Workplace Alcohol is Not the Way to Attract Generation Z

By February 21, 2018For Talent

From puppy pawternity leave to Cheese Days, most companies have one or two work perks up their sleeves to help them to attract the very best talent.

But new research has shown that one work perk, in particular, will not help brands attract the best talent, and that perk is alcohol.

Who doesn’t love a free drink we hear you ask? Generation Z apparently.

Research published by Oregon State University shows that the promise of alcohol does not entice recent graduates entering the workforce.

This is despite the fact that some tech companies and creative agencies are embracing the consumption of alcohol as part of their culture.

Many startups have events like prosecco Fridays and permanent installations like beer taps and tiki bars.

The results of the survey highlight the fact that alcohol can be a divisive issue in the workplace. Lead author Anthony Klotz, assistant professor in the College of Business at OSU stated that.

“A lot of companies seem to assume that young people will view alcohol-based perks positively, but in reality, alcohol can be a turn off for many applicants. These kinds of little things can play a significant role in terms of people’s interest in working somewhere.”

For the research Klotz, and co-author Serge da Motta Veiga of American University conducted two studies to find out how workplace drinking habits affected potential employee’s perceived fit with a company.

In the first study, 180 college students were randomly assigned to review one of two recruitment flyers for a fake company and answer survey questions about their attraction to the company.

In the first flyer, employees were holding coffee while in the second they were holding alcohol. The first version of the flyer described employee activities including staff lunches, while the other listed happy hours.

In the second study, 122 college students were randomly given one of two interview scenarios involving dinner with prospective coworkers.

In the first scenario, each coworker orders water at dinner; in the second, each coworker orders an alcoholic drink. Survey participants were asked what they would do next. They also answered similar questions about their attraction to the business and perceived fit with the company.

The results showed that participants with a lower level of social skills were less likely to want to work at the company when the recruiting advertising and dinner included alcohol.

”When people enter the job market, they are looking for a company that shares their values,” Klotz stated. “When the sales pitch is focused on the area’s wineries, happy hours, or the availability of beer at work, it may raise questions about fit for prospective employees.”


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Author Alice Murray

Alice Murray is a Content Creator at Jobbio with a passion for Employer Branding and Graduate Culture. She's a keen traveller and a self-proclaimed lazy runner.

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