Gen Z & Social Sustainability – A Need for Adaption : An exploratory study of generation Z’s preferences of social sustainability when entering the labor market and an investigation on how SMEs within the foodservice distribution industry answer to th

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Author: Victoria Emilia Holmén Ahonen; [2022]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Background: In today’s global world, corporations face a huge demand for executive talents due to advanced technology and increased level of high education which has led to a rapidly changing business environment. Companies need to distinguish themselves from one another to gain a competitive advantage in the market, to recruit the best talents on the labor market. The strategies of employment branding have emerged to be important ways to attract new talents to work for an organization, and there is a need to update them accordingly to the targeted group. As sustainability has risen to be one of the major trends, this could be a way for the organizations to remain competitive and an attractive employer.    Purpose: The study aims to examine the impact on social sustainability when generation Z is looking for a company to work with and examine how these preferences can be met by SMEs within the food distribution industry with help of employment branding strategies.    Method: The study is following an interpretivist approach as an exploratory study. A multimethod approach has been used to collect quantitative and qualitative data with help of a survey and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data has been analyzed with the help of IBM SPSS and qualitative data has been analyzed through a coding procedure. The research elaborates on existing theories with a deductive approach.    Conclusion: This research suggests that social sustainability is important for generation Z with a higher degree of education when looking for a company to work with. However, their willingness to enhance social sustainability is slightly lower. SME companies within the food distribution industry are answering to these expectations to some extent, however there is a lack of actual strategies and more can be done to attract the new workforce of generation Z.  

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