Since the Baby Boomers, every subsequent generation has been given its label. Each peer group has been saddled with benchmark characteristics that generically define their iteration of humanity. As recruiters, we are now Boomers, Xers, and Millennials ourselves, so what do we need to do to attract the latest wave, the Gen Z’s, as they come of age to be employed?
Millennials and Gen Z have both grown up in a world with the internet. These guys have, from quite a young age, seen it all - quite literally. As a result, they tend to have a robust character, and can be more cautious and courteous having lived their lives online, navigating the challenging social discourse that unfolds there.
Connecting with Gen Z
Having been constantly bombarded by the curated lifestyles of Instagram and Facebook, the Gen Z’s crave authenticity. And they prefer to be in control of the conversation.
They demand genuine connection - your typical Gen Z doesn’t want stereotypes or false friendship. They’re passionate about ethics and positive values – including the values of companies they might want to work for.
Before connecting with your company, a typical Gen Z will do their research. Does your business present a genuine, ethical brand to the world?
Make it easy to connect
Technology has created a generation that craves instant answers and results. Gen Z don’t want extra steps to get what they want. They expect technology to simply work - if your website doesn’t deliver immediately you will not convert them.
Controlling the conversation
A Gen Z will research your business throughly before making the decision to connect with you. Typically, they wont give you their email, opting to be in control of the conversation. Make sure you have enough information about your company culture online, so they can make their mind up before connecting with you.
Get your reviews in order
Gen Z’s communicate on multiple channels across more than one device - and they socialise while consuming (and deciding to consume) products and services - if he or she likes something they will share and vice versa. It’s key your social stream is up-to-date and presenting you in the best light possible.
That’s how best to connect. Next, let’s look at what they are like as workers…
Gen Z are self reliant.
Professor Richard Shaw of Massey University says this rise in individualism is unsurprising. "They have lived in a world in which the state has been pumping out messages about self-reliance, not scrounging, and trying hard. They've been told - you are responsible for what happens to you ... Why would we expect young people to be any different?”
Gen Z craves career development
Participants in a recent survey by Robert Half were asked to “Rank your top priorities in finding a full time job.”
64 percent ranked “career opportunity” as their number one priority. Generation Z not only want feedback, they want to feel they are on the right career path, and that they aren’t simply another minion in the pack.
Show your Gen Z employee a clear developmental path. Mentoring them will save on recruiting long-term, as it will help you retain employees. Continuous feedback will drive your Gen Z workforce to strive for improvement.
Gen Z are team players
The Robert Half survey showed that 64 percent of Generation Z prefer to work in a small team within an office setting, and 17 percent prefer to work in a large team within an office setting.
Show your Gen Z recruits how much you value collaboration. Showcase your team on company websites and social media channels.
Generation Z are self-reliant, collaboration-focused, and committed to career improvement. They will be a valued addition to your team. Ensure your business is ready to connect with them, give them the feedback they need, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.