Gen Z’s minds on their summer work plans. If you’re interested in discussing further or conducting a study of your own, reach out to


*Study surveyed 350 18-22-year-olds across 20 U.S. states and 44 universities. The results are representative of U.S. college students under the age of 25 (95% confidence level; 5% margin of error). 

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