Generation Z, or “zoomers,” are considered to be individuals born after 1996. The oldest members of Gen Z are in their early twenties and are now entering the workforce — and they are making a splash. Gen Z is not only the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history, they’re also one of the most educated generations that we’ve seen. Gen Z is bringing new points of view and specialized skills into the workforce. To attract this new talent, employers are going to have to modify the way they think about recruitment.
How Generation Z Is Changing the Workplace
Generation Z is having a pronounced effect on the workplace as they transition into full-time employees. Before recruitment, employers need to understand the changes that Gen Z is affecting and how to meet them to successfully capitalize on this new workforce. Some of the changes Gen Z are making in the workplace include:
- Higher demand for flexibility: Flexibility is a huge priority for Gen Z workers, particularly remote work opportunities. This demand could be one of the driving forces behind the 87% increase in remote work across various industries. Additionally, Owl Labs found that employees with remote opportunities reported they were 13% more likely to stay at their current job for the next five years than employees without remote work opportunities.
- Shifts in top desired benefits: Benefits have always been important — but the type of benefits employers have prioritized have changed over the last few generations. Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980, prioritized benefits that were centered around family life, such as flex-time, parental leave, and child care. Gen Z, and to a lesser extent than their millennial predecessors, seems to prioritize benefits that are more centered around professional development and security, such as retirement plans and workplace rewards.
- From collaborative to independent: Between Gen Z and millennials in the workplace, there appears to be a shift from the desire for collaborative work back to independent work. Members of Gen Z prioritize independence and competition and desire to be judged on individual merits. This doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to work together, but taken in tandem with the higher demand for flexibility, it seems that Gen Z workers thrive with more independence.
Benefits of Gen Z Employees for Your Organization
Because of their diversity, Gen Z employees can bring a host of benefits to your organization. These benefits are shaped by their upbringing in a technological world, and the attitudes they hold. These benefits may include:
- Accepting of Social Differences: In general, Generation Z highly values strong cross-cultural communication. In the workplace, this means improved efforts to showcase cultural differences and a more cooperative workforce. These kinds of attitudes can break down systemic social issues in the workplace and may lead to decreased discrimination or harassment cases at work.
- True Digital Natives: Gen Z members were raised with technology, and it shows. They are the most tech-savvy generation, both inside and outside the workplace. As technology continues to advance, having digital natives as part of your work team can help ease technological transitions and help your business stay on the cutting edge.
- Problem-solving skills: Gen Z has been profiled as entrepreneurial-minded. This could be attributed to their desire for independence, and the fast-paced, result-oriented world that they grew up in. Because of this, Gen Z has been seen to be incredible problem solvers, which can be an asset to any company.
- Passionate for the work they’re doing: Gen Zers are more motivated by purpose-driven work than big paychecks. When it comes down to a choice between a better-paying, boring job or a stimulating but less lucrative one, Gen Z job candidates often prefer the latter. Passionate employees can be an asset for company growth and innovation.
How to Attract Generation Z Employees
Knowing how to appeal and communicate across generations is a key component in recruiting top talent for your business. Understanding Gen Z can help you successfully recruit the next generation of workers, and capitalize on their fresh perspective and ambition.
Customize Recruitment Tactics
Gen Z has already proven that they have different values than their predecessors. Therefore, tailoring the recruitment and hiring process to specifically target Gen Z candidates can be valuable when building a team. For example, employers can focus their efforts on social media networks and collaborating with online influencers who can improve your organization’s perception with this age group.
It may even be necessary to consult with recruiters to learn how to tailor your specific organization and company culture to appeal to Gen Z talent. However you customize your recruitment, you’ll want to ensure that your recruitment process reflects your company culture, which is another area Gen Z workers prioritize.
Gen Z is comprised of digital natives, both in and out of the workplace. Having an active online presence on social media or through your website can help attract these candidates. Online job applications have doubled since 2005, as millennials started entering the workforce, and they show no signs of slowing down for zoomers. Because of their interest in company culture, being able to research a company through a website, social media profile, or online job posting is important to Gen Z employees. Organizational leadership can benefit from keeping an eye on employment and recruitment trends and tailoring their online presence to match where new talent is engaging.
Focus on Growth and Development
Many members of Gen Z will be focused on professional growth as they enter the workforce. Their desire for support, assistance, and mentorship will be an important part of recruiting them. Adapting your performance review process, putting resources into early leadership development and advancement opportunities, and encouraging creative thinking and feedback are ways that employers can help Gen Z employees feel satisfied in this area.
Highlight Purpose and Value
It’s been shown that a majority of the members of Gen Z are socially conscious, or at the very least, want their work to be meaningful. This is likely due to their diverse and highly educated backgrounds — doing the work is not enough, Gen Z employees need to know “why.” When recruiting Gen Z employees, highlighting your company’s purpose or the value of a position can be helpful tools of persuasion.
Understand Their Priorities and Differences
Ultimately, simply understanding who Gen Z are and what motivates them at work will be essential to successfully recruiting and retaining them. Most Gen Z individuals aren’t content to do things by the status quo. As a generation that has grown up in a time of rapid and significant social change, adaptability and understanding are of the utmost importance to Gen Z employees.