3 things Gen Zs look for when job hunting

Welcoming a new wave of employees to your company? You may find yourself attracting members from Generation Z. Here’s what you need to know about the Gen Z in the workforce.

According to 2020 figures  from the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore Department of Statistics, Gen Zs (those born between 1995 to 2012) made up around 6% of the total workforce last year (142,200 out of a total 2.2 million employed). And this figure is projected to grow as more Gen Zs, also known as zoomers, enter the workforce in the coming years.

To gain further insight into the minds of Gen Z employees, Re Source Partners conducted a survey to explore their career motivations and aspirations. The survey polled Gen Zs born between 1995 to 2010, who have graduated or will be graduating from the local universities such as Singapore University of Social Sciences (17.6%), Nanyang Technological University (13.2%), and National University of Singapore (10.3%).

Here are the top things the survey revealed and how these can help companies attract and retain Gen Z talent.

#1: Learning opportunities and starting pay are top considerations

When asked what they look for in an employer or company, more than half of the survey respondents said they prioritise learning opportunities (56%) and having a good starting salary (54%) when applying for jobs.

Although zoomers globally are known to be the generation that takes on a very values-driven approach when it comes to their job search , they are not much different from previous generations when it comes to salary as it still remains an important factor for them when looking for a job.

Like preceding generations, Gen Zs also seek financial stability with either a stable or a high-paying job. Around eight in 10 polled in the Re Source Partners study indicated security and stability as a “very important” factor that will encourage them to stay in the same company. These sentiments mirror results from the 2021 global Gen Z survey by Deloitte Global which concluded Gen Zs’ top stress factors during the pandemic as job and career prospects and their long-term financial future.

To attract Gen Z talent, employers must be willing to develop and implement robust training and leadership programs. In fact, seven out of 10 respondents in the Re Source Partners study consider having good leaders or management as “very important” when applying for a job.

#2: A good work-life balance can help with retention

The Re Source Partners study showed that not only is having a good-work life balance (53%) one of the top three things Gen Zs look out for in potential places of employment, it is also one of the leading considerations for retention.

While over 90% of respondents cited salary or receiving a pay rise as a factor that will encourage them to stay in a job (and not look for another), having a good work-life balance also emerged as one of the leading considerations with 75% deeming it as “very important”.

When it comes to work-life balance, mental health becomes a big concern, especially in the midst of the pandemic. According to Deloitte Global’s survey, around 35% of Gen Zs said they’ve taken time off work due to stress and anxiety, with nearly four out of 10 feeling they didn’t receive adequate support from their employers for their well-being during this time.

In order to fulfil the needs of Gen Z talents (and retain them), companies must be willing to provide supportive leadership and policies such as flexible working hours and workplace arrangements, and flexible annual/medical leave policies.

#3: Multi-generational teams are not a problem for Gen Zs

Gen Z is the first generation to have never known life without the Internet and smartphones, so it’s easy to have the misconception that zoomers are ‘all about technology’.

However, various studies show that they actually value human connection and face-to-face communication in the workplace, and more importantly, they prefer to have direct, frequent feedback on their performance.

Results from the Re Source Partners survey support this — when asked what’s their biggest challenge when working in a multi-generational team, respondents chose communication breakdown as their biggest hurdle. Different working styles was the second biggest challenge with the majority of respondents saying it was sometimes a problem.

To ensure effective communication and smooth workflows between generations in the workplace, companies should encourage and nurture a work environment conducive for highly collaborative work relationships. To attract Gen Zs further, companies can also look into a company culture that embraces diversity and social responsibility.

The Re Source Partners survey results also showed that LinkedIn remains their platform of choice when looking for job opportunities — 44% of the respondents cited LinkedIn as their go-to platform, with Jobstreet and MyCareersFuture coming in close second and third respectively. So if your company is actively hiring, it pays to have your bases covered when it comes to job listings.

Employers have much to benefit from the fresh perspective Gen Zs bring to work, and Gen Zs have the potential to be valued members of the workforce, afterall, they are the next generation leaders.


Employed Residents Aged 15 Years And Over By Industry And Age Group, (June)
How Gen-Z Is Brining A Fresh Perspective To The World of Work
The Deloitte Global 2021 millennial and Gen Z Survey
Can Your Organization Support a Multi-Generational Workforce?

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