By Sean Reichard
While employers have been focusing on recruiting and retaining Millennials, the next generation—Generation Z—has been quietly preparing to enter the workforce with a new set of skills, needs and requirements. Generation Z refers to people born between the years of 1996 and 2012. The oldest are just preparing to launch their careers, bringing with them technical know-how, fresh perspectives and bold insights.
Why is it so important for businesses to understand how to attract and retain Gen Z employees? Because starting this year, Gen Z is set to outnumber Millennials. They are the workforce and talent pool of tomorrow.
Why Hire Gen Z Employees?
Gen Z defines the future of business. Not just in terms of workforce and talent, but also target market. They provide companies with unique insights and perspectives regarding the types of products and services that appeal to their generation, as well as how to market and deliver products and services to their peers in the most effective manner. But there is more to their story:
- They have never known a day without access to modern technology and digital living.
- They are excited about entering the workforce, and eager to learn and grow in their careers.
- They’re more pragmatic and less idealistic than previous generations and are interested in opportunities to grow and advance their careers, rather than following the money trail, alone.
- They work independently and autonomously – much more than previous generations – and are highly persistent.
- They are used to having instant access to information, tools and services and know how to get quick answers, making them consummate problem solvers. They understand how technology works and the many ways they can harness it for their needs.
How Can Employers Attract & Retain Generation Z Employees?
Attracting and retaining the strong, tech-savvy Gen Z talent pool should be a priority for all businesses. Here are several things your organization can do to make your company more appealing to them.
- Invest in modern technology and infrastructure. If you want your business to appeal to Gen Z, you must do it on their terms. That means you need to make your website, application process and applicant tracking system (ATS) user-friendly (i.e. fast, efficient and mobile-friendly).
- Consider using live, face-to-face interactions, such as video conferencing and interviews rather than conference calls (Think about how much Face-Timing, Snapchat and live video this generation is used to, and prefers).
- Simplicity appeals to them. This generation has seen so much spin in their lives, already, that an organization providing clear, concise honest job descriptions without a lot of pretentious jargon appeals to them.
- They want to work for organizations run by actual humans. So, keep it real when posting on social media and throughout the recruiting process. Let your corporate culture shine.
- Give them a sense of purpose. While they are not idealistically driven, they do have priorities and serious concerns about diversity, the planet and their communities. Showcase that your company shares the same vision in company literature, your website and corporate culture.
- Manage your brand. Gen Z reads reviews and closely studies the companies they consider aligning themselves with. Work to create a brand and culture that reflects the values that appeal to Gen Z, such as honesty, sincerity and loyalty.
- Offer the right perks. Some benefits are more appealing to Gen Z than other generations like flexibility in scheduling and hours, remote work, job growth opportunities, pet-friendly workplaces, discounted and/or free food, game rooms, and gathering places.
- Gen Z values independence. Once on board, give it to them. They are likely to thrive.
- Provide them with regular feedback about their performance. They are eager to learn, but again, are used to regular feedback and quick responses.