How to attract Gen Z during the Great Resignation

Apr 26, 2022 | Attraction & marketing

As more workers join the Great Resignation there is an extreme demand for talent, Justine James at talentsmoothie shares new research that shows what Gen Z want from employers now.

Gen Z is already close to accounting for a fifth of the global workforce and is shaping the workplaces of the future, but this group has clear views on the kind of organisation they want to work for.

They are less willing to compromise than the generations before them. In addition, the pandemic has changed their preferences, so what you thought you knew about Gen Z might no longer be true. Does your attraction strategy for Gen Z match what they really want?

Talentsmoothie’s latest research Generation Z What They Want from Work reveals three essentials that organisations must focus on now. These are the things that matter most to Gen Zs and will influence which organisations they choose to work for:

1. A great ethical record

The majority (80%) of respondents said it’s important that the organisation stands for something and cares about the same things as they do.

We’ve seen this become increasingly true in recent years as employees expect their organisations to stand up and support what they believe is right. For example, some organisations experienced this for the first time in 2020 with the global rise in awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.

One respondent said: “The company would need to have a good moral compass, so wouldn’t be doing anything that would support or help unethical practices or organisations. They would need to be, as a minimum, using green and renewable energy sources, and it would be great if they were actively doing something about the climate crisis.”

More Gen Zs than Gen Ys (43% compared with 30%, Gen Y What They Want from Work talentsmoothie 2008) said there is an industry they won’t work for, with oil and gas, finance and retail, military and tobacco at the top of their lists.

As described by one respondent: “Arms, weapons, oil and gas, tobacco – when I work, I am motivated by knowing that I am doing something good for the world. I don’t think these industries are making the world a better place to live.”

2. Future focused and innovative

The majority (79%) said it’s important that the organisation is future focused and innovative.

This is good news for businesses, because they themselves are looking for similar qualities in their employees – to have curiosity, to challenge the status quo and to always look for new and better ways of doing things.

One respondent explained: “I feel I will have a successful career with an organisation that can keep up with and exceed their competitors. It will allow me to have access to up-to-date information so that I can excel in my role.”

3. Aligned values and good pay

Gen Z want to work for an organisation whose values align with theirs. Not surprisingly, this is an area that companies are focusing on defining or re-defining post-pandemic, with many businesses seeking to better align values with company purpose, mission, and strategy.

One respondent said: “[The business] would need to have societal value, so rather than being a company just to make money and make the CEO richer, it should be helping people and actually contributing to society.”

Over 50% of respondents said that they’d prefer to choose a small business or work for themselves, so larger organisations may want to consider adjusting their value propositions. Winning attraction strategies for Gen Z will show that they can offer the levels of care, flexibility, rewards and scope to make an impact.

Money, however, is also high on Gen Z’s list of priorities when assessing employers; they want to work for an organisation that is ‘known to pay well’.

Is it time to re-visit your Gen Z attraction strategy? If so, ask yourself these three questions2:

  • How do you stand for something as an organisation?
  • How do you stay future focused and innovative?
  • How do you drive a culture based on values?

Once you have clarity on these, make sure you’re demonstrating it to Generation Z.

Read more advice and insights on student attraction and marketing

 Read more research from ISE members



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