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What Gen Z Values and Wants When Choosing to Work at a Company

As recruiters work to attract early in career talent, it’s important to fully understand the needs and motivations of the newest addition to the workforce: Generation Z. According to ManpowerGroup, this generation of workers, who were born between 1995 and 2012, currently make up 24% of the global workforce and will be 30% by 2030. Although Gen Zers are much like their older millennial siblings in that they are more comfortable with technology than previous generations, their ideologies and expectations of the workplace are quite unique. Continue reading to find out what the future of work wants and how you can best connect with this new talent. 

What Does Gen Z Value in a Company? 

Just like any diverse group you want to recruit, members of Generation Z have specific needs they consider when evaluating potential employers. The following are some of the characteristics they value in a company.


To any D&I professional, it’s probably not surprising that Gen Zers are concerned about diversity in the organizations they work for because they themselves are an extremely diverse group. In fact, this generation is the most diverse group in terms of both race and gender to enter the workforce to date, and they expect their employers to be a reflection of that diversity. And beyond that, they care about joining a company that creates an inclusive environment. Will they be able to bring their whole selves to work? Will they feel empowered once they are in seat at your organization? These are important considerations for this generation.

Work-Life Balance

Although members of Generation Z understand that technology can keep them connected to their work no matter where they are, and even after work hours, they still want the flexibility to enjoy downtime and have a healthy sense of work-life balance. They value the ability to unplug when they need to so they can recharge their batteries, take care of their mental health, and spend quality time with the people they care about.

Opportunities for Growth

Though you may be engaging with Generation Z employees early in their career, keep in mind that they have an eye toward the future. These workers want to know that there are opportunities for growth within an organization, and they want a clear career path for mobility. If your company doesn't provide that, they have no problem looking elsewhere to find that opportunity to grow.

Regular Feedback

Gen Zers value clear instruction and feedback. They want to know exactly what's expected of them at work, and they want to know that their employer cares enough to give them the direction they need to do their job well. Since research from The Center for Generational Kinetics finds that 65% of these workers expect frequent feedback from their boss, organizations must be prepared to provide this input regularly, not just during annual performance reviews.

Tech Savviness

Gen Zers are knowledgeable about cutting-edge technology and they expect the organizations they work for to use the latest technology tools. In fact, according to a survey of 12,000 people in Generation Z conducted by Dell Technologies, 91% of them said they make their decisions about where to work based on what technology is available at a company.=

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How to Attract Gen Z Talent

When working to recruit Generation Z talent, you need to represent your organization in a way that this specific group responds to. The following are some strategies you can use to attract these workers, and make it more likely to retain them.

Reach Talent Early

Today’s college students are not waiting until their senior year to start thinking about their post-graduation jobs. Many of them start thinking about their career trajectory as early as freshman year, so your company needs to be on their radar as early in their higher education as possible. Be sure to maintain a presence at different colleges in order to build your employer brand and get students excited about the possibility of working for your organization.

Leverage Technology

D&I practitioners are no strangers to going to places where untapped communities congregate, so it will come as no surprise that when looking for Gen Zers, you also want to take the same approach. These workers spend a great deal of time on social media, so your company’s recruiters must have a strong presence on multiple platforms to get their attention. And when you have it, these candidates expect the application process to be high-tech and easy to access and use. If the process isn’t driven by the latest technology, many Gen Zers won’t even bother applying for a position. 

Create Engaging Job Advertisements

When crafting a job advertisement to attract Gen Z talent, you want to make sure the job description is short, sweet, and mobile friendly. These potential employees want to know what you offer in terms of professional development, potential for growth, and education stipends. To further grab their attention, you may want to consider posting video advertisements on social media that include testimonials from current employees in their age range. 

Show Interest During Interviews

When interviewing a Gen Z candidate, it’s not just about what that person can do for your company. If you want to ensure that this talent will be interested in working for you, you have to show interest in them on a human level—not just what their qualifications are. Ask what they care about, what motivates and inspires them, the challenges they have faced, and what they hope to accomplish in the future.

Put Social Responsibility Front and Center

Does your company get involved in community activities, like a volunteer day at a local soup kitchen? Do you give money to charities that help underrepresented communities? If so, Generation X wants to know about it, so you should put your social responsibility front and center. These workers have a strong sense of community responsibility and they favor employers that value the causes they care about. 

Generation Z is the future of work, and the future of your organization depends on them. By understanding this group of candidates and giving them what they need, you can successfully recruit them and help nurture them into the organizational leaders of tomorrow. 

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