Whether it’s their eating habits, choice of clothing, or political leanings – Millennials have dominated the conversation in the last few years. Inevitably, employers have also been obsessed with attracting the best of this generation.
But with the oldest Millennials now reaching the late-thirties, this demographic of employees are not unfamiliar to organizations. In contrast, employers know little about the generation that will be flooding into the workforce in the years to come –namely, Generation Z.
Currently, Generation Z makes around 32% of the world’s population. The oldest members of Gen Z were born around 1995; many of them have already entered the corporate world and will be joined by their younger peers in the coming years. Companies need to be prepared when that eventually happens.
Gen Z, like every generation before them, has some traits that make them a different breed of employees. Understanding these traits will help employers pick the cream of the crop.
Following are some things you should keep in mind while designing a Gen Z hiring strategy.
1. It’s Critical to Have a Good Online Presence
Unlike preceding generations, Gen Z grew up in the digital age. They were practically raised on social media and are more tech-savvy than any other age group. According to research, 63% of Gen Z prefers shopping online compared to 57% of Millennials.
Many similar studies point out that Gen Z has different preferences when it comes to social media. While Millennials and Gen X prefer platforms such as Facebook – Generation Z has taken a liking to apps like Snapchat and TikTok.
But what does this mean for employers? To start, your online presence is extremely important when it comes to hiring Gen Zers. Poor digital footprint won’t go well with a generation that gets most of his information from the web. It’s not only important to have a powerful online presence but your company website should be optimized as well. Likewise, your social media pages should be regularly updated.
Employers these days need to watch out for online reviews on platforms like Glassdoor. As regular online shoppers, Gen Zers do not make big decisions without reading a few reviews. This habit also reflects into their job searches.
2. Most Gen Z Applicants are seeking Career Opportunities
One of the largest staffing agencies in the USA, Robert Half asked Gen Z to rank their top priorities when it comes to finding a job. 64% of the respondents ranked ‘career opportunity’ before ‘generous pay’ and other incentives.
Also in the study, it’s pointed out that Generation Z desires regular feedback from their employers. While quarterly reviews might work for other workers, the coming workforce wants their work evaluated regularly. Instead of a simple job, Gen Z wants an opportunity to learn and grow.
This means that employers need to show a clear career path to these applicants. Something along the lines of an in-house mentorship program might prove to be a viable tool in this regard. This strategy will also save recruiting expenses as Gen Z employees will have a good reason to stick around.
Meanwhile, the requirement for feedback should be welcome news for recruiters. By providing continuous feedback, employers can motivate young workers to seek improvement and raise their productivity in the process.
3. Creating a Healthy Work Culture is Vital
Gen Z is more digital than any other generation. However, they prefer human interaction at workplaces. Research shows that 90% of Generation Z wants the human element when it comes to team interactions.
So while utilizing tech is important for attracting young employees, the human part shouldn’t be ignored. Even if you have a Gen-Z employee working from a remote location, you should prioritize video chats over phone calls.
Face-to-Face contacts will help in creating a productive work environment that most young employee’s desire. Gen Z also values a healthy work-life balance. Offering flexible working hours, wellness programs and paid leaves are some of the big attractions for these job seekers.
4. Gen Z has an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Generation Z has always had access to high-quality information about starting a business. They have also been inspired by success stories such as Mark Zuckerberg and Kylie Jenner. Some research suggests that Gen Z women are even more entrepreneurial than men.
According to Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself book series, every coming generation will be more entrepreneurial than its predecessor simply because it will have a wealth of information. Thanks to blogs, video guides and gurus that are inspiring the youth to start their own businesses –up and comers prefer being job creators rather than job seekers.
Even those who do not pursue this path have an entrepreneurial spirit and this something that companies can capitalize on. Businesses that need innovation to compete in the marketplace need the entrepreneurial energy of Generation Z. However, managers should devise a strategy on how they can allow the next generation of workers to utilize their entrepreneurial side within the constraints of the company.
5. Being Socially and Environmentally Friendly Will Help You Out
When it comes to environmental and social causes, Gen Z is much more active and politically involved. Activists like Greta Thunberg are an important symbol of just how committed the young generation is to sustainability. Naturally, this age group wants the employers to reflect their values regarding pollution, climate change and social justice.
Hirers should examine how applicants from Gen Z view their organization and whether or not the company’s social and environmental initiatives are reaching to the new crop of potential employees. Showcasing these causes in the application process and interview stages could prove to be an effective strategy.
If the company plans take up such causes in the future and hasn’t yet invested in such an effort, the goals of future causes should be communicated to the applicants.
Gen Z wants more than just a job. They want a meaningful purpose in their career. Companies that can assist them in this struggle will win them over and succeed in creating a young, committed and competent workforce for the future.