Gen Z is worried about debt and it’s affecting their views on college, home ownership, holiday shopping and especially employment. Like previous generations, Gen Z wants work experience but more than that, they want money. A bullet on a resume won’t suffice.
When asked what’s the most important factor for choosing an employer, Gen Z’s top response was SALARY.
This is a definite shift from what Millennials were looking for – they were influenced by 9/11 and focused on rebuilding the American spirit. They also had optimistic Boomer parents encouraging them to work as hard as they had and to do it for a cause. The result was that Millennials’ top job factor was a position with meaning. They wanted to show up every day and know that they were moving the needle on something. Meaning was the new money.
Gen Z also wants to make a difference, but they’re fine doing so after hours, not on the clock. Having grown up during the recession with Gen Xer parents who skew more skeptical than optimistic, their goal is more in line with survival. Simply put, they want a paycheck.
This doesn’t exactly mean companies will have to dish out top dollar to get Gen Z on board. They’re realistic about pay scale and their level on the ladder; this is not a generation that expects to walk in and be the boss on day one. However they will compare employment opportunities and choose the most desirable package.
The question is how much value Gen Z is willing to put on things like culture, work hours or extra benefits. Companies that haven’t been able to compete with cash typically ante up with something like a gym membership, work-from-home flexibility or alternative office environments. But Gen Z’s walking into the interview saying one thing: “show me the money”.
To learn more about Generation Z in our new book, Gen Z @ Work, click here.