What Does Gen Z Want From Employers?


Gen Z does not want the B.S.!

They are not playing! They are in the transparency era. 

They know the value of their work and they are aware that inflation is hitting the cost of living hard.

College undergrads and graduates want to see the salary on the table before anything. Older generations claim that Gen Z only cares about money and not the job, but how can they if the cost of living increases insignificantly higher every year? They are worried and they are not settling for any less.

HandShake made a new report in a survey of “1,800 college-grad job seekers four out of five respondents are prioritizing what matters—and Gen Z is prioritizing stability above all else.” 85 percent prioritize stability, 81 percent prioritize benefits, and 80 percent want a high-paying salary. 

This report also estimated that 82 percent of the 2023 class is more likely to apply for a job with a high starting salary. Gen Z women are also assessed to expect a 6.2K lower average wage compared to men. Unfortunately for women, the salary is still different compared to men even after having the same title.

At least Gen Z recognizes their work, value, effort, and salary range as a whole. 

“Gen Z grads are in tune with realistic starting salaries by industry. While most say a ‘high’ starting salary would make them more likely to apply to a job, two-thirds of respondents’ idea of ‘high’ is still under $100k.”

It seems like college grads and undergrads are desperate to find a job and most of them accept jobs outside of their industry. An Industrial and Systems Engineering major was quoted in the HandShake report saying “even before the economic stuff going on today, I was still applying to any job within my field I can do. I don’t have a preference on what industry or job title I work for. I just want a high salary and benefits in a job.”

Today’s economy seems to be scaring students and this is making them send mass job applications without giving importance to which job they apply to. 

Evelyn Brito, a Mercy alumna who graduated last year, said she felt a sense of urgency to start sending mass applications through many platforms after graduation. 

“I was just applying to jobs without knowing what I was applying to.”

That was before she received a call from an unknown number. She picked up the phone and it was one of the job hiring recruiters from a job she had no knowledge from. She felt extremely embarrassed and had to pick up that phone call without knowing what position she had applied to. She had applied to hundreds of applications she had no clue who was calling her.

Evelyn said she for apologized forgetting, “forgot what position I applied to. I have been applying to many positions lately, can you please give me a brief explanation of what this role consists of.” 

She was completely embarrassed but she also explained she’d “rather be honest than just lie to the hiring recruiter.” 

Luckily she was able to still get an interview and was accepted into the position. She was shocked when she heard back from the recruiter because she also knew she was unprepared. She said “I think I was able to get this position because I was honest with them since the beginning, but it’s not like this in all cases.

It seems like transparency plays a big part in this generation and they are not scared to keep it clear with everyone especially when it comes to jobs. Gen Z also has the opportunity to have a clear salary range posted on the job website. 

“This is good news for students. In a previous Handshake Network Trends report, respondents—regardless of gender—overwhelmingly cited a clear “salary range” on a job description as the greatest motivator when applying to a position.”

Having a clearly posted salary range is a benefit that many other generations did not have. This facilitates the process of applying for jobs and not only does this benefit Gen Z but this made a change that benefits everyone and upcoming generations.

Since companies are posting a clear salary range, Gen Z can speak openly about the salary without being this a hard and uncomfortable discussion.

“This is the year of pay transparency. Responding to current market conditions, Gen Z is ushering the topic of salary to the forefront of conversations with employers. We’re seeing more adoption of pay transparency policies by companies nationwide, alongside the existing laws in Colorado, California, New York, and Washington.”