The May 2021 jobs report showed encouraging news that the job market is continuing to recover and has picked up some additional momentum. As the country begins to ramp up from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of job postings increases. Companies of all sizes are looking to add employees in temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire positions.
While these jobs require various amounts of experience, many job postings look for candidates with approximately two to four years of experience. Generation Z, those 18-22 years old, are beginning to enter the workforce. For hiring managers, it’s important to know how Gen Z will fit into the company culture and what they expect a company to offer. It’s become a special kind of balancing act with generations spanning from Gen Z to Baby Boomers in the workplace. Here are some tips on how to navigate the generational gaps to put your company at a competitive advantage while addressing the unique motivations of this emerging group of workers.
- Gen Z Candidates Are Qualified
- What Benefits Attract Gen Z
- Gen Z Expectations and Motivations
- Recruiting and Onboarding Gen Z
- Working in Teams
- Giving Feedback
- Getting it Right From the Start
It’s hard to believe that Gen Z candidates bring experience to the workplace because they are so young. The Gen Z generation is highly ambitious. According to Ryan Jenkins, a Millennial and Gen Z Expert, 55 percent of Gen Z feel pressure to gain professional experience in high school. This generation already participates in internships before college and tests the waters on what type of career is meaningful to them. With that in mind, when they graduate from college, they typically come with several years of workplace experience that may be a good fit for your open jobs. Jenkins also states that 84 percent of Gen Z believe that they have the skills necessary to be successful in a professional environment. Reinforcing that data, Pew Research finds that Gen Z job candidates are the most highly educated generation.
Jenkins goes on to say that 56 percent of Gen Z would rather write their own job description than being given a generic one. With the experiences they gain in high school and college, Gen Z candidates are clear about being the boss of their career growth and advancement. They want their work to have meaning for themselves and society.
Top Benefits Gen Z Looks For
According to a Zippia survey of 1,000 American job seekers, health insurance, the option to work remotely, and retirement benefits top the list for Gen Z. Jenkins adds to the list a competitive salary and a boss they respect. They are also looking for flexibility, longer breaks, employee assistance programs, and open communication because these candidates are also four times more likely to experience anxiety. The World Health Organization states, “Stress is a health epidemic of the 21st century.”
Gen Z believes it’s fine to leave a job in less than a year of employment if advancement opportunities are lacking and work-life balance is nonexistent. It’s no surprise then that Gen Z finds authenticity and transparency crucial to a robust work environment. They want to be kept in the loop via top-down communication via mobile phone as they continue to grow their career and determine what projects interest them.
How Gen Z Job Candidates Find YOU?
That’s right, Gen Z candidates find you.
- When Gen Z is on the hunt for a job, like most job seekers, they scour job sites. However, Gen Z values the opinions of friends and family and other connections on social media. Your company’s level of diversity and corporate social responsibility policies and practices play an important role in whether they have an interest in working at your company.
- Long, complicated interview processes are a turn-off.
- Some Gen Z applicants want to work in teams, while others prefer to get the job done on their own. It will be important to know how a candidate fits the culture of the company and the job expectations because they will most certainly be asking these questions to gauge whether you’re a match for them.
- The Onboarding Experience
- Rea Regan, the Head of Content at Connecteam – developers of an all-in-one employee app, suggests setting the tone the moment your Gen Z employee steps foot in your company. Introduce them via a company-wide email or text with a photo and fun facts. Place training materials in an app or through a document-sharing program so they can learn at their own pace and review materials as needed. Hiring managers can monitor progress via a notification through the app.
Working in Teams vs. Working Alone
The experts differ in opinion on this subject. Many suggest that Gen Z thrives on the diversity and inclusion of a collaborative environment across generations and feels more engaged with individuals because of their different ideas, experiences, and perspectives. For these Gen Z candidates, their personality may hold more weight over their experiences if the position they are interviewing for requires team collaboration. On the other hand, several experts suggest that Gen Z candidates prefer working alone, in their own space, and believe they are the right person to get the job done alone. This candidate is better suited for a position in a less collaborative environment.
Jenkins reports that 67 percent of Gen Z is comfortable with having their manager check in with them but only for five minutes or less. They are “already comfortable with being monitored in some fashion or another at work,” he says. Regan suggests managers deliver feedback that is frequent and measurable to ensure specific points are addressed.
Getting it Right From the Get-Go
Managers and supervisors need to be more flexible in their hiring processes and adapt to their employees’ work and communication styles, regardless of age, to boost morale and have a productive and engaged team. Regan sums up the way to ensure your Gen Z workforce is at the top of their game. She says, “By understanding that Gen Z in the workplace are more fearless and crave opportunities to learn and grow, you can create an environment that helps them thrive.”
Having a solid recruiting plan for generational hiring and retention is key to business productivity. Businesses of all sizes face similar human resources challenges:
- Should we fill the position with a temporary or direct hire candidate?
- Are we up to date on the legal and compliance regulations that are constantly changing?
- Do we have the ability or technology to assess not only qualifications but personality and behavior to match candidates with jobs and the teams they’ll work with?
- Is our benefits package robust enough?
Understanding and addressing these human resources challenges are important to the business decisions you make. Casey Accounting and Finance Resources is here to provide the expertise and resources to assist you in matching the best candidate for your team and company culture. Reach out to us for your next hire. We’ll help you navigate the changing landscape.