Last year, YPulse explored The Great Resignation in our What’s Next For Work trend report. This year, you’ve heard all about Gen Z becoming “quiet quitters” or “side hustlers.” And all buzzy headlines aside, our research shows that, by and large, the pandemic did provoke a monumental change in young people’s relationships to work and how they’re forging ahead in their careers. More than half of young consumers told YPulse they’re interested in changing jobs or industries while a quarter already have within the last year. In other words, Gen Z and Millennials are indeed setting new standards for their careers.
Companies have struggled to fill roles, leading them to add perks, raise starting salaries, and even craft roles tailored to target young peoples’ interests. So what brands are they actually interested in working for? YPulse is already tracking affinity for over 1,000 of the world’s leading brands on a daily basis, and we recently added a new question to our Brand Tracker to assess how likely young consumers are to consider working for each brand in the future.
The resulting Employer Intent Index and analysis give current YPulse Pro users a clear view of whether Gen Z and Millennials want to work for your brand, top employers and rising stars, and insight into what might be influencing their employer preferences. The top brands they want to work for are decided by an index score combining two measures: Young consumers’ likelihood to consider working for a brand and their awareness of the brand. YPulse asks, “How likely would you be to consider working for [BRAND] at some point during your career?”—and these are the top 15 brands Gen Z and Millennials in the U.S. want to work for according to the Employer Index, among the brands YPulse is currently tracking:
The Top Brands They Want to Work For
Among 13-39-year-olds in the U.S.
- YouTube (65%)
- Google (63%)
- Paypal (63%)
- Amazon (63%)
- Apple (59%)
- Nike (59%)
- Microsoft (58%)
- Netflix (58%)
- Target (57%)
- Coca-Cola (57%)
- Hershey’s (55%)
- Amazon Prime (55%)
- Bath & Body Works (55%)
- Disney (55%)
- Visa (54%)
YouTube is the number one brand 13-39-year-olds want to work for
More than any other company, our data finds that Gen Z and Millennials want to work for YouTube. These generations grew up on the video platform, and it continues to serve not only as a top source of entertainment, but a place to learn and find community. YPulse’s brand data has continuously shown its strong standing among young consumers for overall affinity: YouTube also closed out 2021 as the top YScore+ brand among Gen Z according to our brand tracker. Pro users can even see exactly how likely young people are to say they’d consider working for the brand:
As the top spotlight employer, 40% of young consumers say they are “very likely” to be consider working for YouTube, and only 16% say they’re “very unlikely.” In other words, YouTube’s high affinity is making young people not only considering, but enthusiastic about a chance to work for them. The Employer Index data also shows that compared to other top employers on the ranking, YouTube is more likely to be a brand that they pay attention to, feel expresses who they are, and gets them.
Tech brands dominate the ranking of their top desired employers
At first glance, it’s clear that young consumers are interested in careers in tech. Nine of the top 15 brands Gen Z and Millennials want to work for are tech-related, from social media platforms to fintech to the biggest online retailer in the world. Arguably, the top three brands on the ranking are all tech brands in their own ways. Having grown up highly connected to these brands, these internet natives seem to be looking for careers with the brands that are central to their lives. Apple ranks in second for Gen Z, the generation that’s more tied to their phones than any other, and is also a brand they’re highly loyal to—which may be boosting their appeal as an employer. Google, on the other hand, is the top brand young people are likely to say “makes the world better,” and we know that commitment to doing social good is a top way to win their affinity, translating into desire to work for them.
PayPal is third on the employer ranking—driven by Millennials
The third-top company young consumers want to work for is PayPal. PayPal closed 2021 as the brand with the top YScore+ for Millennials, and continues to perform highly with this generation. YPulse’s fintech report found that the majority of Millennials use PayPal, while our shopping and retail report found that more than half of Millennials prefer to shop online. This is reflected in some of the scores that distinguish PayPal from other top employers on the ranking: They’re more likely to score highly as a brand Millennials recommend, pay attention to, and talk about. And, in YPulse’s new Decoding Brand Affinity special report, YPulse brand tracking data found PayPal is a top brand for nearly all of our 20 affinity diagnostics but is especially a standout as a brand young consumers view as trustworthy.
Some new brands have risen to the top of the employer ranking this year
Since we last told you where Gen Z and Millennials want to work in May, a few brands have risen through the ranks in place of major names. While Nintendo, Walmart, and NBA have fallen off the top 15 list, Microsoft, Bath & Body Works, and Hershey’s have made it on. And they haven’t just made it either—Microsoft broke in at seventh, beating out previously higher ranked Netflix and Target. It’s not that these brands are no longer young consumer favorites—quite the opposite in fact—just that other brands appear to be making an impression that’s catching their attention.
Hershey’s recently made their break into video game marketing (which YPulse has long said is the future brands should be looking to), and saw “Nearly 21.9 million impressions were delivered from the effort, along with 6.9 point lift in purchase intent.” Bath & Body Works on the other hand has recently become more popular with Gen Z, thanks of course to TikTok; a “renaissance” for the early 2000’s vanilla body sprays swept the app, putting Bath & Body Works’ OG scents in a favorable position.