Gen Z wants to work for big companies that can survive economic downturns, Adobe says


By Michael Grothaus

If you’re a company in the market for growing your workforce, there’s no doubt you’ll be headhunting Gen Z workers in the near future. The problem is, depending on your company’s size, Gen Z might not want to work for you.

That’s according to a new report from Adobe called Future Workforce Study. Adobe surveyed over 1,000 university students and recent grads to get their insights and thoughts about the job market and economic outlook.

The most striking finding from the study is that only 16% of respondents said they would consider taking a job with a startup or a small-sized company; 52% of respondents said they’ll pursue careers with large, established companies. The reason? Gen Z believes large, established companies have better chances of weathering any economic storms that the near future may bring.

“With upcoming and recent grads having weathered significant uncertainty in the past few years, including challenges brought on by the pandemic and ongoing concerns about an impending recession, we’re seeing that a significant portion of Gen Z workers are seeking career opportunities with established, enterprise-sized companies that can offer more stability and opportunities for growth,” says Tricia Guyer, senior director of talent acquisition at Adobe.

Let’s talk turkey

But being a big, established company like Apple, Microsoft, or GM isn’t the only requirement that Gen Z respondents said they are looking for. Adobe’s study also revealed that Gen Z wants upfront salary transparency before they even apply for a position. A full 85% of respondents said they were less likely to apply for a position if its salary range was not disclosed in the job listing.

In short, Gen Z doesn’t want to waste their time going through a lengthy interview process only to be disappointed by the starting salary if offered the job.

Gen Z wants to work for big companies that can survive economic downturns, Adobe says

Yearning for the office

Another interesting finding from Adobe’s study is that Gen Z seems willing to see a return to in-office work: 75% of respondents even said they’d be willing to move to be closer to their workplace.

“Our survey findings show that the majority of upcoming and recent grads are eager to work in an office setting either full-time or part-time,” Guyer notes about the finding. “We suspect that Gen Z workers are tired of remote schooling and working online full-time, and eager to engage in in-person experiences that aren’t possible in a fully virtual environment.”

That’s not exactly a death knell for WFH, but it’s probably music to employers’ ears nonetheless.

The study is an interesting read for recruiters everywhere. Adobe collaborated with Advanis to collect the responses from U.S. post-secondary students and recent graduates in December.

Fast Company