1990 wasn’t 10 years ago.
Despite the fact that this temporal distortion seems to be shared among the millennials and previous generations, 1990 was over twenty years ago, and some of those “kids” born in 1997 – 2012 are already joining the workforce.
Naturally, as time passes, Gen Z (also known as Zoomers), as this generation is called, will even out with Millennials in the workforce and, at some point, overpass them, but that’s not the only reason why you need them in your team. They are tech-savvy, have diverse skill sets, and are always open to learning new things; they are creative, resourceful, and adaptable.
Stay tuned to learn just how you need to adapt the recruiting and other processes within your company to attract “the new kids on the block”.
Say It as It Is
For Gen Z, it’s not only about the figure that arrives in their bank account every month. Yes, it’s essential for them to be fairly compensated for their work, but they also insist on transparency. They want to know the decisions that are behind that figure and the promotions, bonuses, etc.
As a generation more racially and ethnically diverse than the previous, they will fight for equity and inclusion with the same passion as against injustice in the workplace. They want to make sure that the company’s vision and mission correlate with their own views of the world. They want to live their convictions and won’t settle for anything less.
They are also very interested in benefits that contribute to their financial security, such as student loan repayment options, living expense coverage, housing support, etc.
These are some of the things that they expect to hear in their job interview, and they won’t shy away from asking. It’s best to be straightforward about whether your hiring policy is inclusive, about different benefits your company offers, the company culture, hierarchy, the salary you offer for that position, etc.
Bring Mental Health Into Focus
When compared to previous generations, Gen Z is specific for many reasons, but one of the factors that contribute to elevated levels of stress in their screen-time-intensive culture is the change in communication. They feel like they have to be available 24/7.
Another thing that causes them great frustration is finances - some 46% of Gen Z said they felt stressed. Salaries that don’t grow at the same rate as inflation, combined with the memory of their parents’ financial hardship, have resulted in many Zoomers having a side hustle. This means that Gen Z works longer hours, making them more prone to burnout.
This is why they strive for as healthy as possible life-work balance - as opposed to the previous generations, they are also much more open to discussing it. By removing the stigma of struggling with burnout and anxiety, together with Gen Z, you can make the workplace more supportive, inclusive, and healthy.
Your Gen Z candidates anticipate open discussions about these subjects and expect decisions to be made with these considerations in mind. If you don’t have a company psychologist, perhaps it’s time to think about hiring one.
The 9-5 office job has been going through a transformation for quite some time now: both time and space have become more flexible in a lot of companies, allowing their employees to work different hours and to combine working from home and the office.
And while some prefer fully remote work and some hybrid, it’s clear that a number of Gen Z members would consider accepting a small decrease in pay if that would mean more flexibility. This has been especially true during the pandemic, when many people had to work from home, and this brought to light the simple fact that, in reality, a lot of jobs really can be done remotely. This means that a lot of people who realized they were comfortable with remote work now don't want to go back to what it was before.
What does this mean for you? Exploring and embracing the different types of work models not only because they will attract Zoomers but because there are numerous benefits. Who knows how many top talents can currently work only four days a week because they are caring for an elderly person or live on the opposite side of the world? And how about those who can only freelance because they are pursuing further education or those who find hybrid work a relief due to the long commute?
It’s nearly impossible to separate your work life completely from your personal: everyone has different needs, and if your company extends a hand in that sense, you will secure a plethora of amazing talent. Gen Z knows it, and it’s time you see it, too.
Support the Entrepreneurial Spirit
76% of Gen Z learners believe learning is the key to a successful career - they are aware that the world, especially in the realm of business, is perpetually in flux. Staying afloat means having to constantly learn about new technology and new practices and keep up with the latest industry trends.
In the practical sense, this means that Gen Z jumps at the opportunity of attending courses and workshops. They also favor sharing the knowledge gained with their peers. They will let their team know about the most recent shifts in their sector as well as the tools that will help them perform their work more effectively.
Make sure your company supports their thirst for knowledge, as that will bring numerous benefits. It may be in the form of a skill enhancement program, talent development, or even employee retention - whatever your primary motive is, investing resources in further educating your employees is a strategic decision that can lead to a more skilled, adaptable, and motivated workforce, ultimately contributing to the company's long-term success and growth.
Remember that Gen Z will prioritize the company they work for, but only if the company invests in developing Zoomers' skills for their benefit, not just the company's gain. They can distinguish the difference between being an employee and being "owned" by the company.
Also, ensure plenty of brainstorming sessions, as well as regular feedback - they thrive on the exchange of ideas and also love to hear constructive feedback on their work and progress. As they are usually not shy to share their opinions, you can expect an honest and open dialogue that encourages innovation and continuous improvement within the company.
Pay Heed to Technology Trends
Gen Z are digital natives and have been immersed in technology from birth, unlike the previous generations that were (young) adults at the time of significant technological breakthroughs. Technology is intertwined with their identities, and they use it as an aid in most aspects of their lives.
This doesn't mean that your company needs to purchase useless gadgets that are passing fads but that you need to invest in quality hardware equipment and software solutions that make everyone’s work more efficient. Low-resolution displays, or, God forbid, slow internet are a huge no-no.
Think in terms of modular offices, so they can have different laptop nooks when they need deep concentration and ample space when they are working in a team. As they are an eco-conscious generation, it’s important for them that your processes are digitalized, that there is no waste of paper or electricity, for that matter.
Gen Z has turned these optional preferences into indispensable business imperatives in the contemporary business landscape. Embracing them means giving an opportunity for your company to enhance its sustainability, reputation, and long-term profitability.
Recap and Reflect
The clash of the generations is a very real concept, but the differences among generations can not only be managed but also leveraged to create more inclusive and innovative environments. Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with the millennial love for teamwork and the boomers' experience seems like a winning mix for any company.
Zoomers thrive in environments that nurture both individuality and teamwork, where they are free to express themselves and get support in the form of further education, up-to-date equipment, and/or their colleagues.
In a nutshell, attracting and retaining a Gen Z employee demands significant adaptability, flexibility, and open-mindedness on your part. And while it may sound straightforward, embracing change is, in fact, a huge challenge.