Generation Z is the follow-on from millennials, but just because this younger generation is the baby of society at the moment doesn’t mean they’re not about to impact your daily work life on a big scale. In fact, Gen Z is made up of everyone born from between 1995 and 2010, which means that the oldest are about 22 years old now and have either been working for a good few years or have just finished university ready to make their mark.
In the same way the media has turned its attention to millennial work habits in recent years, that same level of scrutinisation is about to hit Gen Z. And while there’s a lot these two generations have in common, there’s also a lot that is about to change.
For starters, most (54% of) Gen Z-ers expect to stay in their first job for less than two years – at least a year less than millennials, who shocked bosses everywhere when they claimed they expected to have 15-20 jobs in their lifetimes. With 75% of the workforce to be represented by Gen Z by 2030, this is obviously an alarming prospect for employers who don’t want to have to worry about replacing the majority of their workforce every few years. However, there are a lot of benefits that will come from having the younger generation working for you.
Generation Z combine a lot of the positives of previous generations, coupled with a can do attitude founded on the phrase “if you want it done right, then do it yourself”: they’re practical and realistic like baby boomers, while also being passionate about what they love like millennials, with an ability to process information and manage their finances like the Great Depression’s silent generation.
Clearly, there are a lot of good reasons to hire Gen Z-ers. But once you have, how do you keep them? Like their predecessors, Generation Z are loyal employees, to employers that will show them the same loyalty, and will give them the room to grow and improve. Having grown up in a world where everything in life is customisable, they want that same flexibility in their work life as well. If you can provide this, then you’ll have a very happy, very loyal employee on your hands.
So, as we begin the New Year, we’ve analysed a variety of data sets and surveys to find out everything you need to know to successfully recruit and maintain Gen Z-ers in 2019. Have a look at our findings below.
From our analysis, there were a number of key, recurring insights that stood out to us as crucial when successfully hiring and keeping Generation Z employees in 2019.
How to recruit Gen Z
In the technological society we live in now, it’s understandable that the new generation want to work with a company that can demonstrate technological sophistication. In fact, 91% of Gen Z-ers surveyed, claimed that the technological level of the workplace – and the people there – would impact their decision to work there. In order to get their attention, employers need to utilise social media to advertise roles, and engage with young people who are looking for work.
In line with this, the impact of social media has meant that Gen Z is much more visual in nature than previous generations. They don’t want long, lengthy job descriptions and lots of content; they want short, snappy, to the point bullet points of information that tell them what they need to know to apply for the position. Everything else can be sent and explained later.
Morality and Ethical Policies
The political and social environment is teetering on the edge in a lot of the developed world, so it’s no surprise that Generation Z are feeling this on a personal level.
Generation Z embraces multiculturalism as the cornerstone for who they are as a generation, and this influences a lot of their decisions, and how they view society. For Gen Z, racial and gender equality, and same-sex marriage are a given, and any less than this is a failure. They have also grown up in a world where the climate around us is failing – because of human activity – and 54% of Generation Z has said they have either deliberately purchased or stopped using a brand because of its ethics.
With this in mind, Gen Z look for employers who are committed to environmental programmes, and racial equality, and the number one factor for Gen Z-ers when trusting an employer is how equality-minded they are. In fact, 93% of Gen Z say that a company’s impact on society would affect their decision to work there, and 94% believe that companies ought to address social and environmental issues. They want the company’s purpose to align with their personal purpose, and the majority of the time this will involve environmental, social, and political attitudes and initiatives.
One of the most important traits of Gen Z workers is that they are ambitious. The average attention span of Gen Z is only 8 seconds, 4 second less than millennials, and so it’s unsurprising that the number one work value priority for Generation Z is interesting work. Not only this, but 83% of Gen Z employees said they expected to make employment changes early on in their career. It’s important to them that their job description fits them personally; they would rather write their own job description than be given a generic one, and they will happily make changes to the work they’re doing to ensure they are doing the best job they can.
They want a job description that details what’s expected of them in their role within one, three, six, and 12 months, so they have clear goals in place and something to work towards. 75% of Gen Z-ers also claimed to desire multiple roles within one workspace; they have an entrepreneurial spirit at their core, and they work best when given the chance to share their ideas and have the freedom to enjoy their own work. Clearly, this is an ambitious generation – but ambition is only a bad thing if the employer is unwilling to nurture it.
In light of this, it’s crucial to give Gen Z-ers direct, constructive criticism – they can handle it better than their predecessors, and they crave it in order to improve at their jobs. The flip-side of this, however, is that they also equate high salaries with success, and they expect to be paid fairly for the work they’re doing. Ultimately, an empowering work culture and the potential for promotions are the key things to make Gen Z-ers stay in a job for longer than 3 years – especially considering many Gen Z employees expect to be in their dream job within 10 years of starting work, so they’re not shy of “job-hopping” to make this happen.
The Work Environment
Generation Z maintain the same desire for personal contact within an office environment as millennials did, but that’s about where the similarities end. While it’s true they would prefer communicating with their co-workers and managers in person rather than by email or phone, 64% would prefer to work in a small team within an office setting, rather than in a large, open-space workplace. This is likely because 72% of Gen Z workers feel competitive with people doing the same job, and they’d rather work on their own in a small team where they receive credit for their work and individual achievements.
They might require seemingly constant (but nevertheless direct and constructive) feedback, and resent working in a team too often, but Generation Z will have a progressive, positive impact on your business. A generation that is much more creative and entrepreneurial-minded than those that have come before them, Gen Z have developed pragmatic mindsets for planning and preparing for the future, and they understand the necessity of listening to a target market in order to come up with new ideas and continue to drive their business to the very top.
It’s More Than Just a Job
A job is no longer just a job for Generation Z; if they’re going to be spending the majority of their time somewhere, they need it to be worth their time. That means incentives beyond just a higher salary, such as fitness and transportation reimbursement to lighten expenses. Implementing initiatives like these prove to employees that you care about their welfare more than just as someone who is doing you a service – you want them to feel happy and comfortable where they’re working, knowing that they’re valued.
They place a high value on mentorship, with 33% saying that it was the most important benefit an employer could offer. Basically, they want employers to take the time to train them properly, to make them feel like they’re being heard and that they provide value to the company. Gen Z-ers are also partial to employers that offer strong mental health support services, once again proving they want to be valued as people rather than just for the job they’re doing.
Keep an Open Mind
The younger generations will often get a bad reputation, but stats show that having a workforce that includes members of Generation Z will be a great asset to your business. Just remember to be transparent in your policies, have a forward-thinking mindset, and be ready to listen to new, innovative ideas.