With the rise of Generation Z in the job market, organisations are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining this young talent. But what drives Gen Z'ers when making career decisions?

Staffing specialist Walters People recently conducted research among young professionals with 1 to 3 years' experience to gain insight into their views on the job market and their career plans.    

Salary remains a priority 

Despite their strong moral compass and appreciation for employers' social values, salary remains an important factor for Gen Z'ers. The survey shows that 83% of those surveyed consider a higher salary and/or a more extensive package of fringe benefits as motivating to change jobs. Interestingly, 56% are not willing to consider a job with a lower salary, even if other benefits, such as flexibility or a good team atmosphere, are offered.  Only 12% of young workers are willing to accept a lower salary for a job at an organisation closer to their ideals. 

Asia Skifati, Associate Director at Walters People, notes, "Gen Z'ers are known as 'dreamers' in the workplace. They are socially engaged and environmentally conscious, and also expect efforts in these areas from their employer. However, salary remains a crucial factor due to the rising cost of living. The high supply of vacancies allows these young professionals to be choosy, prompting organisations to benchmark and review their salary packages."  

Content and challenge matter 

Job content appears to be the next big motivator for Gen Z: a vast majority (64%) are willing to swap their current job for a more substantive and/or challenging position. A quarter of those surveyed are even open to giving up part of their salary to do so.  

Asia: "Gen Z values fun and satisfaction in their work, and they are not afraid to give up their job to pursue their passion. Gen Z'ers therefore view their job prospects positively: 89% feel optimistic about the economic situation in their sector over the next 12 months, and 88% rate their personal professional future as bright. This positive sentiment is reflected in the plans of over 1 in 3 young people to switch to a new job opportunity within the next 3 years." 

Working close to home is attractive 

Finally, 41% of those surveyed say they would like to work closer to home, and 15% are willing to accept a lower salary for this opportunity. 

Asia stresses the importance of a good work-life balance for young professionals and also notes that Gen Z embraces the 'side hustle' culture: "Today, 2 out of 3 young people have a side income in addition to their regular job. It is therefore logical that they do not want to waste time standing in traffic jams every morning and evening. Employers should capitalise on this trend by offering flexible working hours and the option of working from home. That way, they will remain attractive to the youngest generation of workers."


More information

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