Enhancing employer attractiveness: the impact of COVID-19 on Generation Z
This paper investigates how employer attractiveness has been affected by developments in the attitudes, values, and goals of Generation Z (born between 1995-2010) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows the challenging environment for employers who are increasingly facing a ‘war for talent’ and the need to focus on generational needs and expectations. Work concepts in many cases have been adapted to Generation Y, but a revision of strategies is needed for the newest generation on the labour market. The insurance industry has long struggled to attract young talent and along with retail, logistics, tourism, and banking has been ranked the lowest in employer attractiveness by Generation Z. This is corroborated by the fact that larger corporations are also often perceived as unattractive by young people. While many industries have struggled with the consequences and challenges of the pandemic, the insurance sector can be seen as having mastered the crisis comparatively well. This paper questions whether the relative job security offered by the insurance sector, can be increasingly influential in post pandemic job choices. Since Generation Z was already described as security-oriented before the pandemic, this is expected to have increased as a result of COVID-19 and be reflected in their career and employer choices. The perspectives of Generation Z and employers from the German insurance industry are compared through survey and interview data. The young cohort suspects a worsening of their situation particularly in job offerings and security. At the same time, the insurance industry positions itself well in exactly these areas. Furthermore, the aspirations and expectations of Generation Z towards the professional world coincide strongly with the offerings of insurers as employers. However, the respondents see the sector’s image as a deterrent. Although this paper focuses on the insurance industry, strategic recommendations given on how the sector can position itself, are relevant for other sectors facing the challenge of attracting Generation Z employees.