Generation Z, also known as Gen Z or Zoomers, is the newest generation of employees joining the workforce. This is exciting news for employers because Baby Boomers are retiring in record numbers. As the torch passes from Boomers to Generation X to Millennials to Generation Z, employers will need to adjust their recruiting efforts and talent management in order to compete for top talent.
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In this article, we’ll introduce Zoomers and talk about what makes them tick. We’ll go over what they prefer in jobs and employers, as well as the skills and abilities they bring to the table. We will also share recruiting tips for this latest generation of workers and how to keep them engaged.
Meet Gen Z
Recent research published by Statista shows that Generation Z makes up over 20% of the US population. Born between 1997 and 2012, these young people have been entering the workforce for the last several years. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that by 2030, Gen Z will make up roughly “27 percent of the workforce.” Their impact on workplace culture and values will be profound.
Zoomers can add a lot of value for employers. They are ‘digital natives’; technology is second-nature to them. There are no employees in the workplace today who are more comfortable and knowledgeable about technology. In fact, Gen Z has no memory or life experience that predates the internet. They grew up with social media and smartphones.
Generation Z is accustomed to instant access to information and anytime technology-enabled social interaction with colleagues, friends and family. As a result of relationships and knowledge augmented by the internet, Zoomers have a very global view. They are also one of the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in U.S. history. Gen Z is more risk-averse than Millennials and Gen X, because they grew up during the uncertainty of the Great Recession and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Does Gen Z Want in a Job and Employer?
According to extensive survey data developed by Deloitte, “Gen Z is keenly focused on career development and learning.” They desire lots of different opportunities within a stable employment situation. They prefer individual tasks over team efforts and can be entrepreneurial while working inside a larger organization.
Gen Z workers are particularly attracted to certain industries. More than half (51%) indicated technology would be a desirable field, according to Deloitte. They were also interested in jobs and industries that help people, including education (41%) and healthcare (37%). A career interest survey from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) found 35% of Gen Z high school students want to work in the human rights field.
5 Recruiting Tips for Gen Z Candidates
Highlight corporate values. It is very important to Zoomers to work for an ethical organization that shares similar values. A Deloitte survey revealed “77% of respondents said it was important their employer align with their values.” Another Deloitte survey found “40% have rejected a job or assignment because it didn’t align with their values.” Top issues for Generation Z include climate change, social justice and DEI.
Offer more than a good salary. Inadequate pay was cited as the number one reason Gen Zs left their jobs in the past two years of the Great Resignation; however, Gen Z values salary less than prior generations as shown in recent Deloitte surveys. They will not accept a boring or dead-end job only because it pays better. Furthermore, check out our video highlighting how to attract top talent by creating a work environment employees can thrive in.
Include financial and mental health in your benefits. Gen Z wants to work for a company that cares—that includes caring for the greater world as well as the employees within the organization. As the newest employees and youngest workers, most Zoomers struggle financially, with 46% of them living paycheck to paycheck as shown by a Deloitte survey. They also report higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than some older generations in the workforce. Gen Zs do not stigmatize mental health issues and value mental health services as part of their healthcare benefits.
Promote a work/life balance culture. Gen Z wants to balance work with family, friends, and personal pursuits. In fact, the World Economic Forum reports, “half of this generation say they would quit a job if it interfered with their work/life balance.” They value flexibility in scheduling, including four-day workweeks and the ability to work from home if needed. A key difference from Millennials is many Gen Zs are not looking for a full-time remote position. They value hands-on experience and prefer in-person learning to remote.
Demonstrate a clear career path and learning tracks. Zoomers are eager to learn and advance their careers. Try to show them ways they will be able to increase their skills and earn new opportunities within your organization. A survey by the NSHSS found that, “for their first full-time job, 67% of Zoomers said they want to work at companies that “enable them to learn skills to advance their careers.”
How to Engage and Motivate Gen Z Employees
Retention and engagement are very important for talent managers working with Generation Z. These young adults demonstrate less brand loyalty than Millennial consumers and may be just as prone to job hopping. The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) found that “49% of Generation Z respondents expected to stay less than 2 years with their current company.” To keep them longer, you will need to offer opportunities for rapid advancement and skills development.
Because they’re entrepreneurial, Zoomers are drawn to start-ups, and some have even expressed interest in working for themselves in their own start-up. Midsize and large employers may be able to find ways to incubate start-ups inside the organ
ization that allow Gen Zs to exercise their autonomy and creativity.
Finally, keep Gen Zs engaged by showing them an organization full of heart and dedicated to making the world a better place. Focus on improving company culture and ensure your company is firmly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Give employees the opportunity to represent the organization in the community and the world through volunteerism.
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