“Gen Z” college students are graduating into one of the best job markets in years, which means companies across all industries are amping up their traditional compensation and benefits packages to attract talented candidates. Many firms and employers are offering unique perks and benefits designed to cater to Gen Z that go beyond traditional health benefits and compensation. However, not all benefits are created equal and there are some that are especially suited to the Gen Z crowd. So, which perks and benefits should employers invest in to attract Gen Z talent? If you are Gen Z, what should you look for in a company? Here’s a few ideas.

“Despite the introduction and proliferation of new technologies at work, Millennials and Gen Z value the in-person communication that comes with a traditional corporate office much like older generations do. At the same time, they also seek flexible hours and telecommuting that two-thirds of companies still fail to offer. Companies that want to successfully recruit, retain and grow their young talent must look to corporate culture as their competitive advantage moving forward,”

Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace

Formal professional development opportunities

Studies show that opportunities for professional development are some of the most valuable things a company can offer Gen Z employees. And from mentorship programs to paid training programs, there are several ways to incorporate professional development opportunities into your perks and benefits package.

  • Implement paid training programs
  • Organize “lunch and learns” with different executives, teams, and divisions within the company
  • Establish a formal mentorship program with senior-level employees and entry-level employees
  • Offer tuition reimbursement programs or certifications to encourage employees to keep learning

With professional development ranking as one of Gen Z’s top priorities in the workplace, it’s worth the investment for businesses to establish formal programs for professional development and to advertise these programs as a perk of joining your company.

Cool “Culture Builders”

Ping-pong & pool tables and even video games may have worn out their welcome as ‘fun’ workplace perks, but that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t abandon these kinds of perks altogether. While members of Gen Z don’t have strong feelings toward ping-pong games in particular, company culture is especially important to this generation and can influence their decisions regarding their offers and their workplace satisfaction.

In fact, one study found that 65% of Gen Z employees look for a ‘fun’ working environment when assessing fit for a company. That same study found that Gen Z’ers appreciate a thoughtfully designed office space, complete with both quiet and social areas.

Financial resources and education

Studies show that good health insurance and 401k plans are on Gen Z’s list of top benefits – but, to further stand out, consider going above and beyond to offer robust health care plans and other forms of financial assistance. 

One way to attract prospective Gen Z candidates is to offer student loan debt repayment and/or tuition reimbursement. If your company cannot actually provide funds to help employees pay off student debt, there are other ways to assist. For example, you can have a financial planner come into the office and lead workshops on how to consolidate or pay off debt, or provide overall financial best practices for young people just starting out their careers. 

Flexible work policies

Whether it’s through flexible work-from-home policies or unlimited vacation days, Gen Z understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance and wants their employers to, too.

Paid volunteering

Gen Z is a socially-conscious generation, and, as a result, they will look to align themselves with companies who are purpose-driven and value corporate social responsibility. Because of Gen Z’s interest in social good, your company’s commitment to social impact can actually double as a valuable perk for employees.

Companies can organize paid volunteering days, establish company-wide fundraising events, and provide opportunities for employees to donate and give back to the local community. Establishing a corporate social responsibility program that’s more than high-level donations can involve employees in your efforts directly and help them feel more fulfilled at your company.