Move over, Millennials. That’s right – there’s a new sheriff in town. Well, not just yet. But practically the whole world is already starting to chatter about our next generation – Generation Z. And employers and staffing agencies are already beginning to develop strategies for recruiting Gen Z talent in the workforce.
Who is Generation Z? Gen Z is comprised of people who were born in the mid-1990’s. This puts the oldest members of this segment right around college age.
The DNA of Generation Z Workers
According to Entrepreneur.com, here’s what Generation Z workers are all about:
- They’re more entrepreneurial than Millennials. A higher percentage of Gen Z-ers want to start their own businesses and employ others.
- Money isn’t all that. Only one-third of Gen Z-ers are motivated by advancement opportunities, where almost 40% of Millennials said they are motivated by money.
- They prefer in-person communication. Of course the younger generation embraces all things digital when it comes to communication – from Snapchat to Instagram. But many Gen Z-ers reported that they would prefer face-to-face communication with a manager, vs. email or instant messaging
- Gen Z wants a voice at work. When compared to Millennials, more Gen Z-ers want management and their supervisors to value their ideas and insights. Even though they may be a younger, less experienced member of the workforce, they want to contribute and want to be heard.
- They like honest leaders. For many Gen Z-ers, honesty is the #1 quality of being a good leader.
Game Plan for Recruiting
Based on what we know about Generation Z, which is currently the largest part of our population at 26%, employers and staffing agencies are making plans to successfully recruit this generation. They are beginning to enter the workforce, so now is the perfect time to put those plans into action.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has the following tips:
- Target Gen Z now. According to a survey of 50,000 respondents in 46 countries who were between the ages of 16-20, Gen Z is planning to enter the workforce sooner rather than later. Almost half of respondents said they would consider entering the workforce right out of high school. And over 60% said they’d welcome employers that offered education in their field, in lieu of a college degree.
- Have a purpose. Gen Z is interested in working for employers that do good and have a positive impact on the world. Like Millennials, social causes are an important part of the Gen Z-ers world, and they want the company they work for to be socially conscious as well. So employers should consider talking about the causes they are behind, but do it honestly. If a company isn’t truly behind a cause that they say they are, Gen Z will figure it out quickly.
- Embrace the entrepreneur. A large number of Gen Z-ers have an interest in starting their own companies. Their entrepreneurial spirit is very strong – so for employers to get their attention, they need to focus on workplace flexibility and opportunities for young employees to take on personal initiatives that will keep them inspired and happy.
- Communicate wisely. It’s a fact – with each generation, attention spans get shorter. Employers need to keep this tidbit of information in mind as they develop their communications strategies for recruitment. Consider ‘bite-sized’ content in the form of short videos, personal employee profiles, infographics, and face-to-face dialogues on digital platforms such as Skype. Speaking on their terms will attract their interest, make a stronger connection and build a more meaningful and long-term relationship.
What other ways can employers recruit the next wave of Generation Z workers? Share your thoughts with us!