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Top Companies to Work For (if You’re a Gen Zer)

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Generation Z is coming into the workforce with new priorities than previous generations and looking for companies that meet their standards. So, what are the top companies to work for if you’re Gen Z? We found companies that best match different Gen Z values and asked career experts how to find a company that’s right for you.

>>MORE: Top Companies Hiring Right Now on Forage

Gen Z Top Companies to Work For

Gen Z values sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, work-life balance, career growth, and a high salary. Here are the best companies to work for in each of these categories.

Top Companies to Work For: Environment

According to Deloitte, seven in ten Gen Zers say they actively change their behavior to minimize their environmental impact, whether by not driving a car, eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, avoiding fast fashion, or having fewer or no children. These actions translate to career decisions, too. One in six Gen Zers say they have changed jobs or sectors due to climate concerns, and one in four say they will change jobs or sectors in the future.

According to Just Capital, which measures the progress companies make on various issues, the top companies to work for that positively impact the environment are:  

  1. Workday, Inc.
  2. Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  3. Akamai Technologies Inc
  4. Microsoft 
  5. The Procter & Gamble Company
  6. Bank of America
  7. International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. Accenture
  10. Ball Corp
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Top Companies to Work For: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

According to Monster, a company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is essential to 83% of Gen Z candidates when it comes to choosing an employer. Gen Zers are looking for more than just a mission statement. They want proven action toward more equitable and inclusive workplaces.

>>MORE: How Can You Tell if an Employer Values Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?

Statistica surveyed more than 45,000 employees from companies with over 1,000 employees and asked them to rate their company on diversity criteria like age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and LGBTQ+ equality. They also reviewed each company’s diversity-rated best practices, like the presence of employee resource groups, the percentage of women in leadership roles, and the publication of diversity data.

According to Statistica, the top companies for diversity in 2023 are:

  1. Progressive
  2. TD Bank
  3. TIAA
  4. Air Products & Chemicals
  5. Clorox
  6. Humana
  7. Interpublic Group (IPG)
  8. Citigroup
  9. Williams-Sonoma
  10. Booz Allen Hamilton
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Top Companies to Work For: Work-Life Balance

While work is important to a Gen Zer’s identity, work-life balance is critical, too. According to Deloitte, Gen Zers admire the ability to balance work and life priorities more than any other trait, including someone’s job, level of seniority, or material possessions. It’s no surprise, then, that work-life balance is the top consideration for Gen Zers when choosing an employer. 

Specifically, Gen Zers are looking for hybrid and flexible work; over half (54%) of Gen Zers think hybrid work is positive for their mental health.

>>MORE: The Best Cities for Young Professionals for Work-Life Balance

To find the top companies for work-life balance, U.S. News looked at companies that offered flexible schedules and encouraged employees to develop full, healthy lives outside the office. 

The top companies are: 

  1. Altria
  2. General Motors
  3. Brunswick Corporation
  4. Aptiv PLC
  5. Boeing
  6. Etsy
  7. Reinsurance Group of America
  8. Alphabet
  9. Essex Property Trust
  10. Agilent Technologies

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Top Companies to Work For: Grow Your Career

Gen Zers are starting their careers during a time of transformational change in the workplace, and they’re craving mentors to help them grow their careers and job skills and teach them the ways of the workforce.

According to Adobe, 83% of Gen Zers say a workplace mentor is crucial to their career growth. Many are looking for workplaces where they can find this mentorship and skills training; 48% of Gen Zers say they want more training on hard skills related to their jobs, and 33% say they want more training on soft skills.

So, what are the best companies to find mentorship and build skills? LinkedIn found the best companies to work for to grow your career by looking at how many employees advance within a company and when they leave, upskilling practices, tenure, attrition, and layoffs. Those top companies are:

  1. Amazon
  2. Wells Fargo
  3. JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  4. Bank of America
  5. Alphabet
  6. AT&T
  7. UnitedHealth Group
  8. Apple 
  9. Thoughtworks
  10. Kaiser Permanente

Top Companies to Work For: Highest-Paying

Gen Z gets a bad rap for focusing on salary, but it’s not out of greed — it’s out of necessity. Many Gen Zers entered the workforce during COVID-19 economic uncertainty, layoffs, and high unemployment rates, and their worries about the economy and financial stability impact what job they’ll take.

>>MORE: Take-Home Pay Calculator: Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Paycheck

According to Handshake, 70% of Gen Zers say salary is the top factor in their job search process. So, what are the best companies to work for if you’re looking for a high salary? 

To get the best sense of how companies pay their early-career employees, we looked at the highest-paying companies for internships, according to Glassdoor:

RankEmployerMonthly median pay
3Capital One$8,333
10Expedia Group$7,500

How to Find the Best Companies to Work For (for You)

Finding the best company for you depends on your specific priorities, interests, values, and preferred work environment. 

Take our quiz to find out which top company you should work for.

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Which kind of work environment do you prefer?
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Reflect on What You Want

While you may have brands you’re familiar with and potentially interested in working for, it’s essential to look inward before you explore companies. 

“Knowing yourself and what’s important to you is the first step as you research companies to build a career with,” Shayna Royal, director of talent acquisition at Paycor, says. “Spend some time really thinking about your values, non-negotiables, and what will enable you to grow as a professional. I always recommend thinking of a job having four main buckets — the job itself, the manager, the company culture, and compensation and benefits. Every bucket may not always be filled, and you must decide which are most important to you (which may change over time).”

>>MORE: Need help figuring out where to start? Take our free “What Should I Do With My Life?” quiz.

Use a Wide Variety of Sources

Now that you know more about what you’re looking for, it’s time to research companies that match your priorities. When researching a company, there’s a lot more to look at than just their LinkedIn — here’s where to search.

News Articles

Matthew Warzel, certified professional resume writer and former Fortune 500 recruiter, recommends looking at two types of news articles: the company’s own articles and industry publications articles.

“Company news articles and press releases can reveal the company’s recent developments, leadership changes, and involvement in the community,” he says. “These resources provide insights into the company’s direction, priorities, and commitment to social responsibility.”

Next, industry publications can “offer in-depth analysis of the company’s financial performance, market position, and competitive landscape,” Warzel says. “Understanding the company’s business context can help you assess its stability, growth potential, and impact on the industry.”

A simple Google search will usually work to find articles about a specific company. Type in the company name, then navigate to the “News” tab to see recent articles that mention the company.

Company Careers Pages

Career pages are one of the best places for a company to advertise. Often, they’ll “feature videos, blog posts, and employee testimonials that showcase the company’s culture and values,” Warzel says.

While these pages are essentially advertisements, you can parse a lot of information from what the company showcases on these pages.

“Many companies publicly share their total rewards and benefits information, which will show you what companies are investing in,” Royal says. “This can tell you a lot about whether they are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to culture. If they say diversity and inclusion are important, for instance, do they offer any paid parental leave? Are same-sex partners of associates eligible for benefits?”

Company Reports

If you’re interested in working for a mission-oriented company or a company that does good in the world, looking at company reports is one of the best ways to see the progress the company is or isn’t making. You can typically find these reports on the company website.

“Some companies publish an environmental, social, and governance report for investors and you can use this on top of quarterly earnings report call recordings to hear where the company is spending money, what is top of mind for executives, and any concerns you should think through,” Royal says. 

Online Review Sites

Sites like Glassdoor, Fishbowl, Fairygodboss, and even Reddit often have employee reviews of different companies. While these anonymous company reviews can help you get more honest insights into the company, remember that you’ll likely see a lot of strong opinions.

Tramelle D. Jones, strategic success and workplace wellness coach with TDJ Consulting, recommends reading multiple reviews and looking for patterns rather than trusting any single review.

“For example, if you see 15 posts that talk about how a company implements the flexible work hours policy, you’ll want to consider that some employees need structure and struggle with the unpredictability that flexible hours introduce,” she says. “Consider what that might mean for you specifically. Remember, everyone is different. What might work for some people can be an issue for others.”

Connect With People Who Work There

If you’re considering a specific company, don’t be afraid to connect with people who work there. Networking can help you get an honest perspective.

“Yes, you should research companies to find a few that match your career priorities, but I’m not talking about just doing a Google search!” Jones says. “The absolute best way to take that research to the next level is to talk with an actual, living, breathing person. You’ll want to ask current and past employees of the company what they can add to the info you’ve found. I know many of my Gen Zers are looking for positions with companies that they can hold accountable for their environmental impact, sustainability, and social responsibility. Feel free to ask these questions. Don’t be shy!”

Sample Networking Message

To find and reach out to these individuals, Jones says it’s best to search the company’s LinkedIn profile and look for current or past employees with experience in the positions you’re interested in. 

“Message them with an honest approach,” she says. “For example, If you’ve found information about your target company pledging to minimize their carbon footprint by only using sustainable brands, send a message like this: 

‘Hi! You don’t know me, but I’m considering applying to XXX Company and would love to get your opinion about their work on environmental sustainability. I’m specifically interested in their pledge to minimize their carbon footprint by only using sustainable brands. I hope to hear back from you, but if not, no worries. Have a great day!’

You may or may not get a response, but if you do, you’ll build relationships within your target company, which could lead to inside information and even an application referral.”

Look for “Green Flags”

While your specific “green flags” in a company will vary based on what you’re looking for, there are multiple ways to tell if a company generally has a positive culture. 

Mark Beal, assistant professor of professional practice at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, shared green flags to look out for:

  • Employee retention
  • Being named a “Great Place to Work” 
  • Unique value proposition
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion teams and dedication
  • Competitive compensation and benefits
  • Remote and hybrid work
  • Salary transparency

Steer Clear of “Red Flags”

On the other hand, there are also some “red flags” you can look out for. These signs might indicate a company doesn’t have a culture you want to work in, no matter your work priorities. 

These red flags include:

  • High turnover
  • Consistent negative reviews and ratings
  • No salary transparency
  • No diversity in leadership or company photos
  • Confusing job descriptions
  • Lack of or unclear communication in the hiring process

Gen Z Top Companies to Work For: The Bottom Line

Gen Z has some top priorities regarding the workplace: sustainability, diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, career growth, and high salaries. If you’re a Gen Zer trying to find the best company for you, weighing these priorities along with your values, interests, and work preferences is crucial. Be sure to do your research — which you’ve already started by reading this article! — and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions to find out what the company is really like. 

Explore more top companies in different fields:

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Zoe Kaplan is a Senior Writer at Forage. Prior to joining Forage, she wrote and edited career and workplace content for Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women.

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