3 Useful Things to Know About Gen Z
Hiring entry-level talent has never been easy. In fact, 41% of employers say that entry-level positions are the most difficult to fill. One reason being that understanding the ever-changing incoming crop of young professionals and their shifting motivations has and will always be a challenge. And just when we finally start to understand the Millennial mindset, a new, even larger generation emerges to fill our entry-level roles and keep us on our toes. Generation Z is bringing a new perspective into the professional world that will undoubtedly shift the strategy for how leaders will manage their teams.
Gen Z is all about individuality
Even more than their Millennial predecessors, the Gen Z population enjoy being a unique asset to the team more than just a cog in a company. They seek uniqueness in their future employer, whether that be in office environment, mission, or culture. In terms of actual workload, Gen Z’ers may prefer more solo work and private spaces versus collaboration and teamwork.
Gen Z is more selective
Gen Z job seekers place a large amount of importance on a company’s culture and mission, as they want a brand they can get behind and feel good about supporting through their own work. Because they see the company they work for as an extension of their own personal brand, Gen Z will quickly spot anything that doesn’t align with their values.
Gen Z thinks fast
According to Fast Company, Gen Z have “highly evolved eight-second filters” that allow them to sort through and assess information in order to form an opinion. That’s not a lot of time to work with. If you plan on hiring Gen Z employees, you’ll want to learn quickly how to get their attention and keep them engaged.
4 Tips for Retaining Gen Z Talent
1. Develop clear and fast-moving career tracks
a. Create distinct career tracks with clear direction on how to advance to each level
b. Restructure promotion and incentive programs that give smaller, more incremental promotions and salary raises, giving more consistent positive reinforcement and closer goals that make it more enticing to stay
c. Create professional development opportunities that help them advance in those career tracks and build other skills they need and want
d. Create ways young employees can explore other career tracks without leaving the company. Gen Z’s along with their Millennial elders have a higher propensity for changing their minds and/or wanting different experiences, so consider ways that enable employees to make lateral moves, or create rotational programs that allow inexperienced professionals to get experience in a variety of business capacities and are then more prepared to choose a track.
2. Provide benefits that allow flexibility
a. Working remotely, flex schedules/hours
b. Floating holidays–especially beneficial as the workforce becomes more and more diverse
c. Restructure PTO that gives employees more autonomy and responsibility for their work
d. Tuition reimbursement programs to increase retention and build leaders internally
3. Create a strong company culture
a. Company culture is one of the strongest recruiting and retention tools
b. Go beyond the flashy tactics of having an on-site game room and fun company outings and bring more focus to the company’s mission
c. Create and live/work by a set of core values that represents your company’s mission
d. People will be more engaged and move beyond just being their role or position when they feel connected to the mission
4. Challenge without overworking
a. Boredom and stress are equally common as factors for driving young professionals out of a workplace.
b. Allow involvement in bigger, higher-level projects and discussions to provide meaningful learning opportunities, and create goals that stretch their capabilities but are attainable.
The Gen Z workforce brings a new set of challenges, but they also bring new energy and ideas and are savvier when it comes to digital spaces and technology. Recruiting and retaining the right Gen Z employees will be essential in addressing the challenges of tomorrow and remaining relevant in an ever-changing market.
For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or find the right entry-level talent for your team here.