Frontline Employers and Gen Z Talent

October 21, 2020

Generation Z–the cohort of Americans born between the late 1990s and early 2000s—are reaching adulthood and entering the workforce. To build their talent pipelines, frontline businesses must learn how to attract this generation by appealing to their desire for purposeful work.

How Gen Z Job Hunts

More than any generation before it, members of Gen Z seek meaning out of their economic decisions.

McKinsey dubbed Gen Z the “True Gen,” as its members tend to “make decisions and relate to institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way.” In particular, Gen Z is acutely sensitive to organizations’ commitments to purpose-driven behavior. 

For instance, 83 percent of Gen Zers see a company’s purpose as a “core consideration” in deciding where to work, according to research by consulting firm Porter Novelli. The researchers note that “for companies looking to win the ever-increasing war for talent, this is an important signal,” as Gen Zers see their job as “another avenue for them to make a positive impact.”

The Porter Novelli study also discovered that 77 percent of Gen Zers will actively research whether a company is “helping or hurting society or the environment.” The same proportion will refuse to purchase from a company that is doing harm. However, 85 percent of Gen Zers are willing to share their positive opinion about a company that is “doing good.”

What Gen Z Expects

Gen Z has mastered digital virality, and its members utilize this skill to pursue causes that they deem worthwhile. Porter Novelli reveals that eight-in-ten Gen Zers are willing to use social media to voice their opinions on important issues. Without a doubt, Gen Zers will take full advantage of company rating platforms like Glassdoor, as well as social media sites, to express their thoughts about current and potential job opportunities.

This tendency has considerable implications for a firm’s “brand” as an employer. Previous research already discovered that 76 percent of workers closely research job opportunities online before completing an application. The same survey found that seven in ten employees will not work for a company that they are not proud of. Likewise, six in ten employees “give importance to an employer’s brand name” before considering an offer.

If these findings hold true for American workers as a whole, they will certainly hold true for the purpose-driven and tech-savvy members of Gen Z. This is a reality that presents challenges, yet opportunities, for frontline businesses.

As one Harvard Business Review report discovered, firms that are intentional about listening to employees on issues important to them can greatly improve their brands as employers. When appealing to a purpose-driven generation—which will not only care about such an approach, but actively voice their positive opinions about companies that adopt it—listening can make a world of difference.

Qlicket is able to help frontline businesses understand what their employees—young and old alike—seek in a job. Using our platform will generate insights that will help you attract, engage, and retain employees who desire purpose from their careers.

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