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Cracking the Code: Why Do Hopkins Students Say ‘Yes’ to Job Offers? 

Given Fall Recruiting season is about to come to a close, we know that a lot of our hiring partners are preparing job and internship offers or have already made them. And where there are offers there are…rejections. According to Glassdoor data, 17.3 percent of job offers are rejected in the United States. This raises the question: What motivates candidates to go through the application and interview process, only to decline the job offer? What exactly are job seekers looking for? 

To explore this, we turned to the students at Hopkins and asked, “What were the most important factors that led you to accept your job offer?” Here’s what a few of our students had to say.  

“I found the management to be friendly and I genuinely liked the culture and working environment of the company.”  

GenZ students lean towards accepting offers from companies that cultivate a strong sense of community and belonging. For them, a job extends beyond task completion; it’s about being part of a multicultural team where ideas are valued, diversity is embraced, and everyone feels confident to contribute.   

Crafting a positive workplace environment that resonates with our students’ needs begins with  building an inclusive culture. Think about rolling out mentorship programs that team up employees from diverse backgrounds, to foster cross-cultural understanding and teamwork. Encouraging open communication is another essential aspect of positive culture.  

Establishing online channels and activities for employees to express their ideas, concerns, and feedback will go a long way in creating a collaborative atmosphere and building a community-minded workplace. 

“I liked the company’s transparency in clearly stating the salary range upfront.” 

Faced with large student debts, rising expenses, and a strong desire for financial independence, Gen Z job seekers tend to prioritize salary over any other factors when deciding between job offers. As a result, they highly value salary transparency.  A recent survey by ResumeLab revealed that 80% of respondents indicated they would likely refrain from applying for a job if the salary range information was absent. Moreover, 77% went as far as to state that it should be considered illegal not to include salary details in job postings, and a significant 80% believed that employers should always provide explanations on how pay is determined.  

“I look at benefits a company offers its employees when choosing an offer.” 

While it is common that Gen Z job seekers consider company benefits like 401k and health insurance, contemporary workplace trends to support employees in areas such as workplace wellness, career advancement, and work-life balance are also crucial. According to perks like complimentary gym memberships, access to meditation apps, and the opportunity to consult with financial planning services are highly valued among young employees. Therefore, emphasizing these offerings in job descriptions and during candidate interviews would prove to be a successful strategy in appealing to the GenZ demographic of workers. 

“I would apply for and accept jobs that clearly mention if the company would sponsor an international student”  

As a diverse and multicultural institute home to students from 80 countries, Hopkins students commonly seek sponsorship information when considering job offers. Therefore, implementing clear language that outlines whether the company supports international candidates and, if so, the specific programs (such as OPT/CPT) is essential. Additionally, providing access to a point of contact for inquiries related to international hires can further streamline the hiring process and demonstrate a commitment to welcoming a diverse talent pool. 

Along with these insights, we also uncovered a couple of factors that influenced students to decline specific job offers. The two reasons we identified were: 

“The job responsibilities didn’t match what I wanted”  

Amidst the efforts to create a shiny and attractive job description, sometimes the advertised descriptions do not match or clearly state the reality of the position being filled. Students generally discover what the job really entails only during the second or third interview, often resulting in the applicant declining the offer.  

To address this issue, we recommend crafting accurate and detailed job descriptions from the start. Reference our post for some tips on crafting better job descriptions.  

“The company took too long to make me an offer”  

In today’s competitive job market, candidates usually have multiple opportunities available to them. If a company is slow to extend an offer, there’s a risk that another employer may swoop in and make a quicker offer. Hence, it’s crucial for companies to optimize their hiring procedures, making swift decisions to secure top talent before competitors have the chance. 

We trust that these insights from Hopkins students give a clearer picture of what influences their decision to accept or decline a job offer. From the cultural dynamics to sponsorship, it is evident that Gen Z values transparent communication above all. By aligning job offers with these preferences, companies can not only attract top talent but also foster workplaces where candidates are more inclined to say “yes.”  

By Vibha Sathesh Kumar
Vibha Sathesh Kumar