Gen Z signifies the generation born between 1995 and 2010. This means that the youngest members of this generation are 27 years old.
This generation is unique in multiple ways. For instance, the average Gen Z-er has grown up with digital access. Since the first smartphone made an appearance when they were infants, they have mostly not known life without smartphones.
This generation has also lived through various national and world crises, such as the Great Recession of 2008 and the COVID pandemic of 2020.
These events have shaped their worldview, as well as their attitudes in the workplace. For instance, data indicate that the prospect of a full-time job role is unappealing to Gen Z. Hence, employers are striving harder to reimagine the future of work to align with their needs and values.
Here’s a rundown of the core cultural and technological shifts that you can spearhead as a business to hire and retain Gen Z.
1. Curate an Attractive Work Culture
Gen Z responds better to a work culture that prioritizes values like empathy, psychological safety, diversity, transparency, and equal access. These pillars enable workers to bring excellence, accountability, and purpose to what they do.
On the other hand, they also reduce the incidence of anxiety, toxicity, and burnout, which are known to lead to low productivity, demotivation, and ultimately attrition.
Access to systems such as mental health support is thus a positive investment by businesses looking to attract Gen Z.
2. Offer Flexibility
This generation believes in pursuing multiple interests, sharing caregiving duties with their partners, and striking a balance in work-life alignment.
Many Gen Z professionals welcome flexibility at work, as well as the opportunity to work remotely. Being extremely digitally savvy and data-driven, they are also able to perform their job roles from anywhere.
Hence, building flexibility as a value will help businesses win the best talent from Gen Z.
3. Align with Values
This generation is one of the first to be massively impacted by climate change. They have seen their parents’ generation be impacted by the Great Recession of 2008. The pandemic is fresh in their minds, and they are also exposed to several world movements against inequality.
Companies must thus do a deep dive into what they stand for and build on employer branding accordingly.
4. Cultivate a Superior Onboarding Experience
Hence, they are looking to be aligned with workplaces that mirror or connect to their value systems. For instance, Gen Z professionals look at factors such as the company’s carbon footprint and the diversity in its senior leadership when making job-related decisions.
A new employee’s first impressions are created during those early interactions in the company.
Whether they are hired as remote workers or need to report on-site, Gen Z wants to feel connected and valued. This is the most digitally connected generation of all time. Hence, leveraging a unified digital platform to build a scalable, robust, welcoming onboarding process is a smart approach.
For instance, companies can set up a week-long agenda that offers clear direction without overwhelming new joiners. This can include virtual meetings with key team members and digital resources that introduce them to the company culture, mission, and vision.
In addition, consider introducing them to mentors they can reach out to for advice and support. Based on valuable data insights, recruiting teams can keep enhancing the process.
5. Craft Growth Trajectories
Companies can instantly hike up the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) by creating growth opportunities for Gen Z recruits.
The roadmap can include a framework for upskilling, leading projects, and accessing mentorship. Recognition is another important pillar.
While this generation does not prioritize compensation as highly, innovatively-designed appraisals go a long way in showing Gen Z that they are valued.
Companies will need to look at revamping their work cultures from the ground up to attract and retain Gen Z. This is a generation that seeks authenticity, connectedness, transparency, and higher accountability from employers.
With power comes responsibility. Hence, making early investments in such transitions will help companies ensure that Gen Z leads them into a sustainable, profitable future.