Posted: 22 May 2023 4 min.

Want to recruit up-and-coming generations? Make sure your values are in place

Topic: Talent & Lifelong Learning

Generation Z can feel like the unicorns of the job market – everyone wants one, but no one knows how to find one, let alone recruit and retain one. Valuable insights can help you pave the way. The key findings of our Gen Z and Millennial Survey 2023 show how younger generations of employees are refusing to 'tough out' lousy treatment and poor working conditions.

Generation Z – the 19 to 28-years-old – are entering the workforce with impressive knowledge and confidence. Many understand more about the economy, technology, and the world than older generations did when they were the same age.

At the same time, Gen Z is rethinking the role of work in their lives. Our Gen Z and Millennial Survey 2023 is an eye-opener. To me, the results reveal a generation with markedly different attitudes and actions than their older peers.

Gen Zs meet their employers with different expectations than before. The survey results show that roughly half of the generation say that although work is central to their identity, a healthy work-life balance is vital.

They want to be satisfied with their work-life balance, but many have difficulty coping. About half of the respondents feel burned out because of heavy workloads, poor work-life balance, and unhealthy team cultures. And although they live paycheck to paycheck and worry about their day-to-day finances, they will quit their jobs instead of sticking it out if it goes too much against their personal values. In fact, four out of ten Gen Zs have rejected a work-related task because of their personal belief, and almost half of them have declined a potential employer for the same reason.

This is a generation that is genuinely true to its own values and ethics. Gen Zs are quick to act if their employer's actions or words contradict their social or moral beliefs. They do not accept harassment and microaggressions in the workplace. Inappropriate emails, physical advances and physical contact are the most common harassment experiences. At the same time, exclusion, gender-based undermining, and unwanted jokes are the most common microaggressions experienced.

During the past year, seven out of ten Gen Zs have experienced harassment or microaggressions – compared to only one out of four of Generation X, which are people between 41 to 57-years-old. And while older generations might have accepted status-quo, there is non-acceptance of inappropriate work behavior in the younger generations.

Gen Zs bring a lifelong experience with social media, streaming, mobile technology – and an open-mindedness toward inclusion and diversity. They want to work for companies with sound principles and exist to make the world a better place for people and planet. Climate change is a significant stressor for Gen Zs, impacting their lifestyle and career decisions.

If you want to recruit and retain Gen Zs, you might want to make sure these basics are in place:

  • Be transparent in everything you do. Gen Zs have been trained to argue from an early age. If you want to appear trustworthy, have your arguments in place.
  • Put your feet where your mouth is. Have a no-tolerance approach to harassment and microaggressions in all forms, and be proactive regarding your company's environmental impact.
  • Make them co-creators and give them a true hear-say when it comes to major decisions.

You can read the full report here.

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