Three-quarters of soon-to-becollege graduates surveyed expect to earn a promotion one to twoyears after their start date. Can you deliver? (Photo:iStock)

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My, how time flies – Gen Zers are already graduating fromcollege! As they embark upon their careers, Gen Zers caremost about the opportunity for growth, while at the same time beingable to have a work-life balance, according to LaSalleNetwork's report, “What the Class of 2019 Wants.”

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Indeed, 76 percent of more than 3,000 recent and soon-to-becollege graduates surveyed expect to earn a promotion one to two years after theirstart date. In comparison, 40 percent of millennials expect to earna promotion every one to two years.

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“One thing is clear: if you're looking to hire the class of2019, it's essential to focus on the future,” the authors write.“Share stories about employees who earned promotions internally,and discuss how they advanced their careers. In addition, highlighthow you envision the role evolving.”

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Related: Gen Z is ready to learn, if you're ready toteach

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In addition to providing proven training and developmentprograms, employers should also showcase on social media workerswho have excelled, according to the report.

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“Generation Z is 59 percent more likely to connect with brandson social media,” the authors write. “Take advantage of theirtechnological tendencies and highlight people who have gottenpromoted or received an internal accolade. When candidates seethese celebrations on social platforms, they'll not only get a feelfor your company culture, but can see the growth firsthand.”

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Compensation ranks third on their list of importance, though GenZers don't think their entry-level pay will be too shabby — onaverage, students expect to earn $51,000 to $60,000 in their firstjob out of college. Their salary expectations are not that out ofline with reality: of the 24 percent of grads surveyed who hadalready accepted a job offer at the time of the survey, about 45percent will earn the same amount of money they expected, 44percent will earn more money than they expected, and just 11percent will earn less money than they expected.

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What do Gen Z grads want in a company? A good company cultureranked highest, followed by benefits and location, according to thereport.

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“To clearly illustrate your unique company culture, considergiving candidates a tour of the office so they can get a feel forthe environment,” the authors write. “You may also have thecandidate meet with a few different people on the team. If it makessense to invite the candidate to a team outing or happy hour, thiscan give them (and you) even more insight into how they'll fitin.”

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The top two benefits that Gen Zers want are medical coverage and401(k) matches. As for perks, flexible fours or options to workfrom home ranked highly, while many didn't care about student loanreimbursements, flexible spending accounts, gym reimbursements andpet insurance.

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Most college graduates are entering the workplace with some workexperience already, and the majority of students surveyed had oneto two internships, according to the report.

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“Internship experience can lead to more well-rounded candidatesand fewer gaps in skills compared to those without,” the authorswrite. “If a candidate hasn't had an internship, consider otherjobs, leadership or volunteer experience that can point to theirwork ethic.”

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While most graduates begin their search six to nine monthsbefore graduation, 76 percent graduates have not yet accepted a joboffer at the time of the survey. “Although grads arestarting their search early, there's still time to recruit,” theauthors write.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.