HIRING AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES ACROSS GENERATIONS – PART 4: Gen Z
People born in 1997 and later are a part of the newest generation called Generation Z, or Gen Z for short. The oldest people in this cohort are turning 25 years old in 2022, and for many, this is their first foray into the workforce. Gen Z has grown up in a world of technology. Social media, instant connectivity, on demand entertainment, fulfillment and communication are expected by this group – they have had these since birth. Gen Z represents just about 30% of the total global population and by 2025 will comprise roughly 27% of the total workforce.
Recruiting for Gen Z is easy, if you already have a brand, social media presence, strong culture, and the latest technology. This is a cohort of people who research just about everything online. They will look at your company website and find the reviews. They will want to know what your mission statement is and how well your current employees enjoy working for you. They have been online for years and many already have an idea of the type of company they want to work for. They will want to know that you have a diverse workforce and support local and world causes. Mental health is also important to this group, many of whom were raised on social media may have self-esteem and confidence issues, which can roll into the workplace. Be prepared to provide feedback that is constructive and supportive.
Gen Z was affected by the pandemic differently than other generational groups. Many graduated high school and college during the worst parts of the pandemic and saw their work prospects go out the window. This created entrepreneurs, gig workers, and a general distrust of corporate jobs as they watched their parents struggle through closures and layoffs.
Many Gen Z are teenagers (15-18) and may be after those seasonal jobs, since many are in school. However, this is not the school of yore. Many are in school online, many are homeschooled. Some have entirely flexible schedules because of this, due in part to the pandemic and how that changed the educational landscape for so many of this demographic.
Gen Z in their 20s will want to have input in the work that they do, good wages and benefits, flexible schedules and a sense of inclusion and purpose.
Employers need to keep all of this in mind when targeting this market for candidates. Gen Z ultimately wants the freedom to choose their schedules, jobsites, and pay rates, and they know that they hold the cards. That said, a company that engages with them and offers opportunities for collaboration will go a long way toward building the trust that Gen Z needs to see in order to apply for and remain at a job.
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