Study: One-third of Young Job Seekers Value Access to Social Media More Than Salary

Help wanted signTraditionally, job seekers favor employment opportunities with optimal economic underpinnings. They look for positions that offer the best salaries and benefits.

But, new research from Cisco suggests that today’s new talent may have another set of priorities in mind.

These days, young professionals want to use social media, mobile devices and the internet more freely in the workplace –and their desire to do so is strong enough to influence their future job choice, sometimes even more than salary does.

The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report, which surveyed more than 2,800 college students and young professionals in 14 countries, found that:

  •  One-third of the college students and young employees under the age of 30 who participated in the poll said they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer.
  • 40 percent of the college students and 45 percent of the young employees surveyed said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access and mobility, rather than take a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
  • More than half of college students who participated in the survey (56 percent) said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy.
  • 64 percent of the college students said they plan to ask about social media usage policies during job interviews, and about one-quarter (24 percent) said it will be a key factor in their decision to accept an offer.
  • Two-thirds of the employees polled (68 percent) believe their companies should allow them to access social media and personal sites with their work-issued devices.
  • 42 percent  of the college students in the survey believe companies should be flexible and empathetic to their need to stay connected via social media and personal websites.

As Cisco points out, these results illustrate the importance of the relationship between the internet, workforce culture and companies’ competitive advantages, and they also indicate that traditional methods of attracting and retaining young employees may be less important as the ‘Millennial’ generation comprises more of the workforce. Mobile networking, device flexibility and the blending of personal and work lifestyles are now key components of a work environment and are becoming increasingly important in determining which companies will land the next wave of industry talent.

“These findings among college students and young employees indicate the freedom to access social media and use devices is increasingly important to the next generation of the world’s workforce – in some cases, more important than salary,” Sheila Jordan, VP Communication and Collaboration IT, Cisco, said.”The results in the Cisco Connected World Technology Report demonstrate how companies need to acknowledge this fact in greater numbers, and respond accordingly – for many industries, the status quo of previous work environments is becoming a thing of the past.”

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