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Research reveals where and how Generation Z wants to work

By Marjorie van Elven

Feb 21, 2019


Generation Z (those aged 17-24) is entering the workforce now. What are these young job seekers looking for and how do they compare to their older counterparts? Recruiting website Glassdoor has analyzed the job seeking behavior of their youngest members from the United States to find out.

Turns out most of them aspire to work in tech positions. Software engineer applications accounted for 19 percent of all Gen Z applications during a three and a half month period, followed by software developer. In addition, the majority of applications from Gen Zers were for companies in the tech industry: IBM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Deloitte are the top five companies they apply for. But business services and retail still attract a considerable number of young job seekers, with Nike and Nordstrom receiving high ratings from this generation (4.1 out of 5 and 4.2 out of 5, respectively).

By analizing Gen Zers’ reviews about their current or past employers, Glassdoor was also able to see what makes them happy on the job. “Flexible hours”, “nice work environment” and “good pay” top the list of 10 most-mentioned pros, but the list also features three phrases which do not make the top 10 for their older counterparts, the millennial generation (25-35): “employee discount”, easy job” and “free food”.

As for the cons, the most common sentences said by Gen Zers were “long hours”, “low pay” and “minimum wage”, followed by “rude customers” and “poor management”. Long hours are also the thing millennials complain about the most, and they too are unsatisfied about their pay. However, terms such as “high turnover” and “room for growth” are among the top concerns of millennials but not of Gen Zers. To Glassdoor, that indicates employers’ priorities, needs and concerns tend to change as they move forward in their careers.

“As this generation continues to mature, with more Gen Zers enter the workforce and current Gen Z workers progressing in their careers, we will be able to gain an even richer understanding of Generation Z”, said Glassdoor on its website.

One important thing to note: both generations indicate “upper management” as an issue, showing that trust in senior leadership is a crucial factor in keeping young workers satisfied.

Pictures: Pexels, Glassdoor Economic Research

Generation Z
Human Resources