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‘Purpose over paycheck’: What Gen Z wants from their employer

By Emma Musgrave | |4 minute read

Generation Z is more likely to forgo a job offer if their prospective employer’s values and purpose do not align with their own, a new report has found.

The latest Workmonitor report has been released, highlighting changing attitudes when it comes to the way of work.

As covered by HR Leader this week, there has been a significant shift in how employees value their happiness at work, with more saying they “would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job”. 


The report also detailed the generational divide when it comes to wanting an employer to align with individual personal values and purposes – and how this can be the breaking point between a prospective employee looking to accept a job, or not.

According to the findings, 59 per cent of Gen Z respondents wouldn’t accept a job with a business that doesn’t align with their values on social and environmental issues, compared to a third (33 per cent) of Baby Boomers.

A further 55 per cent of Gen Z and 47 per cent of younger Millennials (categorised as those aged between 25 and 34 years) said they wouldn’t work for a business that wasn’t making a proactive effort to improve its diversity and equity, compared to 28 per cent of Baby Boomers.

When asked the question: “I wouldn’t mind earning less money if I felt my job was contributing something positive to the world or society”, 59 per cent selected either the “strongly agree” or “agree” option, compared to 20 per cent of Baby Boomers.

“The acceleration of the social justice movement, growing concerns about climate change, and workplace diversity and inclusion all have been top of mind for organisations in recent years, and our data reflects how important a company’s values are to its workforce. For younger workers in particular, it’s about purpose over paycheck,” the report explained.

“The importance of aligning corporate values with those of the workforce will only grow as social issues are amplified in media, business and government.

“Employers must ensure any divergence of their culture and values from those of their people are minimal and addressed as differences arise. Only by doing so can companies attract and retain the best talent in a more values-conscious world.”



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.