2 in 5 Gen Z Workers Regret Accepting Current Job Offer

When planning a recruitment drive, it’s essential that HR teams tailor their campaign for the target demographic. Just as the modern workplace has changed with technology, so does the way people feel about employment. Remote work opportunities, freelancing, and the gig economy have changed what young adults expect from an employment opportunity. A recent survey from Gartner highlights some of the views Generation Z workers have about job opportunities, including the fact that many workers regret accepting their current job offer.

In preparation for their ReimagineHR conferences later this year, Gartner released some data on the behavior and attitudes of Gen Z workers. The company’s survey found that many young adults were unhappy with the jobs they had chosen and were considering a change. According to Gartner, two in five (40 percent) Gen Z respondents reported that they would not repeat their decision to take the job offer they had accepted. Similarly, only 51 percent said they could see themselves having a long career at their current organization. Another way to look at this data is to say employers have a 50/50 chance of their Gen Z workers staying for the long haul.

Candidate regret, the workplace equivalent of buyer’s remorse, has multiple adverse effects for the company. Workers who regret their decision are less productive than someone motivated. Additionally, candidates who regret their choice seek employment elsewhere, which increases recruitment costs. According to the research from Gartner, “more than one-third of candidates who regret their decision intend to leave their position within 12 months.”

“To address this increase in candidate regret — and stem the ensuing issues with underperforming talent and/or high turnover — organizations need to better understand what Generation Z candidates want,” said Lauren Smith, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, in a press release.

HR teams and recruiters must modify their campaigns to account for changing priorities among generations. The Gartner study found that young adults are less moved by compensation than workers in the past. According to the 2018 survey results, 38 percent of Generation Z candidates said that ‘they would leave a job because of compensation,’ compared with 41% of millennials who were surveyed five years prior.

Similarly, fewer Gen Z workers are planning on staying with a company for a long time. Only one in four (25 percent) Gen Z candidates surveyed listed ‘future career opportunities’ as one of their top attraction drivers when considering a job. This number is significantly lower than in previous years. When the same question was asked in 2014, one in three (34 percent) millennials did list future career opportunities as necessary.

The research from Gartner suggests that Gen Z candidates plan for the future by looking for job opportunities with the potential to develop their skills. Among the survey respondents, ‘23% of Gen Z candidates listed development opportunities as a top attraction driver, compared with only 17% of their millennial predecessors in 2013’. Recruiters can take advantage of this trend by promoting development opportunities, such as training programs and continuing education efforts, to their Gen Z candidates.

For more recent research about generational divides in the workplace, check out this article about the different ways people respond to noise in the office.

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