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Engaging Gen Z: more tradition, less tech

Contrary to the assumption that Gen Z will kick start a new era in the digital job search, the research reveals that Gen Z prefer traditional approaches to recruitment. Over a third (34%) of the respondents think the best way for employers to engage with young people is at school and university level, ahead of the 27% who favour social media channels. A similar number (33%) would revert to family or friends, over online sources, when searching for their first job.

The research also shows that long-term security is far more appealing to Gen Z than short term perks when searching for their dream job. Gym memberships (12%), free technology (16%) and time off to travel (26%) are firmly rejected in favour of qualifications and job security 43% and 41%, respectively. Most surprisingly, 35.2% of 16 – 19 year olds expect a pension as standard with their first job.

Gen Z are also as ethically minded as they are ambitious. The research shows that two-fifths (41%) of the Gen Z’ers surveyed said they would turn down a potential employer due to their ethical practices, compared to less than a third (30%) who would reject an offer due to an insufficient salary.

However, the research shows strong personal ambition and high expectations from employers: whilst a half of those surveyed expect a promotion within their first year of employment, the same number also expect to move on from an employer within two years. In the long-term, nearly three-quarters (70%) of Gen Z expect to earn more than their parents at the height of their career.

In comparison, respondents from Gen Y are more concerned with securing bigger bonuses than their Gen Z counterparts, and care far less about their workplace surroundings or their organisation’s ethics.  

Alex Fleming, managing director of Adecco, said, “Contrary to popular opinion, this research shows that Gen Z have rather conventional expectations of the world of work. Our research provides key lessons for businesses recruiting the next generation: don’t be tempted to abandon tried and tested recruitment methods, such as university careers fairs, for digital only approaches. Employers should also prioritise a traditional package featuring a pension over more short term offers such as gym membership.  

“Evidently, Gen Z are a focused bunch, with the determination and energy to succeed. With expert digital skills and global mobility on their side, top talent from this age group will be difficult to hold on to and messages from employers will have to be quite unique to stand out and get their attention. Listening to their values and expectations and developing recruitment and workplace engagement accordingly, will go a long way in encouraging young employees to stay loyal”.


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