The oldest members of Generation Z (Gen Z) are already in the workforce, and more will quickly follow in the next 5 to 10 years. But don’t expect these new workers to be the same as the Millennials before them. The job site Monster calls Gen Z’s approach to work habits “remarkably practical and money-minded” compared to other generations.
This view is consistent with a Barna Group study that found Gen Z expectations are shaped more around academic and career success than any other generation.
While Millennials have a reputation for wanting employee perks such as ping-pong tables and fitness centers, Gen Z has more practical considerations. “Pay consistently surfaced as the number one motivating factor for Gen Z in their careers,” according to the Monster Multi-Generational Survey.
The survey also found 67% of Gen Z are willing to relocate for a good job (vs. 52% across all working generations). Plus, 58% will work nights and weekends for a better salary (vs. 41% across all working generations).
When asked what they “must have” in a first job, here’s how Gen Z responded:
- Health insurance: 70%
- Competitive salary: 63%
- A boss I respect: 61%
- Opportunities for professional development: 47%
- Maternity/paternity leave: 33%
- Flexibility to change roles within the company: 32%
Gen Z may value money and security because they watched their parents struggle through the 2008 recession. The job site Indeed did an analysis and developed a “popularity index” to reveal the frequency with which Gen Z clicks on full-time job postings in comparison with other job seekers. Tech and health-care jobs were popular, with Indeed noting these fields are likely to provide security because of their serious labor shortages.
However, even with this pragmatic attitude toward security and money, 74% of Gen Z looks for work to have a greater purpose (vs. 69% across all working generations). Plus, the ability to pursue a passion is a top motivating factor for 46% of Gen Z (vs. 32% across all working generations).
While Gen Z may have fewer expectations than Millennials in some areas, the new generation has higher tech expectations that reflect their reputation as the most digitally connected generation.
- Approximately 39% of Gen Z said a smartphone will be essential to their jobs (vs. 25% across all working generations).
- 37% see laptop computers as essential in their future job (vs. 30% across all working generations).
- Almost 25% believe social networking will be essential for work (vs. 9% across all working generations).
- About 23% expect to text for work communications (vs. 13% across all working generations).
Another finding of the Monster survey was that Gen Z will rely on the digital world to research and evaluate potential employers. As a result, “engaging with this generation requires a strong employer brand that differentiates an organization in the marketplace and that also communicates in a language Gen Z understands.” Plus, this brand needs to “be socialized across a variety of digital platforms and technologies.”
In creating an employer brand, Monster offers these suggestions:
- Identify what you want to stand for as an employer and what makes you unique.
- Convey a consistent brand message across every relevant platform.
- Monitor how Gen Z is connecting and reach them where they spend their time.
- Engage employees in brand-building efforts.
- Be memorable.
- Be findable.
- Speak Gen Z’s language, which is fast and visual.
Employers have to develop a strategic approach and use well-thought-out solutions to attract Gen Z workers. Once employees are on-board, companies need programs that help Gen Z achieve both their practical and purposeful goals.