Gen Z Grads Shift Workforce Demands

May 30, 2019
Author: Stephanie Ludwigsen

Born after 1997, Gen Z makes up over 60 million people in the United States. The oldest of the Gen Z population was 11 when the financial crisis hit which means they came of age during recessions, financial crises, terror threats and school shootings, all with persistent access to technology and social media. The broad outcome is a cautious generation, hardened by economic and social turmoil. While research shows Gen Z is interested in technology, entrepreneurship and stability, the core demand lies with growth opportunities.

Promotions over Ping Pong

In a study of 3,000 recent graduates, Lasalle Network, a nationwide staffing agency, found strong desires from Gen Z participants wanting opportunity for growth in their first career experience. In fact, 76 percent of 2019 graduates said they expected to earn a promotion every 1-2 years. With Gen Z being 59 percent more likely to engage with a company via social media, Lasalle Network suggests highlighting promotions either in web or social content. This shows growth firsthand to a generation willing to look for proof online.

With this data, hiring managers should prepare interview commentary that addresses this topic. So often, rounds of interviews focus on culture fit and skills match that the opportunity to showcase role growth is missed. This matters to Gen Z. Human Resource teams have an opportunity to showcase how a company promotes training and development within the organization and communicates potential career paths. This carries weight with Gen Z and with 65 percent of new graduates balancing, on average, 2-4 job offers, a growth-mindset isn’t just for management.

Alongside promotions, Gen Z also looks for a bit of practicality. Several research studies indicate that most recent graduates are willing to take a job right out of school, for less money than they desire, just to develop experience and earn income. Similar studies indicate that benefits, including health insurance and 401k contribution are on the minds of this young generation. While some of this doesn’t stray too wildly from previous generations, Gen Z comes to the table looking for healthy servings of promotions with a dash of practicality. The narrative will need to change with hiring managers and HR teams alike to attract young talent.