What Gen Z Workers Want

Two recent trend stories about hiring and retaining Gen Z employees.

From What Gen-Z graduates want from their employers (TheEconomist):

In Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index, which polled more than 30,000 workers in 31 countries in January and February, more than half of Gen-z hybrid workers said they were relocating thanks to remote work, compared with 38% of people overall. The option to work remotely is increasingly non-negotiable. Workers aged 18 to 34 are nearly 60% more willing to quit than their older peers if the choice is taken away, according to research by McKinsey, a consultancy. They are also more likely to engage with job listings that mention flexibility.

This has big implications. Industries with jobs that cannot be done from home are falling out of favour with recent graduates. A study by ManpowerGroup, a recruitment company, suggests an inverse relationship between talent shortages and flexible working policies. The sectors which are either less able to offer remote work or have been slower to embrace it—including construction, finance, hospitality and manufacturing—have faced some of the biggest skills gaps for all types of job. The same is almost certainly true for their university-educated workers.

The best thing firms can do to attract young talent is to cough up more money. According to Universum, some earlier Gen-z hobby horses such as an employer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion or corporate social responsibility have edged down the list of American graduates’ priorities. A competitive base salary and high future earnings have edged up.


From Gen Z Knows What It Wants From Employers. And Employers Want Them (New York Times):

A national hospitality company has begun to experiment with a four-day workweek. The health care company GoodRx is permitting employees to work not just from home but from anywhere in the country, enlisting an outside company to provide ad hoc offices upon request. Other companies are carefully laying out career paths for their employees, and offering extensive mental health benefits and financial advice.

Other companies are trying to tap into younger workers’ desire to grow in their careers. In a LinkedIn survey this year, 40 percent of young workers said they were willing to accept a 5 percent pay cut to work in a position that offered career growth opportunities.

That’s why Blank Street Coffee, a chain of 40 coffee shops in the United States and England, makes career growth a part of its recruiting pitch, said Issam Freiha, the chief executive. Employees who want to advance in the company are shown a clear trajectory they can follow.


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