Hiring young employees should always be a priority for employers due to the ability to groom them for leadership opportunities and management succession. Generation Z, or Gen Z, represents the youngest population that is now entering the job market and looking for viable employment opportunities. According to the World Economic Forum, Gen Z will make up around 27% of the global workforce by 2025, with 30% of the world’s population belonging to Generation Z (around 2 billion people).
Deloitte findings indicate that 39% of Generation Z job seekers in the UK have already made choices of which organizations to seek employment with based on their ethics, beliefs, and social impact goals. In many aspects, Generation Z is different than the Millennial generation and those that came before it. As an employer, you need to understand the intricacies of Generation Z individuals and what drives them as professionals seeking employment. This will help you identify their pain points and allow you to easily hire Gen Z professionals through Jobs OneGlobe in 2022 and beyond.
Gen Z Basics – Who is Generation Z?
To understand how young professionals are different from Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, we need to consider the factors influencing Gen Z’s decisions in the job market. Generation Z represents people born in the time between 1996 and 2012, with the oldest members of this generation now slowly but surely entering the job market in stride. What makes this generation of job seekers unique?
- They expect a clear career track once they’re employed
- They are more selective about who they work for
- They expect a healthy work/life balance
- They want to be challenged but not overworked
- They respect and pursue companies with strong business cultures
Hiring and retaining young people is a challenge in itself given how differently they think from the current corporate norm. According to 99 Firms, Generation Z individuals spend 8+ hours a day online, with 95% having access to a smartphone. 74% of them spend their free time online, with 75% considering that a college education isn’t necessary for successful career development. The generation entering the job market today will dramatically impact how employers write job listings, interview candidates, and nurture their staff to promote retention.
A young professional will rather pursue employment in a small startup at lower pay as opposed to a position in a large enterprise which would require them to sacrifice free time and hobbies. Employers who want to appeal to Gen Z need to understand these requirements to entice youth to apply for their job listings. So how do you strike a balance between professional expectations and enabling your new hires to feel motivated to stay with your company moving forward?
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” – Marc Benioff
1. Emphasize your Company Culture in Job Listings
One of the things most Gen Z job seekers will appreciate seeing in your job listings is some information on your company culture. Which social causes do you stand behind? How diverse is your staff and what’s your stance on inclusion and tolerance? Do you contribute to any NGOs or organizations fighting for equality, human rights, etc.?
Generation Z is very passionate about helping those around them and they want to work for companies that share their ideas. That’s why you can attract a lot of talented young people to your job listings if you emphasize what you stand for front and center. Write a dedicated “About Us” section in each job listing you publish and talk a little bit about what your company does and how it contributes to the world. You won’t have to wait long before Gen Z candidates come knocking at your door with CVs and cover letters reflecting the same ideals you stand for.
2. Rethink your Professional Development Opportunities
Young professionals looking for job opportunities want to keep learning even when they’re fully employed. This is why you should strive to enable Gen Z employees to learn new skills and competencies as much as possible. There are various valuable ways for you to enrich your employees’ experience with your company:
- Learning through digital platforms
- Offline courses with industry professionals
- Seminars focused on specific hard/soft skills
- Opportunity to learn new hardware/software competencies
- Opportunity to learn from senior employees and managers
Depending on the size of your company and the industry you operate in, you can enable life-long learning in various ways. Think about what you can do on the matter and include said learning opportunities in your job listings. Gen Z individuals see learning as a benefit, and you should treat it as such as well when looking for employees to hire.
3. Establish Clear Career Paths Within your Company
Once you hire a Generation Z professional, they’ll want to know “where they stand” in your company. This means that they’ll want to know exactly what their career paths within your company are and what they can expect from working for you.
This is especially important if you operate as a large company with multiple departments and have dozens of different job positions available at any given moment. Gen Z wants to progress, develop, and have a dynamic career path – they don’t want to stagnate and fall behind their peers. Think about how you can meet these demands and how you can make working in your company more engaging for young people looking for a little bit of professional excitement.
4. Communicate Less Formally, More Casually
The unique aspect of Generation Z is the fact that these individuals were born and raised surrounded by digital and online media. Social media platforms, news outlets, digital streaming services, and other similar trends surrounded them all their lives. This means that they’re perfectly suited for positions in related industries, such as digital marketing, programming, and other web-based professions. More importantly, they understand the lingo and verbiage of the internet.
They can appeal to customers, clients, and various online stakeholders due to their ability to speak their language. As an employer, you need to do the same when interviewing and subsequently hiring Gen Z professionals. Don’t be overly formulaic and robotic when talking to Generation Z. Instead, be friendly, be casual, and most importantly, be genuine, because they’ll see right through it if you’re not. Earning their trust will help you keep them in your company for much longer and allow you to mold them into reliable and competent professionals which they’re perfectly capable.
“At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy
5. Introduce a Mentorship Onboarding Program
A great way to onboard young employees is to have senior employees oversee and train them. Give Gen Z employees plenty of time to adjust to their new professional lives. Don’t force them to adjust too quickly and give them ample time to familiarize themselves with your workflow, processes, hardware, and software. Young people who are fresh out of college or have decided to get employed after high school will naturally need some time to learn the proverbial ropes.
It’s unrealistic to hold them to the same standards as you would do with experienced professionals. Assign mentors to train and track Gen Z employees and guide them on their path of professional adjustment. Not only will they do so more successfully, but they’ll also appreciate the effort you put into onboarding them which will translate into higher retention rates for your company.
6. Emphasize Skills Over Professional Experience
Finally, you’re unlikely to find Gen Z job seekers with extensive professional experience, if any at all. This is because they’re recent graduates and people who are just now entering the job market. You need to rethink the way you write job listings so that Generation Z individuals stand a chance of being hired.
With the international job market changing by the day, it’s not realistic to look for people with 10+ years of experience in a particular field in addition to a plethora of skills and competencies. Instead, you should look for quality soft skills and talent potential in the people you interview. Don’t place too much emphasis on formal professional experience and give younger people a fairer shot at landing a job. While they may need more onboarding and training than senior employees, you’ll earn their respect and loyalty simply by giving them the chance most employers wouldn’t.
“When I’m hiring, I don’t look for credentials, I look for knowledge.” – Aza Raskin
Hiring and Retaining Gen Z Employees
Whether you work as a hospitality business, an IT firm, or a digital marketing agency, recognizing the value of Gen Z in 2022 is essential. According to HubSpot, over 76% of Generation Z recognize that the skills necessary to succeed today differ from what was the norm only a decade ago. 59% of Generation Z believe their jobs won’t exist in their current forms in the future, with 62% ready to take up new courses and learn new skills to become better at their jobs.
These individuals will fundamentally change the way we think about hiring and retention because of how drastically different their standards and expectations are already. You can use Jobs OneGlobe to publish your job listings and attract Gen Z professionals to your workplace very easily. Don’t neglect the value of young professionals just because they lack the years of experience more seasoned candidates have on their CVs.