How to Hire Gen Z: What Gen Z Wants At Work

We’ve had all this talk about Millennials, but what about the generation that outnumbers them by a million? Generation Z is currently about 15-20, and they’ll be entering the workforce before we know it. With each generation comes different qualities and preferences, so that begs the question: what does it take to hire Gen Z?

Here’s what Gen Z wants at work, AKA exactly what you need to provide if you want to recruit someone from this generation:

Gen Z's Must-Haves in a Job

What might be most surprising is the importance Gen Z places on having health insurance and things like maternity/paternity leave and a boss they respect. This generation seems to take after their grandparents, the Baby Boomers, in a desire for practical benefits.

The Millennials that came directly before them, however, tended more towards the cool office culture perks like company massages and team outings.

Not that Gen Z is against perks, but what they want goes a lot deeper.

They Want to Keep Learning

Gen Z is all about personal growth, and they want to be constantly learning new things. They want to be developing their skills and gaining new knowledge so they don’t feel stagnant.

This generation won’t hesitate to leave if they aren’t getting these things, either — that’s one of their top must-haves for their jobs. 47% of Gen Z wants to see opportunities to develop themselves professionally in their workplace Click To Tweet

They Want to Make a Difference

Members of Gen Z want their jobs to be more than just a paycheck. While a competitive salary is the second highest thing on their wishlist, 74% of Gen Z believes that work should have a greater purpose than money.

74% of Gen Z believes that work should have a greater purpose than money. Click To Tweet

They’ve watched as some of the greatest technological advancements ever made came out of someone’s garage, or other non-office environments. Anything is possible to them, and they’re passionate about making a mark on the world. As such, they’re going to look to companies they think can make the world a better place.

They Want Total Access to Technology

This is the first generation to have completely grown up with constant internet and advanced technology access. Their attention spans are shorter and they prefer communicating with videos and images over “traditional” text. They process information insanely fast, but it needs to immediately catch their attention.

Due to constantly being surrounded by a variety of advanced tech, they expect the workplace to be totally connected. They believe it makes them more productive and allows more flexible hours, since it enables them to work from home more often.

Gen Z's number-one valued device is a smartphone, with 39% saying it’s essential, compared to 25% across other generations. Click To Tweet

Laptops come in second with 37% followed by texting and social networking at 23% and 21% respectively.

If you want to hire Gen Z, having a site that’s mobile-friendly isn’t optional. They expect to be able to access information anywhere and on any screen, and that includes recruiting information. The more platforms they can get information on, the happier they’ll be.

Gen Z also plans on using their networking connections to find jobs. They may be texting job leads to each other or sharing them on Snapchat or Twitter. If something catches their eye, they’ll be likely to share it with their friends.

They Want an Open Workspace

This is not a generation that wants to be confined to a cubicle when they’re working. They want space to move around in, and they want to be able to discuss ideas with their coworkers.

Gen Z values collaboration, and they want an office atmosphere to facilitate that. Click To Tweet

To attract this generation, provide a technologically advanced, collaborative workplace that matches the always-connected workers themselves.

They’re Motivated by Money — And Willing to Work Hard for It

While they definitely want their job to be more than just a salary, Gen Z is definitely motivated by cash. With 70% rating it as a top motivator, compared to 63% across other generations, salary is still the biggest work motivator for Gen Z.

Gen Z's Top Work Motivators

They’re more motivated than other generations to go out of their way for it, too. 58% of Gen Z is willing to work nights and weekends for more pay, compared to 45% of Millennials. Click To Tweet

Basically, this generation is willing to do whatever it takes to get the best job. 76% of them say they’re responsible for driving their own careers, so they’re willing to make the tough calls.

74% of Gen Z is open to moving for a good job, compared to 45% of Millennials. Click To Tweet

If they think a job is worth moving for, they’ll go cross-country. Working nights and weekends? No problem if they’re happy with the job and getting more money.

Once they like a company, there isn’t much they won’t do for them. Catering your company to Generation Z can definitely pay off in the long run. 32% value job security, and if you’re giving them the environment they want, they’ll definitely stay loyal.

They Want to Be Treated as Equals

Though they’re currently the youngest generation in the workforce, they don’t want to be talked down to. Yes, they’re definitely different than the generations before them, and that can take some getting used to. But just because they have shorter attention spans and prefer learning visually doesn’t mean they’re less valuable as employees.

Take their opinions into consideration and always listen to what they have to say. Because they think differently, they might have unique ideas that no one else in the company would’ve thought of. Give them the chance to show you what they can do, and include them in the conversation.

Generation Z has the potential to change the professional landscape. Take interest in their workplace values and help create the workplace of tomorrow. They’re setting the pace for the future of working.


What do you think about Generation Z? Do you share their preferences, or do you have different priorities? Share in the comments!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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