Gen Z’s Job Search Wish List

January 26, 2024 – In the fast-evolving landscape of job searches, the priorities and concerns of Gen Z candidates are shaping the employment market. As these digital natives step into the workforce, their expectations and preferences are steering the conversation around what matters most in the quest for meaningful employment, according to recent report from Protis Global.

For Gen Z, finding a job that resonates with their values is non-negotiable. Terms like “sustainability,” “social responsibility,” and “ethical practices” hold significant weight in their job hunt. Companies embracing environmental initiatives or social causes align closely with their career aspirations.

Balancing Work and Life: Flexibility is key. Gen Z cherishes a healthy lifestyle with less restrictions, seeking positions that offer remote work options or flexible schedules. The ability to manage personal and professional commitments seamlessly is a priority.

• Learning and Growth Opportunities: Continuous learning is a cornerstone for Gen Z. They prioritize employers invested in their professional development. Companies that provide mentorship, training programs, or pathways for advancement stand out in their job search. Technology is second nature to Gen Z. They gravitate towards companies employing innovative tools and fostering modern work environments. Tech integration and digital fluency are significant attractions.

• Diversity and Inclusion: Inclusivity matters. Gen Z seeks workplaces that celebrate diversity, fostering environments where every voice is heard and respected. Diversity in teams and inclusive policies are factors influencing their job search.

• Purpose-Driven Culture: Beyond profits, Gen Z looks for organizations with a clear mission and a purpose-driven culture. They’re drawn to companies that champion causes or missions aligned with their values.

• Prioritizing Mental Health: Mental health awareness is a priority. Employers offering resources and support systems for mental well-being score high on Gen Z’s list of preferred workplaces.

• Fair Compensation and Financial Stability: While seeking meaningful work, Gen Z also values fair compensation and financial stability. Competitive salaries and benefits packages play a crucial role in their job evaluations.

• Job Security: Given economic uncertainties, Gen Z looks for roles and industries offering stability and growth potential. Job security is a factor influencing their career decisions, especially after experiencing the uncertainty post-pandemic.

Related: 11 Things You Need to Know About Generation Z

• Transparency in the Workplace: Clear communication is essential. Gen Z values transparency regarding job expectations, company direction, and opportunities for growth. Openness fosters trust and engagement, which is key in building a strong corporate culture.

When attracting talent, adapting to these evolving preferences isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity. The future of work is being shaped by Gen Z, and aligning with their aspirations is the key to ushering this new generation into the workplace. By recognizing and responding to the priorities of Gen Z candidates, employers can forge stronger connections and build workplaces that resonate with the next generation of talent.

One Common Misconception

“One common misconception surrounding the Gen Z workforce is that they possess an innate understanding of technology,” said Protis Global. “Growing up surrounded by smartphones, social media, and various digital devices, it’s easy to assume they are inherently tech-savvy. However, being familiar with social media platforms and personal devices does not necessarily translate into competence with the complex technologies and tools used in professional settings.”

Working with Generation Z is a Holistic Effort
An ongoing pandemic, mental wellness and activism are fundamentally reshaping what’s to come for the next generation. Although improving, businesses still need to earn Gen Z’s confidence, says a report by EY. Sixty percent of the Gen Z members across the U.S. who were surveyed for the study say most people can’t be trusted, according to the firm’s second Gen Z Segmentation Study, which tracks the generation’s personal and professional interests. As Gen Z enters the workforce, the study concludes, employers need to understand this demographic group more holistically to effectively work with and support them. “The world is changing faster than ever, and this digitally native and globally conscious generation, born between 1997 and 2007, is prepared to adapt to the rapidly transforming environment,” said the consulting outfit. Businesses, the new report says, should prioritize understanding Gen Z to maintain engagement with future employees and customers — developing a strong “Plan Z.”

While Gen Z individuals may excel in navigating consumer-oriented technologies, they often lack exposure to the full range of software and systems used in the workplace. Many educational institutions fail to adequately prepare students to navigate the intricacies of professional applications, databases, project management tools, or other industry-specific software. “In a recent study conducted by Dell Technologies, more than a third of the study participants felt that their school education did not prepare them with the technology skills needed for their planned careers,” said Protis Global. “As a result, when entering the workforce, they may find themselves struggling to adapt to the technology stack required for their roles.”

A Significant Gap  

To effectively utilize workplace technology, Gen Z workers require comprehensive training and guidance. Due to the assumption of their inherent tech-savviness, organizations often overlook the need for structured training programs. “This oversight leads to a significant gap between what Gen Z employees know from their personal technology use and what they need to know to perform their job responsibilities effectively,” said the report.

It’s also important to recognize that not all Gen Z individuals possess the same level of technological proficiency. “While some may be quick learners and adaptable, others may require additional support and mentorship to bridge the gap between their existing knowledge and the requirements of the workplace,” said Protis Global.

Another factor contributing to the perception of Gen Z’s limited technological competence in the workplace is their preference for social technologies over professional tools. “Social media platforms and messaging apps are deeply ingrained in their lives, making them highly proficient in communication and collaboration within these environments,” said the report. “However, this expertise does not necessarily extend to the software and systems used for project management, data analysis, or other job-specific tasks.”

Protis Global, founded in 1995, is headquartered in Delray Beach, FL. Its specialties include consumer package goods, global food and beverage, cannabis, hospitality, fast moving consumer goods, adult beverage, talent attraction, and employer branding.

Related: Move Over Millennials, There’s a New Workforce in Town

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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