The next generation of workers is making its own path in the workforce: Gen Z. These individuals, born between the mid-‘90s and 2012, are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. About half of the members are currently college students or still early in their careers, bringing a different mindset and new expectations that you might not anticipate. For example, they are highly entrepreneurial, money-conscious, and self-confident. They also value authentic, face-to-face connections.
As this wave of young professionals enters the workforce, it’s important for employers to figure out how to attract and retain Gen Z employees. When posting current job openings to this fresh, young group — for example, marketing, professional jobs — it’s critical to examine your company culture and leadership. Read on to learn what makes this group tick and how to appeal to this up-and-coming generation.
Who Is Generation Z?
Also known as zoomers, members of this generation are digital natives who grew up during the reign of smartphones. In some ways, Gen Zers are reminiscent of Millennials in that many of them share progressive political views and are comfortable with technology.
However, zoomers typically have a different way of thinking and working and have less hesitation when it comes to confronting an issue or calling for change. This could be because they are still finding their voices, and they face an uncertain future due to the coronavirus crisis, environmental concerns, the breakdown of the political arena and countless other issues. In fact, Gen Zers face some of the greatest economic, social and environmental crises in history.
What Zoomers Seek in a Job and Workplace
Here are a few key principles that matter most to many Gen Z members:
- Purposeful work: Zoomers are determined to live purposeful lives. They view work as an extension of themselves and seek employers who share their core values. They want to invest their time in meaningful projects and know that their efforts are making a difference in the world.
- Traditional communication: Although Gen Z grew up surrounded by technology, they prefer to speak face-to-face in the workplace. This may be because written communication is sometime difficult to interpret, and they would rather have an authentic, personal interaction.
- Non-conventional benefits: Gen Zers look for companies that offer benefits that extend beyond traditional medical, vision and dental coverage. These may include financial wellness programs, unlimited paid time off, student loan assistance, realistic parental leave and more. A strong benefits package is key to attracting Gen Z.
How to Meet Gen Z’s Workplace Expectations
The following are a few ways you can turn the heads of the top talent in this group:
- Create a “smart” office. Look for ways to integrate more technology into the office that would allow for hybrid working, such as by investing in tech upgrades and cloud technology. You can also integrate apps and mobile technology into your workflow, making it easy for employees who work at home or in the office. As Gen Zers are digitally savvy and multi-taskers, many of them would feel comfortable and familiar with using digital solutions to get their work done.
- Provide real-time feedback: Like Millennials, members of Gen Z require feedback to succeed in their jobs. For this reason, be sure to supply feedback and suggestions that are shared in casual and formal settings.
- Prioritize work/life balance: The Gen Z workforce wants to work for companies that they admire but also ones that give them time for family, friends and hobbies. Consider creating a flexible workplace by offering perks that encourage a healthy lifestyle and greater well-being.
Understanding and supporting this next generation may take some effort. However, by updating your company culture, leadership and HR practices, you could meet many of the needs that zoomers are looking for in the workplace, and you can position your enterprise as the employer of choice.
This blog post was written by Nicole and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent. Nicole Marie is Senior Content Executive at Michael Page, an international recruiting firm. Before joining the recruitment industry, she worked in media and journalism. She now covers employment trends and insights in a variety of industries such as construction, technology and marketing.