Are you equipped to hire Gen Z?

Right now Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2015, make up about 20% of the global workforce and the number will continue to grow for several years. If you want to develop with the rest of the world and stay competitive you must know how to both attract and retain this talented and ambitious generation.

We at CIP global executive search have read the Swedish study Ungdomsbarometern along with a plethora of internal articles to better help you understand Gen Z, who they are and what they want.

In essence Generation Z:

  • Is tech savvy
  • Is competitive and ambitious
  • Values security
  • Wants work/life balance
  • Values inclusion and diversity

To be able to hire these hardworking individuals you need to look at all aspects of your business to identify your offer. That is, you offer as an employer. Make sure you have a workplace that attracts Generation Z, while remaining true to your culture and brand. Remember that you want to attract Gen Z, but not scare others away.

How to attract Gen Z

1. There’s no room for malfunctioning websites and outdated technology

Generation Z is the most tech savvy generation so far. This generation has grown up with smartphones and does not know life without all the technology we are surrounded by today. So, let us start with the very basic: your website.

Generation Z will expect a modern and well-functioning website, anything else would be ancient, unmodern and would reflect poorly on your company. If your website does not work, one might question how the rest of your technology will hold up? In fact, 91% of Gen Z say that the technology offered by an employer would influence their job choice if faced with similar employment offers according to a LinkedIn article (1).

Furthermore, your website is where you have the most space and control to communicate everything you want even, though you will have to have a presence on other social media platforms as well.

2. Be present on social media

Make sure you have a good looking and well updated profile on the relevant platforms such as your LinkedIn, your Facebook , your Instagram and other social media.

In fact, among Generation Z the most popular social media platforms are Instagram and Snapchat (2). A study by renown advertising and PR firm SCG shows that 71% of Generation Z use snapchat six times or more per day (SCG). Hence, this is a social media platform that you cannot neglect if you want to target Generation Z as an employer.

These platforms, together with your website, is where you will communicate with your future employees before you get to meet them, so make sure you communicate who you are well. However, when you use the platforms, make sure to use relevant content adapted for each individual platform.

3. Communicate your career paths

Having grown up during the recession of 2008 this generation values stability and job security. This means the prospect of getting very loyal employees when hiring Generation Z if you can offer stability and potential for growth. In fact, a recent study found that 36% of Generation Z are worried that they will get stuck at a job that does not give them the opportunity to grow (3). It is therefore a good idea to communicate the available career paths as his appeals not only to the desire for stability, but also to their competitiveness.

4. Show what the opportunities for flexibility looks like at your company

To have a work/life balance is important for Gen Z, so make a point out of communicating how your company can make this possible. If it is not possible right now, it might be time to look into how to make it a possibility because let us be honest  – who doesn’t feel better and therefore work better when the balance between work and life is good? It may be valued more by Gen Z than other generations, but it benefits everyone no matter what generation you belong to.

5. Display and communicate your work for inclusion and diversity

Generation Z values diversity and inclusion more than any other generation so far. In fact, as much as 38% of Swedish youth actively identify as anti-racist and 59% says they value colleagues of various ages and backgrounds over colleagues with a similar age and background as themselves (only 17% would rather choose a workspace with a homogenous group of colleagues) (4). To adapt your company according to this does not only gives you an edge when it comes to attracting Gen Z, it will also give you an edge as a competitive company as it is proven many times that more diverse workforces perform better financially (5).

6. Be aware of what others are saying about you

Generation Z is evidently more used to everything that is going on online than most of us. They have grown up in an era where brick and mortar stores are struggling, and online shopping is the new normal. An era where information is everywhere and easier to access than ever, where you read reviews of a restaurant, product, destination or employer before you make the decision to go there, buy that or apply to that job. Therefore it is advisable to keep track of what others are saying about you as an employer, and to have a routine for how to manage the reviews you get (both the good ones and the bad ones).

How to retain Gen Z

Retain your Gen Z:ers with active management, feedback, check-ins and recognition. Their competitive nature will in effect mean that Gen Z will work hard but also that they will demand that their work is being recognized. Millennials value teamwork while the Gen Z are more independent and they want recognition for their own work, in essence they want to snatch that promotion themselves.

The Swedish study Ungdomsbarometern also concludes that Generation Z have grown up with curling parents which means that they could have a difficult time handling their own conflicts.  This combined with their lack of work experience and need of control also confirms the importance of active management. Therefore, make sure to give feedback and check-in frequently. 

And finally, you will of course have to live up to the values and promises made during the recruitment process and your company’s employer brand. This is extremely important, no one will be happy and last long taking a job at a company to find out that nothing was as promised.

If you keep this information in mind and make any necessary adjustments to your employer offer you will both be able to attract and retain this ambitious and hardworking generation. It will take both time and effort, but the result will prove that it was worth it.

Good luck!

Author: Caroline Tiala 2020-12-01

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