Exactly what Gen Z wants, according to all of the surveys

Fans scream as singer Justin Bieber appears at the window of a hotel in central London March 9, 2013. The singer recently had a check-up…
Fans scream as singer Justin Bieber appears at the window of a hotel in central London March 9, 2013. The singer recently had a check-up…
Image: REUTERS/Olivia Harris
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Move over, Millennials.

Move over, Millennials.

Move over, Millennials.

A few years ago, it seemed professionals couldn’t go a day without hearing or reading the word ‘millennial.’” “But it’s time to shift the efforts to Generation Z.

Gen Z was born between 1998 and 2016.” (Or “between 1996 and 2000;” “between 1995 and 2002;” “between 1990 and 1999;” or “after 1999“).

These folks are really different from millennials.”

They FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram, and speak in emoji-only sentences—in essence, they’re cultivating a completely new visual language where even the 140 characters in a single tweet is too many.” But “while most people would think Gen Z would primarily use technology such as Facebook or Snapchat to communicate, the opposite is actually true.”

You might be surprised to learn that “most of Gen Z too acknowledges the importance of in-person communication” and, believe it or not, “more than 90 percent of Gen Z prefer to have a human element to their teams.

Exactly what Gen Z wants

The most important factor Gen Z looks for is opportunity for advancement,” and “two-thirds of GenZ say that their goal in life is to make it to the top of their profession.” Yet, despite these goals, according to other surveys, “they’re not necessarily interested in moving quickly up the corporate ladder.

What does Gen Z value in a job? “When we asked our Generation Z respondents what would make them stay at a job for more than 3 years, the top response was an empowering work culture (29%), with a high salary and raises falling significantly behind at (15%).

Surveys also suggest salary and raises do not fall significantly behind afterall: “Their top three ‘must haves’ for their first job are health insurance (70%), a competitive salary (63%) and a boss they respect (61%).” And “Gen Z’s top career priorities include: a stable career path (89% important or very important), competitive salary and benefits (87%), and work-life balance (84%).” Remember, this generation is very different.

Gen-Zers’ oddball values extend to their relationship with instability. “Despite the stigma around millennial workers feeling entitled, many aspire to be financially stable, a desire that may likely be tied to them entering the workforce in the deepest part of the recession. Gen Z, however, is focused on their dream job.” Though, also, “initial surveys identifying what Gen Z wants suggest that job stability is a priority.

Generation Z is extremely career focused: “58% say ‘bring it’ to working nights and weekends for a better salary, compared to 41% across all working generations.” At the same time, “they would rather get all their work done and then go home to not think about work.

Practical advice for employers

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,” but also research suggests that “the key to hiring Generation Z is less about benefits packages and more about the day-to-day work experience.

The most important thing?

Working for an organization that aligns with their social compass is important and could be, or most likely will be, the deciding factor when Gen [Z] choose[s] their career and the company they work for.” But then again, “today’s college students ranked opportunity for career growth as the most important aspect of their first job (36%).” And for what it’s worth, “Generation Z is also very concerned about the environment.”

Profiling an entire generation’s motivations and work preferences with a single survey can be difficult, but thankfully there is no shortage of companies that are up to this scientifically legitimate task.