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What Gen Z Wants In An Employer

(5-7 minute read)

There’s an interesting change happening, and it involves the next generation of workers: Generation Z (or the iGeneration), born between the mid-1990s and 2010. While millennials continue to dominate the workforce, Gen Zs are slowly making their way into the employment landscape. Per Forbes, there are currently 72.8 million Gen Zs in the United States, and over the next five years they’re set to be the fastest growing generation.

The rise of millennials has been unprecedented. However, Gen Zs could be “just as, if not more, influential” as millennials because they’re estimated to represent a larger, more significant change than millennials—according to an article published by the Training Journal.

Raised amidst anti-discrimination legislation and increased globalization, Gen Zs are the most diverse generation to date. They have witnessed the impact of an unstable economy and global unrest. As a result, they’re not only financially cautious but also equipped with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, they’re highly educated; it is estimated that more Gen Zs will attend and graduate from college than previous generations.

As Gen Zs prepare to enter the workforce, leaders are growing anxious. A study by AchieveForum revealed that 55 percent of leaders are “worried about managing these strong-minded, post-millennial go-getters.” Leaders can overcome this anxiety—and create a culture in which Gen Zs can thrive—by understanding the needs of this innovative generation.

Compensation and Job Security

Though Gen Zs want to make their mark on their world, they are also very concerned with financial stability. For this reason, money and job security are essential to them. They crave clarity, control and predictability because—having lived through an era marked by school shootings, financial crisis, and terrorism—uncertainty has engulfed their lives.

A survey by Robert Half showed that Gen Zs expect to earn around $47,000 a year at their first job out of college. And, they put great stock in saving money. According to a study by TD Ameritrade, 83 percent of Gen Zs feel that saving money is important at this stage of their life.

But, it isn’t all about the cash with Gen Zs. They also want strong benefits that appeal to their need for security. Many of them are likely to be on a parent’s healthcare plan until they reach age 26, so they tend to prefer wellness plans and other voluntary benefits—such as tuition reimbursement—that align with their goals.

Growth, Change and Promotions

In a study by Robert Half, 64 percent of Gen Zs identified career growth opportunities as their top priority when seeking full-time employment. Supremely diligent, they believe in working their way to their top, and expect training along the way. Being used to change, they want an evolving workplace, and will become frustrated in stagnant positions. They have clear goals in mind, and seek an employment partnership that will allow them to realize those goals quickly plus compensation that moves forward as their skills advance.

Gen Zs grew up with technology. Therefore, an employer who adapts to changes in technology is a must for this generation. They’re likely to search for jobs online than seek referrals through family and friends, and they want convenient learning opportunities—such as online training. To better attract and retain this progressive-minded generation, consider providing an online knowledge hub of well-written content and interactive videos along with the ability to communicate across multiple platforms, including mobile device.

Face-to-Face Communication

Gen Zs want managers who are honest and transparent, and they prefer ongoing conversations over annual reviews. Similar to millennials, they need feedback on a frequent, ongoing basis. As Forbes magazine puts it, “they don’t want bosses, they want coaches.” And they prefer much of this mentorship to be face-to-face, not screen-to-screen.

While Gen Zs do have an affinity for technology, studies show that they are less tech-dependent than millennials and value physical interaction with their colleagues and peers. Their preferences can aptly be described as a hybrid of the two. Therefore, supervisors and managers must satisfy not just Gen Z’s financial and digital needs, but also their need for direct, straightforward communication.



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February 28, 2019




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