(800) 959-8951

Large companies, particularly the tech titans who are laying people off by the shipload, may not be that interested in entry-level workers.

But it turns out they’re not that much into you either.

Recent research from Handshake, an early career community for U.S. students, reveals that the class of 2023 are less likely to consider familiar brand names and fast-growing companies during their job search. They know that high-flying enterprises can turn south real fast. (See Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, First Republic Bank and others.) And if they land that job, today’s graduates would like to also be employed next week, thank you.

All of a sudden, practical benefits like stability and starting salary look a lot better than adding a brand name to your resume.

This, of course, is an opportunity for smaller, more nimble companies to take advantage – as well as larger ones who don’t see every economic bump in the road as an excuse to shed staff. The CEO of software giant Intuit recently said it’s much easier to poach engineers who know a thing or two about artificial intelligence than in recent years.

Beyond luring talented professionals from tech titans or hiring recently laid off staff, there’s a lot to like about the class of 2023. According to Handshake’s report, “The Class of 2023 Prepares for a Future of Work, Disrupted,” members of this younger cohort are confident in their skills, tech savvy (even if they do not have an underlying technical degree) and expect to continue learning throughout their career.

Of particular note, they aim to build skills in critical areas such as data analysis, product management, IT, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and more. Again, this is regardless of whether they studied technical subjects for their undergrad.

Personally, given my noted preference for the new world of remote work, I was surprised by their desire to spend time in the office. Upon further reflection, this makes sense. While Tompkins Leadership and Tompkins Ventures are comprised of seasoned veterans who know what to do and have decades in the workforce, those entering professional life value making personal connections face to face. And remember, the class of 2023 missed a lot of “face time” during the pandemic lockdowns.

Just don’t expect them in the office five days a week. More than 70% want hybrid jobs. Without the hybrid option, they are split 50-50 on in-person vs. remote. Note that students of color largely prefer fully remote over fully in person, something to keep in mind as leaders aim for more diversity, equity and inclusion.

Clearly, the class of 2023 is taking account of the fact that we live in a world of perpetual disruption. Leaders who can re-engineer work to handle this era will be the winners.