Just when you thought you had gotten to grips with Millennials. Generation Z, iGen, whatever term you use within your organisation are the words on everyone’s lips at the moment. How can we attract them? How can we retain them? How can we motivate them? Panick not, Generation Z have much in common with their Millennial predecessors, and this article is here to help with the key differences.
Beware the Stats
There is no shortage of statistics on Generation Z, particularly documenting what they want from the workplace. One of the notable shifts from their Millennial counterparts is that they are more salary-driven than culture-driven. This will be music to the ears of organisations who haven’t yet got culture right within their office. Some may think it is licence to skip the step altogether. However, the priority shift for Gen Z has come as a result of Millennials (so to speak) winning the war on culture. They know that many companies boast an exceptional Employer Brand and specifically target employers who are known for great Employee Engagement. This means that if you are intent on recruiting the pinnacle of Gen Z talent, boosting morale and culture within your company is key.
Build It And They
Will Won’t Come
It is essential to audit your Employer Brand. How do talent view your organisation in the market? Would you want to work for you? Where should you project your brand? In the current candidate-driven recruitment market, Gen Z are not searching for opportunities. Rather, they are coming across open roles as they go about their lives. What does this mean for your business? Well, they won’t be browsing your careers page, waiting for the perfect job to come up, that’s for sure! You need to meet them where they are. So where are they? University bulletins, Linked in and open (or invitational) events are all fantastic platforms for you to publicise roles within your organisation. You should also tap into Brand Ambassadors within your current team. You can create Brand Ambassadors by encouraging your own employees to take your open roles to their networks and use these trusted relationships to attract even more Gen Z talent for your office.
CSR Is No Longer Just A Buzzword
Gen Z are very socially responsible. While Millennials were largely content with their employers associating with various causes and allocating certain days in the annual calendar to give back to the community, Gen Z are expecting a much more tangible effort. I worked with a client recently who told me that one of their iGen team members were unhappy as the water machine in the office was filled with single-use plastic cups. This is so easily resolved by giving everyone a company water bottle or even requiring employees to bring their own drinkware to work. Companies need to stay au courant with issues that are important to Gen Z and ensure that they are embodying those causes within their workplace.
A study of Gen Z (Dan Schawbel, 2014) when they were in high school found that a massive 72% of them intended to start their own business one day. While this may seem to be a disheartening statistic for employers, and may even discourage them from attracting Gen Z in the first place, it’s important to ask why this particular generation feel this way. What about self-employment attracts them? Is it something you can incorporate into your Employer Brand? Could you satiate the need for development, can you offer flexible working, BYOD (bring your own device) or incentive driven earnings etc. Take advantage of their entrepreneurial skills and mindset and make them intrapreneurs within your business.
Attracting Gen Z talent is a key priority for many companies preparing for growth throughout the next number of years. As a demographic, they are poised to innovate, contribute and change the business environment dynamically as they flood into the marketplace following university or indeed school. What can you change to make your organisation more Gen Z friendly?