In 2023, employer branding in Poland will no longer be just a fashionable buzzword used only by the largest international corporations looking for qualified specialists. To get the best employees on the market, you will have to work hard to get them. Although millennials currently account for the largest percentage of the workforce, the youngest generation of Poles, i.e. Generation Z (people born between 1996 and 2000), is slowly entering the game. What are the characteristics of young Polish employees and how to create effective employer branding targeted at this group?
Table of contents
- Young Poles on the labour market
- New apprenticeship formula
- Generation Z’s earnings
- Young but burnt out
- Forever in search of a new job
- Priorities of Polish zoomers
- What do Polish zoomers care about in life?
- How to attract Polish zoomers to work?
- What to emphasise in EB messages?
- Tools for reaching young Polish employees
- Main sources of information for Generation Z
- New technology is the key to the hearts of zoomers
- Who do young Poles trust?
Young Poles on the labour market
Currently, the largest percentage of the working population in Poland is comprised of people aged 25-34 and 35-44. Altogether, they account for more than 50% of Poles who are economically active. According to the report “Generations on the Polish labour market” prepared by Grafton Recruitment, representatives of Generation Z account for 5% of all employed people. However, this statistic will gradually change. Just as attitudes towards employees and the employees themselves are changing.
New apprenticeship formula
The difference between Generation Z and, say, the millennial generation, could be seen even before the youngest Poles went to work. For several years now, there has been a noticeable change in the approach to apprenticeships for pupils and students. Apprenticeships have changed in form, becoming more organised and thoughtful. This is particularly noticeable in the IT and technology sector. A serious approach to apprentices, providing them with access to practical knowledge and contact with experts, or allowing them to use equipment is now an everyday occurrence in an increasing number of companies taking potential employees under their wings. What’s more, apprenticeships are slowly ceasing to be unpaid and companies are starting to offer remuneration for apprentices’ work.
Generation Z’s earnings
Since we have already touched on the topic of earnings – how is the salary of Generation Z shaping up in Poland? The relatively limited work experience of Polish zoomers means that they cannot enjoy particularly high incomes. According to the report “Generations on the labour market”, 31% of representatives of this generation earn less than PLN 3.5 thousand net per month, and 38.6% between PLN 3.5 and 5 thousand net. Only 1.2% of them can boast earnings above PLN 10 thousand net. The upper limits of the salary bracket are occupied almost exclusively by ‘technical’ employees (IT sector and engineers) from Generation Z.
Young but burnt out
Low salaries of young Poles are one of the factors influencing their overall job satisfaction (or rather lack thereof). For it turns out that 18-24 year-olds are the least satisfied with their jobs of all age groups (those between 55 and 65 like their work the most). According to a September 2022 study by pracuj.pl, ‘Working in times of change’, only 56% like doing their assigned job duties.
Generation Z also shows an above-average percentage of people who say they look forward to the end of the working day and feel tired of their current tasks. Approximately one third of them feel overloaded with duties and even declare the need to take a longer professional break. Only 69% of young people in Poland feel they are paid fairly.
Forever on the lookout for a new job
Negative feelings about their jobs make Generation Z in Poland the group most actively looking for a new job (as many as 46% of young Poles in employment). This result is higher than the average for all generations surveyed (38%). Representatives of Generation Z want to change jobs primarily due to too low wages (compared to older colleagues). 36% of them feel there is a lack of development or promotion opportunities and 35% feel undervalued in their current place of employment. Interestingly, as many as 24% of Generation Z representatives in Poland are looking for a new job in a completely different industry or position than their current one.
Priorities of the Polish zoomers
The statistics do not augur positively for representatives of companies who want to look among Generation Z for new employees. High expectations combined with a high need for professional change pose a huge challenge for employer branding. After all, it is one thing to attract an employee for a while – but it will be even more difficult to keep them in the job for longer. So what do Polish zoomers care about and how can we take advantage of this by creating an EB strategy targeted at them?
What do Polish zoomers care about in life?
According to the latest survey of Poles under 24 years of age conducted by media house Mediahub and the Pollster Research Institute, Generation Z is the first generation ever to be unaffected by generational conflict. As many as 70% admit that they have a good relationship with their parents and value stability. A big surprise may also be their attitude to faith. 60% of Poland’s Generation Z declare themselves to be religious.
According to the report “Generations on the Polish labour market”, among the main priorities of the zoomers in Poland are development and self-fulfillment. While this applies to all aspects of their lives, developing themselves professionally is undoubtedly among the most important drivers for the youngest Poles on the labour market. They expect employers to be committed to improving their qualifications, to be involved in interesting projects and to have a transparent promotion system. Young people have a need to feel pride in what they do. They want to see the value they bring to the company and fulfill the company’s goals. Zoomers are not attached to the workplace. More important to them is the prospect of promotion and development – even if this means changing employers.
An equally important part of Generation Z’s identity is to get involved in social and environmental issues. Increasingly, young people feel the need to fight for some “higher good” that exists beyond their personal or professional ambitions. Social inequalities, human rights, climate change – these are, according to the Poland report “Gen Z. How to understand today’s generation of tomorrow” prepared by Infuture Hatalska Foresight Institute and Dentsu Aegis Network, the main spaces of social struggle.
Being aware of the values that are important to their potential candidates gives employers a huge advantage in creating not only a friendly EB strategy, but also the working environment itself. A company for which respect, tolerance, diversity or caring people are important has a much better chance of gaining the attention of young candidates.
What to attract the Polish zoomers to work with?
76% of Poland’s Generation Z believe that learning and development are the path to success in their careers. They value employers who provide them with attractive development paths. It is also worth providing young employees with tools to increase their competences, such as e-learning platforms, internal training or financing external courses or industry events.
80% of Generation Z representatives declare a desire to work with modern technologies, and 75% expect to be supported in the development of their professional path by their older and more experienced colleagues. Young people also value feedback from their employer. 66% expect feedback from their manager on their work.
In turn, the most attractive additional benefits for the young generation include private medical care (indicated by 34%), flexible working hours (28%) and free meals (26%).
What to highlight in EB communications?
It is worth noting that the employer branding strategy to the young generation of Poles should not lack key values for them. These include:
- Good atmosphere at work
- High remuneration
- Work-life balance
- Work that is in line with their values and views on, for example, the environment or minorities
- Work that is not mentally demanding
- Opportunities to deal with new technologies
- Engaging, non-monotonous projects
- Opportunities for continuous improvement of qualifications
- Clear perspectives for further development
- Ongoing feedback from the employer
- Benefits (e.g. private medical care)
Tools for reaching young Polish workers
Knowing the needs, concerns and habits of potential candidates is one thing – getting across an effective message is another, much more difficult task. Where do young Poles look for information? Which authorities do they listen to? How can we take advantage of the latest trends in communicating our employer brand values?
Main sources of information for generation Z
According to a report by the Wise Rabbit agency conducted on behalf of Clue PR, the main source of information and knowledge for young Poles is… YouTube. As many as 94% of 20-25 year-olds and 91% of 15-19 year-olds indicated this platform as the primary place they look to in order to learn something about the world. In second place is Facebook (90% of those between 15 and 25 admit to deriving their knowledge from it), followed by Instagram (82%) and TikTok (74%) in fourth place. More than half of young people consider as reliable those sources they have been following for a long time, and 43% of them consider those that are popular.
Traditional media are much less popular. As a source of information about the world, only 41% of Generation Z Poles use television and 40% the radio. It should come as no surprise that when preparing an EB strategy for the youngest generation, the Internet (mainly social media) should be considered. This is where it is worthwhile not only to conduct consistent communication but also to target paid advertisements.
New technology key to the hearts of zoomers
‘If you step between the crows, you must caw like them’ – says a popular Polish proverb, which is a phenomenal guideline on how to plan communications in employer branding. In order to be heard and understood by Generation Z, you need to speak their language and be in places that are their natural environment.
A great solution, for example, is to use TikTok – currently the most popular platform for the younger generation. Published figures show that TikTok recorded 12.87 million users in June 2022, surpassing Facebook in the amount of time spent on the platform. The high proportion of young users means that the platform is increasingly becoming a useful tool in employer branding. Its potential has already been exploited by companies such as Starbucks, The Washington Post or the German branch of Lidl. In our country, PWC Poland is doing an excellent job, with its profile marked with the slogan “See how we work and join #PwCPolska!” already observed by more than 14,000 potential candidates.
The second tool worth looking at in terms of EB is Discord. This is a social platform that is being talked about more and more in Poland. Although it only has over 200,000 users in Poland, it is worth knowing that these are mainly young people. It is no wonder that the list of brands adding Discord to their communication strategy is growing. This tool is fantastic for building a community around an employer brand. This is exactly the path that Adobe, for example, has taken by launching the Adobe Creative Career server, where users can take part in themed conferences, find mentors or get feedback on their work. Discord is also a brilliant solution for recruitment activities, especially if we are looking for young talent in the technology or gamedev sectors. The platform is also becoming an increasingly popular tool for internal communication between employees within a company.
Whom do young Poles trust?
Is it worth using the power of opinion leaders in employer branding aimed at the youngest and least experienced group of Polish employees? Definitely yes – you just have to choose the names to support the promotion of such activities with reason.
According to a study on content consumption by the young conducted by the Wise Rabbit agency, young Poles consider experts on a given topic to be opinion leaders – often from the world of science (74%) or business (60%). Interestingly, they listen to their parents more often than their peers (58% and 40%). Next on the list of trusted people are activists (43%), as well as coaches, therapists and spiritual guides (40%). Only 31% of young people admit that their opinions are influenced by classic online influencers.
So are campaigns involving well-known faces from Instagram, TikTok or YouTube unlikely to be effective for employer branding? It is certainly better to be wary of this type of marketing. Although Polish representatives of Generation Z follow an average of 13 influencers, they are quite critical of these young creators. Most of them believe that they promote artificial lives, are unrealistic (58%) and only care about publicity (55%). So if you decide to have an EB campaign supported by well-known faces, it is better to invite experts who promote substantive content on their channels on a daily basis.
Although Generation Z currently represents the smallest percentage of the total workforce in Poland, it is difficult to expect that it will not dominate the market in a few years’ time. Attracting top talent from this age group is an opportunity for creative, growth-hungry and forward-thinking employees with a fresh outlook on business. Win their favour and they will repay you with loyalty. If you are planning employer branding activities specifically for this target group, get in touch with our experts!