How to Attract and Retain the New Kids in Town: Generation Z

Attracting and Retaining Generation Z Workers 

Finally feel like your company has refined your Millennial recruitment strategy? Before you kick your feet up and breathe a sigh of relief, there's a new generation in town about to shake things up. We're talking about the group of driven, young individuals known as Generation Z, who are now looking to make their mark on this world. Anyone born after 1995 makes up this new generation, and with the first wave about to make their maiden voyage into the workforce, it's time to revisit your recruitment strategy. Whether it’s live-streaming on Twitch or putting out tutorials on YouTube, those who belong in the Gen Z world are creative, entrepreneurial-minded people.

So why begin preparing your company for a generation that has barely stepped into the job market? Three-quarters of Gen Zer's have voiced a desire to own their own companies one day and approximately seventy percent don resumes with “self-employed” on it. Whether it’s freelancing, selling items on the internet, or starting small business ventures, Generation Z has broached the entrepreneur space at an incredibly early age. In light of this, it's time to get serious about implementing new hiring initiatives that will appeal to the innate characteristics and interests of this generation. 

Instead of disregarding these goals as the frivolous dreams of a young person, hiring managers and recruiters should aim to leverage this highly valuable entrepreneurial mindset and recognize what an asset it could be for your company. While the word  “Millennial” has been a long-standing buzzword in the labor market, employers are now on the cusp of adopting a new pursuit that'll have all hands on deck focused on Gen Z, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Unlike previous generations that had to adapt to technological advancements, Gen Zers have had their own cellphones at an age long before any of us even dreamed of such magic. With this kind of knowledge and the ability to think on their toes, having Centennials on the team will be imperative to the future success of your company.

Just like having to tailor your hiring and retention techniques for Millennials, Gen Zers also require a concentrated strategy. It may be tempting to rope the two groups into one, but when it comes to their wants and needs, they are very different - just ask Facebook. Here are three ways to attract talent from Generation Z.

Flexibility

Gen Zers want the flexibility to construct their own work schedules. As a generation that is accustomed to having everything tailored to their liking, they want their job to reflect that same desire. With older generations,employers could simply dismiss candidates that didn't like company's rigid 9 to 5 structure. However, with unemployment at an all-time low and a deficient in desired skill sets, companies are now left with a boatload of unfilled seats, giving Gen Zers the ability to make these kinds of demands.

Work-life balance is something that is incredibly important to Generation Zers; in fact, it was ranked as the number one benefit desired by this group of job seekers. While it many employers will argue that this type of freedom leaves room for workers to slack off, the research has shown the exact opposite, with work-life balance helping boost productivity. Additionally, companies that offer unlimited paid time off have found that their employees either take less time or roughly the same amount of time off as normal.

Relatability and Accessibility

As technology continues to revolutionize the modern workplace, the concept of a boss dictating and ruling from a higher place while workers remain diligent in their cubicles has become outdated. Gen Zers will simple choose an alternative working lifestyle over this type of office environment. Instead, companies should opt for mentorship and professional development programs that will help shape Gen Z workers for a successful career. With job hopping on the rise, it’s important to focus your efforts on helping workers from this generation envision a future with your company and feel culturally aligned with your values in order to retain these individuals. 

Collaboration

It’s no surprise that the younger generation is made up of creative, free-thinking individuals. With easy accessibility to technology and a world literally waiting to be shaped into whatever they want it to be, Gen Zers work better in environments that enable the sharing of ideas and encourage innovation. Rather than the single-minded, self-serving culture that some companies run on, the youth of Generation Z work better under collaborative efforts.

While an open space layout may seem like the solution to this quandary, only about eight percent of Gen Zers like this setup – the rest listing it as too stressful of an environment to work in. When planning out the structure of your office, you need to make sure that you have a layout that not only promotes teamwork, but also has designated areas where employees can work independently when necessary. This is the generation that is used to having computers in every classrooms versus some of the older Millennials, who can still remember the era of textbooks and group projects.