With more Generation Z (Gen Z) members entering the workforce each year, businesses are noticing a shift in what members of this age group want from their employers compared to previous generations. It’s predicted that “Gen Z will transform and disrupt the workplace more than any generation,” states Mark Beal, an assistant professor of professional practice and communication at Rutgers University.
Are you prepared to hire and manage Gen Z employees?
Gen Zers are educated, tech-savvy, and self-sufficient multi-taskers. Understanding and adapting to the preferences and characteristics of Gen Z can be important for attracting and retaining top talent from this generation.
Who is Generation Z?
Born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, roughly from 1996 to 2012, members of Gen Z are sometimes referred to as “Zoomers” or “Digital Natives.” Why? Gen Z grew up with the internet, social media, and technology at their fingertips and was the first group born into a world full of advanced technology. In fact, the average Gen Zer got their first smartphone just before they turned 12. These young workers prefer to communicate digitally through instant messaging apps, social media platforms, and video calls. Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, with nearly half being racial or ethnic minorities.
Gen Z vs. Millennials vs. Gen X vs. Baby Boomers
87 percent of workers feel that generation diversity in the workforce allows different generations to learn from each other. However, with so many different generations now represented in today’s workforce, it’s essential to consider what each group brings to the table and what they want from their careers.
- Communication and collaboration: Baby Boomers, for example, prefer teamwork and face-to-face collaboration, while members of Generation X would rather have minimal supervision and more self-reliant work. Millennials prefer multitasking and email communication over in-person meetings, while Gen Z likes to mix tech with human interaction.
- Benefits: Millennials and Gen Zers seek more than just traditional perks from their employers. Millennials are attracted to student loan compensation and remote work opportunities, while Gen Z values socially conscious employers and mental health awareness.
- Work-life balance: Gen X and the following generations have also put more of an emphasis on having a healthy work-life balance. Flexibility is another work quality that’s become more important in recent years, especially to Gen X and Millennials, with many workers in those generations seeking jobs that aren’t regular office day jobs.
How to effectively adjust hiring and managing procedures for Gen Z
To attract and hire Gen Zers, businesses must first offer what members of this generation seek in a job.
- Growth and learning opportunities: 54 percent of Gen Zers actively look for chances to grow and learn within their workplace and would decline a job offer from a company that doesn’t provide such opportunities. And, 43 percent would consider leaving a job if they weren’t given opportunities for learning and development. Maintain open communication channels with all employees to provide feedback and learning opportunities. Recognizing and rewarding hard work and promoting internal advancement further showcases growth potential within your organization.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion: 83 percent of Gen Z job seekers consider a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion when looking for roles. Three in 10 college graduates won’t bother applying to a job posting that doesn’t show an organziation’s commitment to diversity. Be forthright about your company’s values and actively demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Flexibility: Members of Gen Z are 77 percent more likely to engage with a LinkedIn job posting if the description mentions flexibility. While they may not want a fully remote job or a fully in-office position, they’d like to have the flexibility and freedom to work where they want. Reevaluate the traditional workday, allowing for flexibility in remote work if productivity remains consistent.
- Salary transparency: Gen Zers want more salary transparency from companies. In fact, 85 percent of recent or upcoming graduates said they’re less likely to apply for a job if there’s no salary range in the posting. Practice transparency regarding salary expectations from the early stages of the hiring process and include a salary range in job postings to broaden their appeal to potential candidates.
Related: Pay Transparency on Job Postings
In the rapidly evolving landscape of today’s workforce, it’s evident that Gen Z brings a unique set of preferences and priorities to the table. Embracing these insights and modifying your hiring and retention practices will enable your organization to effectively engage with these young workers and position them to thrive in the rapidly changing workplace of the future.
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