- Most workers continue to entertain new job opportunities, and nearly a third of millennial and Generation Z workers are actively seeking a career move, according to a Randstad global survey of 35,000 employees across 34 markets.
- Younger workers were also more likely than those of previous generations to say that they wanted their personal convictions to align with their employer's; 48% of millennials and 49% of Gen Z respondents said they would not accept a job that didn't align with their stances on social and environmental issues, compared to 35% of Baby Boomers.
- Similarly, 40% of millennials and 42% of Gen Z respondents said they wouldn't mind earning less if they felt their job contributed to the world or society, compared to 25% of baby boomers, Randstad said. More than half of Gen Z respondents said they would quit their jobs if they felt they were prevented from enjoying their lives.
The company's findings "should serve as a wake-up call for employers," Sander van 't Noordende, Randstad's global CEO, said in a statement. Workers, he continued, are not afraid to rethink their priorities and put personal fulfillment first when it comes to job-seeking in the current market.
"Our research points to an increasing expectation from businesses to take a stand on social and environmental issues, which is unsurprising given the rise in employee activism many business leaders have experienced," van 't Noordende said. "Companies that fail to do so face an increasingly uphill battle when it comes to hiring and keeping talent."
Past research on younger workers has shown similar results. An EY survey of Gen Z members between March and April 2021 found that 63% said it was either very or extremely important to work for an employer that shared their values, while 69% said they prioritized enjoying their work.
Employers, for what it's worth, seem to be trending in this direction. A 2021 Mercer survey of U.S. HR leaders found that 60% of respondents said their organizations had either continued or "stepped up the pace" toward adopting a business approach considerate of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, factors in light of the pandemic. Relatedly, federal regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as investors are increasingly scrutinizing employers' ESG and human capital practices.
But whatever causes employers decide to amplify, there may still be a few wrinkles to work out. Sources who previously spoke to HR Dive have emphasized the importance of authentic, transparent communication and tangible actions toward societal issues employers say they care about. Organizational accountability measures also may fall short of stated goals, according to a Deloitte report published earlier this year.
HR teams can set policies on topics such as political expression while ensuring that managers are equipped to support employees and handle conflict, according to Gartner.