- More than two-thirds of Gen Z have used nepotism to land a job offer, a new study found.
- They survey of 2,000 workers found 42% said they’d won a role or job offer through nepotism.
- Even if they disapprove of nepotism, three-quarters of Gen Z workers said they would still use it.
Gen Z workers are most likely to benefit from career nepotism — even if they disapprove of it, a new study found.
“Nepo babies,” who are usually the children of celebrities working in similar industries like Hailey Bieber or Lily Collins, have been in the spotlight in recent months. TikTokers have been raising awareness of the issue, making videos “exposing” celebrities with famous parents.
However, the phenomenon is not isolated to Hollywood but alive and well in the workplace, according to new research.
According to a recent survey from recruitment company Applied that was first reported by Fortune, 68% of Gen Z workers have leveraged who they know to get a job offer.
Across all 2,000 workers polled, 42% said they had gained a job or job offer through their connections, with only about a quarter of those over 55 saying they’d found work this way.
The study points to another generational division in the workplace. Millennials, boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Zers have been divided on their approach to work, as well as what’s socially appropriate in the workplace.
Even if Gen Zers think the practice is “unfair,” three-quarters said they would still use it to advance their careers, per the study. In comparison, just a third of those over 55 who think the phenomenon is “unfair” would be willing to do the same.
Almost half the Gen Z employees that have used nepotism to land a role ended up with a junior title, and a quarter were unemployed beforehand. However, some Gen Z “nepo workers” may have gained an additional leg-up from the practice, with 37% landing in “middle-management” roles and 14% achieving “senior management” positions.
The study also found a gender imbalance, with men a third more likely to benefit from nepotism than women.
“It’s unsurprising that younger workers are more likely to resort to nepotism,” Khyati Sundaram, Applied’s CEO, told Fortune.
“‘Entry-level’ roles are increasingly requiring candidates, who are likely to be new to the workforce, to have a number of years of prior relevant work experience,” she said. That was causing Gen Z to devise creative solutions due to these unrealistic expectations, per Fortune.
However, the practice risks creating inequality within the workforce between those who have connections in relevant industries, and those who do not.
Sundaram told the outlet it was up to companies to “create a level playing field for all candidates and guard against the potential for nepotism to have a bigger bearing on who gets what job than demonstrable skills.”