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Kronos: This is the best way to recruit Gen Z workers

Generation Z group

The newest generation of employees has some old-school motivations for choosing a job.

According to a global study of Generation Z (teens and early twentysomethings) in the workplace from The Workforce Institute at Kronos, “How to Be an Employer of Choice for Gen Z,” more than half of respondents worldwide (54%), including 59% in the U.S., say pay is the most important consideration when applying for their first full-time job. Money becomes increasingly important the older the Gen Zer, with 57% of 22- to 25-year-olds agreeing that nothing outweighs pay, compared to 49% of respondents 21 and under.

However, Gen Z employees do look at factors beyond salary when considering a job offer. One in five respondents say they want a consistent and predictable schedule (21%), yet a similar percentage (23%) also expect employers to offer flexibility.

Respondents also show a preference for traditional benefits, such as healthcare coverage, retirement plan and life insurance, by a two-to-one ratio over more modern perks such as free snacks, happy hours, and gym reimbursements. One in five (20%) say training and development is their top benefit.

A delayed response from a recruiter is a major turn-off for 44% of respondents. Other employer red flags for Gen Z include negative employee reviews online (41%), application portals that are not mobile-friendly (29%), and workplaces that have a “dated” feel (24%). One in four respondents say that having a negative customer experience with an organization would deter them from even applying to work there.

To get their best work, respondents say they need direct and constructive performance feedback (50%), hands-on training (44%), managers who listen and value their opinions (44%), and freedom to work independently (39%). With advancement on the mind, one in four respondents expect managers to clearly define goals and expectations (26%) and say regular check-ins during their first month makes for an ideal onboarding experience (25%). 

Nearly one in three (32%) respondents would stay longer at a company if they have a supportive manager. Once on the job, 51% cite doing work they enjoy or care about is a top two motivator, while 51% also list paycheck as a top two motivator. 

“No matter how successful an employer is in developing and motivating their workforce, working at the same company for your entire career is conceptually a thing of the past,” said Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos. “Yet, while few today will employ a single worker from hire to retire, organizations can certainly engage Gen Z from hire to re-hire. By creating a working culture where employees feel supported, inspired, and equally empowered to enjoy life in and outside of work, employers can encourage their best people to ‘boomerang’ back or otherwise create brand ambassadors for the future.”

Research findings are based on a global survey of 3,400 Gen Z respondents conducted on behalf of The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace by Savanta across Australia and New Zealand (surveyed together), Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S.

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