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The Ranking of Drivers Influencing the Selection of Workplace, According to the Surveyed Generation Z

An employer must be familiar with the factors which play an important role in the selection of workplaces, when potential employees are making up their minds, which job or work opportunity they should choose. It is not by chance that a number of practicing HR experts believe that today an HR expert has to be a good salesman as well; they have to sell the announced position to make the workplace appealing both for the people who work there and for those who they are seeking to hire.

In order for an employer to be able to create such conditions at the workplace and to determine such an incentive package which is attractive for the candidates they are actually attempting to recruit, they must understand their expectations, values, and the range of factors these people consider when selecting their workplace. According to HR experts, the high level of motivation of employees might take a company to the top, if those people feel appreciated and see that their personal opinions, ideas, performance, and development actually contribute to the advancement of the company; if they can address the top leaders with their problems, because employees and the management speak the same language; if the company feels like their own, and they are proud to have a desk there (X), to work as one team (Y), and the company collects waste selectively and takes care of the environment (Z). The reason does not matter, they just want to be proud of the company (Kiss^, 2014).

A research conducted in 1999 already revealed that employers have to face something new, an altered set of preferences when it comes to motivation at the workplace. According to the survey, employees can be best driven by (1) interesting work, (2) the recognition of the implemented work, and (3) the sense of being an insider. Only after that came (4) a secure workplace and (5) a good salary. The opportunity for development was the sixth on the list, and it was followed on the seventh place by good working conditions. These results were surprising since leaders expected the factors of good salary, a secure workplace, the opportunity for promotion/development, and interesting work to be on the top of the list (Kovach, 1999).

According to the Best Workplace 2012 research, respondents were seeking a (1) secure livelihood, (2) constant development and (3) diverse, interesting tasks at the ideal workplace, but almost every fourth respondent listed (4) professional challenges and (5) the opportunity for flexible work to be one of the top three most important factors. About 70% of them desires to work at a place where (6) they are appreciated financially and morally as well, and also more than 30% listed among the priorities that (7) the company should be steady and reliable, where they can (8) work in a good team, in a pleasant atmosphere.

Besides the factors which are important for everyone - such as a secure livelihood, stability, good working conditions - other attributes including social reputation, usefulness, helping others, cooperation with clients, controlling others, and development also became important for employees; nevertheless, social responsibility, the protection of the environment, and the mood of an employee while working in a company are factors gaining more and more attention (Boyett and Boyett, 2000; Kissne, 2010). According to the results of our quantitative research, when considering which job or workplace to choose, one of the major decisive factors is the opportunity for a promotion and professional development. It is esteemed even higher than a high salary for generation Z. The ranking of factors which play a role in the selection of a workplace looks quite similar to the range of efficient motivational tools.

It seems obvious that for this generation, offering a high salary and a good cafeteria, fringe benefits is not enough, as they are seeking for a company where they can realize their dreams, where they can fulfil a great and successful career path, and where they can work in a good team and atmosphere. The understanding of these aspects is important, because it clearly demonstrates the conditions a workplace should offer, the fields it should improve in order to appeal to the young generation, and to be able to retain its workforce.

Today, it poses an ever-increasing challenge for employers. Unlike earlier days, foreign ownership, the “multinational” characteristic

Table 6.2 Ranking of Factors Influencing the Selection of Workplace



The financial background of the company and the stability of its position on the market


The reputation and general perception of the company


Opportunities for promotion at the company


Proper work-life balance


Opportunity for working abroad


Other allowances and benefits besides the salary


Foreign ownership of the company


Predictable, fixed working hours


Opportunity for professional development


Diverse scope of duties


Creative tasks


Career opportunity


Company employing many people


High salary


Opportunity for continuing training and education


Good team spirit


Implementation of corporate social responsibility by the company


Company with a national reputation


Low average age of employees


Hungarian ownership


Multinational company


Employment by the company, and not through a work agency


Flexible working hours


Modern working environment


The distance of the workplace from home


of a company, is not an attractive factor for young people while selecting their workplace (Table 6.2). It is also important to note that compared to predictable and fixed working hours, the desire to fulfil a diverse scope of duties and to receive creative tasks seems even more significant. A modern working environment, meaning shorter traveling distance to the workplace and flexible working hours - similar to the results of our qualitative research - are significant aspects for this generation, even greater than the awareness and reputation of the company. It is good news for small- and medium-sized enterprises, who are able to offer more attractive opportunities in these fields, compared to the multinational corporations applying standard elements, who are less flexible in a number of aspects.

Table 6.3 The Most Attractive Factors

Which factors make a workplace attractive and ideal the most? (Mentions, in %, relative frequency, multiple answers were accepted)

If it has a good reputation


If employees are paid well


If it is recommended by my friends, relatives


If the workplace is trustworthy


If there are good career opportunities


When we asked respondents to select the top three factors which make a workplace appealing and ideal for them out of all the factors mentioned in Table 6.2, the most frequent mentions included (relative frequency, multiple answers were accepted) good salary, reliability, and good career opportunity. The reputation of the company and the opinion of friends and relatives were also important factors. The latter factor could be quite important for employer branding since it reveals the importance of what others say about a particular workplace and how employees feel about it.

Furthermore, it is definitely true in the aspect of employer branding that a credible communication and credible reputation is built from the inside. The opinion of employees influences the judgement of potential employees. The role of word-of-mouth and social channels are also just as significant for building the brand of an employer as in the case of building a consumer brand since consumer-generated marketing (CGM) generates the same effects here (Table 6.3).

Conclusion and Recommendations

Today, when a workplace has a hard time offering a single, good solution for the various generations, it is extremely important to understand the differentiated needs of these generations. In our study, we have focused on generation Z, and throughout our research, within the frame of a quantitative survey, we have attempted to find the answer to the question, what makes a workplace appealing for the Z’s, and what are the most effective incentives at a workplace for them. A successful career path, a good working atmosphere and team spirit, and a good salary are the most important drivers during the selection of a workplace.

In case of those who already work there, a high salary and promotional opportunities serve as the best incentive. A workplace is considered to be ideal if employees are paid well, and if the company has the reputation of a reliable employer.

The results of the research revealed that the major milestones of an employer branding strategy focusing on generation Z are flexible HR, a diverse and interesting scope of duties and tasks, opportunities promising a higher status, greater financial benefits, and a responsible corporate behavior. Considering the fact that the opinion of friends and relatives is an important attribute of an ideal workplace, it is also essential to focus on the internal target group of employer branding during the course of communication since employees will become opinion leaders, ambassadors, those friends and relatives who actively shape the opinion of future potential employees. We believe that all of this requires a two-way, active communication from HR, and those who already work for the company must be reassured that they represent an active contribution to the reputation of the company. Results of the research also concluded that for generation Z, the nature of the corporate ownership (multinational, domestic) and the size of the company (a lot of or a few employees) do not matter, they are much more driven by a diverse scope of duties, team spirit, and career opportunities. It creates a great opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises to become an attractive workplace for youngsters since not only multinational companies, “the big ones” have the opportunity to design individual career paths, mentoring plans, or the creation of a good team spirit. In many cases, it might be implemented easier at a workplace with a lower number of staff.


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