8 Things to Know About Gen Z for Recruiting and Retention
We’ve heard a lot about Millennials over the last decade. But, if you have an employee aged 18 to 25 in your workplace, you are employing the beginning of Generation Z and it’s wise to get in tune with what makes them tick.
Who is Generation Z?
- The rough consensus is they were born from 1995 to 2014
- They are the children of Generation X
- There are roughly 60 million native-born American Gen Zs, outnumbering their Millennials elders by about 1 million (according to Susan Weber-Stoger, a demographer at Queens College)
Important Gen Z Characteristics (for Recruiting and Retention)
Kevin Sheridan, an internationally recognized Keynote Speaker on HR & employee engagement topics, offers some of the following insights into Gen Z that are important for companies to understand as they vie for these newest entrants into the job market.
1. Generation Z has the strongest desire for the most up-to-date technology.
Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up entirely in the digital era. They are used to having immediate access to information and expect their employer to embrace current technologies.
2. They care more about money than the previous generation.
Many Gen Z saw their parents get laid off and struggle during the Great Recession of 2008. This left a lasting impression on them, and they value financial security more than previous generations did.
3. They are far more loyal and do not plan to “job-hop” as Millennials did.
Again, Gen Z’s sensitivity to financial and job security will make them appreciate their job, pay, and employer far more than Millennials, for which job changes every 1-2 years were not uncommon.
4. They are far more socially conscious than their older work colleagues.
According to a 2018 Workforce.com study, 82% of Gen Z consider Corporate Social Responsibility a major factor in deciding where to work. They notice when companies use plastic water bottles and straws during interviews, most of which wind up in a landfill. According to the same study, two-thirds of this generation would take a pay cut to work at a more socially responsible company.
5. They yearn for career development and a job that provides meaningfulness and purpose.
While Gen Z values money more than Millennials, they also value learning and career development. Most believe a college degree is necessary to obtain one’s career goals.
6. They like when social media is used to attract, recruit, and interview them.
Gen Z would love to see both digital and virtual reality instruments used throughout the recruiting process. Companies will find the need to alter their recruiting from in-person interviewing to more current techniques and recruiting platforms that are tailored to this generation. This includes texts, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube so they can use their phones.
7. They are less focused, but better multi-taskers.
Gen Z is used to living in a world of continuous updates and information downloads, and they process things faster than previous generations. This causes them to be more challenged when it comes to being able to focus on the task at hand.
The positive side is they are better multi-taskers. They can work on their computer while doing related work/research on their phone or tablet, at the same time making notes on a notepad, and then completing the work on their tablet while FaceTiming a friend. With many consistent and continual distractions, they are efficient at handling work and play – often at the same time.
8. Gen Z is much more diverse than former generations.
- Almost half identify as non-Caucasian (U.S. Census Bureau)
21% identify as LGBTQ (The Today Show)
With these statistics, it’s important that companies re-examine and strengthen their messaging and commitment to diversity & inclusion. If they don’t, they will struggle to attract, engage, and retain Gen Z workers.
The true challenge for companies is satisfying the needs, desires, and workstyles of many different generations in the workforce – from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. Millennials are where your next company leaders are going to emerge from, yet Gen Z will force companies to continue to re-design how work is performed in their organizations and its effect on culture.
- “11 Things You Need to Know About Generation Z”, by Kevin Sheridan, October 15, 2018.
- TODAY, June 15, 2022. https://www.today.com/video/inside-the-generational-shift-of-coming-out-lgbtq-142157381816
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