Move over, Millennials: Gen Z is about to hit the workforce

New research from Monster reveals what employers need to do to be ready for a generation that blends old-school values with the expectations of a digital-native

Monster (NYSE: MWW), a global leader in connecting people to jobs, today announced results from their inaugural Multi-Generational Survey of the Boomer, X, Y and Z generations. The findings uncover what makes the first segment of Generation Z unique, and how employers can attract, retain and engage this rising group of valuable employees.

Gen Z are the true “digital natives,” the first-ever generation to have ubiquitous Internet technology at their fingertips since birth, and the survey reveals that they don’t merely think outside the box – they throw it away entirely. As they strive to reinvent norms, members of Gen Z will be attracted to careers that have both purpose and pragmatism. And yet they’re more altruistic than the workforce before them: 74% of Gen Z believes jobs should have a greater meaning than just bringing home the bacon, compared to 69% of those in older generations (and specifically 70% of Millennials).

Gen Z is driven – by money and ambition 
While the survey revealed that Gen Z is motivated by a variety of factors, one thing stands out: They’ll do whatever it takes to reach their goals. Entrepreneurship is a major priority, with 76% of these individuals seeing themselves as the owners of their careers, driving their own professional advancement. Nearly half (49%) want to have their own business, compared to 32% across all working generations. Plus, the majority (67%) is willing to relocate for a good job, and 58% say “bring it” to working nights and weekends for a better salary, compared to 41% across all working generations.

“We’re seeing drastic differences between what drives employees in Gen Z compared to previous generations like Millennials,” said Seth Matheson, Director of Talent Fusion by Monster, Monster’s team of in-house recruiters that work on behalf of its customers. “At this stage in the recruiting game, employers looking to attract future talent need to expand their focus beyond Millennials to understand the next generation’s unique, practical job must-haves, and proactively develop a working environment that will keep them happy and motivated.”

Forget Ping-Pong – Gen Z wants a White Picket Fence 
In an unexpected twist, Gen Z differs from the Millennials before them by valuing benefits and security that have traditionally been associated with Boomers and members of Gen X. Their top three “must haves” for their first job are health insurance (70%), a competitive salary (63%) and a boss they respect (61%).

“As I talk to many employers, the focus is still on Millennials, with a lot of questions about perks like nap pods and free lunches. However, a common theme we saw in the report is Gen Z’s emphasis on some of the more ‘traditional’ benefits like health insurance and a quality, two-way relationship with their potential manager,” said Matheson. “At the same time, we expect them to hit the ground running in their new roles, providing innovative new solutions for tackling problems. Employers can expect Gen Z to make a positive impact on the future of their companies – if they start proactively preparing for them now.”

Optimizing Gen Z’s power to transform industry relies on keeping them motivated. The digital-native nature of Gen Z means they’re already accustomed to rapidly and constantly changing environments and stimulators, so employers will need to maintain a focus on their core values to keep these new workers inspired. This includes money/pay (70%), the ability to pursue their passion (46%) and the challenges/excitement of the job (39%). One strategy for bringing these disparate motivators together is more regular check-ins between managers and employees. Keeping Gen Z galvanized and engaged throughout the year – not just when their annual reviews roll around – will be key to employers’ success.

Let’s get digital – attracting and engaging Gen Z across their unique journey 
A key element of Gen Z’s potential to change the way work is accomplished is their comfort and immersion in mobile technologies, which enable constant communication and innovation. According to the survey, Gen Z believes that technology allows them to be more productive (57%) and mobile (45%). Furthermore, 39% see smartphones as essential and 37% rely on laptops, compared to 25% and 30% across all working generations, respectively. These tools enable Gen Z to be “always on” while determining their own schedules, creating tailor-made paths to their personal version of success.

Focus on employer branding – Gen Z is paying attention now 
Before Gen Z enters the workforce in mass, employers need to define and communicate who they are, their purpose and what makes them unique. It is vital that these qualities are accurately and consistently communicated across social media channels, employer review sites like kununu, andother platforms.

“The key to successfully attracting and engaging Gen Z throughout their candidate journey will be a strong employer brand that is consistent across technologies,” said Matheson. “Organizational brands will need to be transparent, adaptable, personable and memorable, targeting the brand’s ideal Gen Z employees through tools like social recruiting and talent CRM targeted emails.”

For more information on Gen Z and how employers can successfully attract and engage this new generation of talent, download the full report here.

Survey Methodology 
The Monster Multi-Generational Survey was conducted by TNS, a global research agency, and concluded in January 2016. The study surveyed more than 2,000 people across the Boomer, X, Y and Z generations, working and non-working respondents in the U.S. The Gen Z respondents (those aged 15-20) pre-qualified themselves as either employed or, among younger teens, planning to work in the future.

About Monster Worldwide 
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent. Today, the company offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities. Monster continues its pioneering work of transforming the recruiting industry with advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including our flagship website® and a vast array of products and services. For more information