As the business landscape evolves, so does the workforce. The arrival of Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, brings a new set of expectations, skills, and attitudes to the table. To ensure the success of your business in this changing environment, it’s crucial to not only connect with Gen Z but also elevate them as individuals and align with them in the workplace. In this article, we will explore how understanding, attracting, and retaining Gen Z can help your company survive and thrive.
First things first: understanding Gen Z. This generation has grown up with technology as an integral part of their lives. The first of their kind, Gen Z are tech natives. From a young age, they have had mobile devices in their hands, with 98% owning cell phones today. They expect constant connectivity, demand speed, and have been raised with social media and instant gratification. These factors have shaped their mindset and communication style.
Older generations often label Gen Z as lazy, sensitive, or lacking social skills. But this generation also has a unique set of strengths that are essential to recognize and appreciate. Gen Z adapts quickly to technology and trends, they are efficient, determined, pragmatic, collaborative, and self-learners. By embracing their strengths and allowing them to compliment the strengths of other generations, we can create an environment where everyone thrives.
Attracting Gen Z to your company requires a deep understanding of their preferences and expectations. Their reliance on technology means that your HR TechStack should be mobile, visual, fast, simple, and intuitive. Mobile accessibility is crucial as Gen Z spends a significant amount of time on their devices. Providing a visually appealing and user-friendly experience will resonate with this generation. Additionally, leveraging alternative hiring tools that go beyond traditional job boards and applicant tracking systems can help you tap into a wider candidate pool. This group may not be searching LinkedIn Jobs like older generations, so leveraging technology such as Jipe will help you stand out as an employer.
To avoid turning off Gen Z job seekers, it’s important to address common frustrations they encounter during the application process. Long and confusing job descriptions, advertisements for non-existent positions, unrealistic expectations for entry-level roles, vague salary information, unprepared interviewers, and lack of responsiveness can discourage them from pursuing opportunities with your company. Simplify your processes, ensure clear communication, and collect relevant information at the right time to streamline the application experience.
When it comes to attracting Gen Z, it’s essential to offer benefits that align with their short-term thinking. While traditional benefits like a 401K or long-term disability may not resonate with them, there are alternative benefits that can pique their interest. Highlighting short-term options, career development opportunities, flexibility (such as remote or hybrid work arrangements), emotional health benefits, more frequent pay increases, and stipends for rent or transportation can be attractive incentives.
After successfully attracting Gen Z talent, the next step is to focus on retention. A crucial aspect of retention is maintaining the integrity of your employer brand. Avoid misrepresenting your organization during the hiring process, as 30% of job seekers leave within the first 90 days due to false representations. Be authentic and transparent about your company culture, values, and opportunities for growth. Highlight the aspects that truly make your organization unique and attractive to Gen Z candidates.
Offering training and skill development opportunities is another effective strategy for retaining Gen Z employees. This generation values career progression and wants to see a clear path to reach their goals. Help them understand the skills they need to develop and provide them with the necessary resources and support. Recognize that many Gen Z individuals may lack certain foundational skills due to delayed entry into the workforce. Offering basic skills training can bridge this gap and empower them to succeed in their roles.
Mentorship programs can play a vital role in the retention of Gen Z employees. This generation prioritizes mental health and overall well-being. Providing them with a mentor who can guide and support their professional development can significantly impact their happiness at work. Additionally, mentorship programs foster intergenerational collaboration and knowledge sharing, allowing different generations to learn from one another and close the generation gap.
So where do you start? Understanding, attracting, and retaining Gen Z employees requires a shift in mindset and strategies, so start by doing an audit of where your company is currently at. Embracing their strengths and adapting to their preferences can help your business thrive in the changing workforce landscape. Remember to align your HR TechStack with their needs, offer benefits that resonate with their short-term thinking, be authentic in your employer brand, provide training opportunities, and establish mentorship programs. By building a workplace environment that values and supports Gen Z, you can create a winning scenario for both your company and this dynamic generation.