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Are You Ready for the Next Generation of Workers?

Are You Ready for the Next Generation of Workers?
Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

The next generation of employees is getting ready to enter the workforce and they have a much different outlook on what they want out of their careers than those who have come before them, new research finds.

The study from the job search site Monster revealed that soon-to-be professionals from Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2010, are more driven by money and ambition than those who are already working. Specifically, 70 percent of those surveyed from Gen Z said their top work motivator is money, compared with just 63 percent of employees from all other generations.

Being able to work in a job they are passionate about is another motivator. The study found that 46 percent of those from Generation Z, specifically between ages 15 and 20, said the ability to pursue their passion is a top motivating factor, compared with only 32 percent of baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials.

The next generation of workers appears more willing to put in the extra effort needed to achieve their goals. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed from Generation Z said they would work nights and weekends for higher pay, opposed to just 45 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Gen Xers and 33 percent of baby boomers.

Gen Z workers will also head anywhere for a job they want. Nearly 70 percent of Generation Z said they would be willing to move for a good job opportunity, compared with 52 percent of those across all other generations. [See Related Story: Employers: Don't Treat Gen Z like Millennials]

"We're seeing drastic differences between what drives employees in Gen Z compared to previous generations like millennials," Seth Matheson, director of talent fusion, said in a statement. "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."

When it comes to what they're looking for in a job, Generation Z's attitudes are much more in line with baby boomers and Gen Xers than millennials. Health insurance, a competitive salary and a boss they respect are the top three must haves for those from Generation Z.

"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," Matheson said. "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."

In order to attract Generation Z workers, employers better make sure they are keeping up with their technology. Having grown up their entire lives immersed in technology, those from Gen Z believe that having access to the latest technology will make them more productive and allow them to work from anywhere.

In addition to their technology offerings, organizations need to start defining their brand to Generation Z if they want to attract them when they hit the workforce. The study's authors said engaging with this generation requires a strong employer brand that differentiates an organization in the marketplace and that also communicates in a language Gen Z understands.

"The key to successfully attracting and engaging Gen Z throughout their candidate journey will be a strong employer brand that is consistent across technologies," Matheson said. "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."

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,000 people across the boomer, X, Y and Z generations. The Gen Z respondents pre-qualified themselves as either employed or, among younger teens, planning to work in the future.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.