Want to Attract Gen Z Workers? Here’s What to Do -- and What to Avoid

Today's youngest workers have a lot of energy to bring to the table. These are the things they're looking for -- and the things they don't want -- in a job.

Maurie Backman
Maurie Backman
Feb 20, 2019 at 1:18PM
Investment Planning

Though today's youngest workers have less experience than their more seasoned counterparts, their energy and innovation can more than make up for it. That's why it pays to be in tune with what Gen Zers are looking for in a job. According to new data from Glassdoor, here are Gen Z workers' top job-related pros and cons.

What Gen Zers want in a job

Today's youngest job seekers want a positive work experience on multiple fronts. Some of their top requests include:

  • A great work environment
  • Flexible hours and scheduling
  • Good pay
  • Great coworkers
  • Engaging work
  • Employee discounts
  • Free food

Many of these are not only reasonable but fairly easy to pull off from the employer side. Take work environment, for example. Your company culture should be such that employees are excited to come to work, and all it really takes is some internal training and attitude shifting to pull that off if your current environment leaves much to be desired. Instructing managers to foster collaboration, encourage creativity, and reward teamwork is a good way to make your company a more appealing one to work at.

Smiling young woman at laptop.


Flexibility is also a key issue in the workforce these days. With the majority of employees struggling to strike an ideal work-life balance, giving employees the leeway to set their own hours or work from home can truly help in this regard.

Clearly, competitive pay is important to Gen Zers as well. While that doesn't mean you should rush to outbid your competition blindly to attract younger workers, what you should do is review your compensation strategy to ensure that it aligns with what they're looking for.

Finally, it pays to consider investing in small perks that help employees feel appreciated. Allocating a little room in your budget for free snacks and coffee could go a long way toward enticing younger workers and convincing them to stay put.

What turns Gen Zers off

On the other hand, Gen Zers are pretty firm about the things they don't want in a job. These include:

  • Long hours
  • Low pay
  • Poor work-life balance
  • High turnover
  • A bad work environment
  • Poor management

The good news is that these factors can be easily addressed. The need for long hours, for example, can be mitigated by discouraging managers from focusing on face time, all the while providing time-management training to workers in need. Pay is a harder point to improve on, because it'll hinge heavily on your company's available resources, but if you can't shine in that arena, you can compensate by helping workers achieve a better work-life balance -- primarily by being flexible with them, as noted above.

At the same time, improving your company culture might help reduce internal turnover, thereby giving potential hires less to be concerned about. Finally, don't be afraid to take a long, hard look at your management team and see how effective it really is. Once again, a little attitude adjusting could go a long way.

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The benefit of bringing in younger workers is that you have a chance to cultivate talent and help develop loyal employees who will stick with you for the long haul. So take the above data to heart -- it could be just the thing that sets your business apart from the competition.