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Human Resources professionals are considered the unifying beacon for employees within an organization. Successful companies encompass a variety of talent and include workers from each generation to share knowledge and experience, all with differing perspectives. Boomers are retiring, and some Gen X are strategically planning for retirement. Over the next decade, there will be a loss of intellectual talent through retirements in those two generational categories alone. Millennials are developing their careers helping to bridge the loss of Boomers in the workforce, but Millennials alone can’t fill the rapidly growing anticipated number of Boomer and Gen X vacancies. This is where Gen Z becomes the final puzzle piece to companies’ desire for productive talent. By 2025, it is anticipated that 30% of the workforce will be composed of Gen Z workers. Let’s learn more about this group of workers and how Human Resources and companies can support Gen Z talent to ensure success.
Who Makes us Gen Z?
People born from 1997 to 2012 are classified as Gen Z. What makes Gen Z so different compared to other generations? For starters, this group of people grew up completely in the Internet age so technology is a concept they have observed during their whole lifetime. The learning curve of technology does not exist, and Gen Z is often called “Zoomers” for a reason. Members of this generation like to “see” who they are working with, even if it is through video software. Gen Z is the most diverse generation, and here are some key data points shared by the World Economic Forum:
- 48% of Gen Zers are from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds
- 1 in 6 individuals identify as LGBTQIA+.
Why do those stats matter? Here’s why: Gen Zers seek work cultures that are welcoming to everyone.
- 1 in 2 Gen Zers won’t work in a place without diverse leadership
- 68% of Gen Zers say their employer is not doing enough to build a diverse workplace
While Gen Z can be personified as diverse and inclusive, it can also be portrayed as “entitled” by critics. But are they really “entitled”, or are Gen Zers opening people’s eyes to change? Gen Z had a substantial chunk of their high school and/or post-high school education redefined by COVID. Remote learning and video conferencing were part of their daily routine so it can be a challenge for Gen Zers to understand why some organizations do not support remote or hybrid workstyles when Gen Zers completed their learning tasks in that matter. 70% will choose a hybrid job over one that is not according to the World Economic Forum.
What Motivates Gen Z?
They’ve got money on their mind. Forbes reports that 46% of Gen Zers listed salary as the driving factor when accepting a job. Gen Zers are not only supporting themselves, but many are helping support their parents with recession concerns and skyrocketing inflation. Living independently is a challenge due to high housing costs. Ultimately, to offset all the rising expenses, Gen Zers seek jobs that pay well from the start. Gen Zers seek progression…career progression. Companies need to ignite Gen Zers internal fire to work hard and achieve the attainable goal of earning leadership promotions and compensatory pay for their stellar performance. The work hard/play hard concept exists as long as it is mutually profitable.
While salary is a high priority, work-life balance appears to be even higher. Gen Zers seek work to fit around their personal life. According to Forbes, 40% of Gen Zers consider flexible hours and workdays as a deal-breaker when evaluating a job offer. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed would prefer a job that offered full flexibility over one with a high salary. Companies need to take heed…if flexibility is not an option within the company culture, the result will be a loss of a substantial amount of Gen Z talent. Is a lack of a flexible work arrangement worth losing a pipeline of talent?
Mental health resources is an essential component of a Gen Zer’s employee value proposition (EVP). The global pandemic increased mental health issues for people of all ages; however, Gen Z feels the effects more overall. Multiple studies show approximately one in three Gen Zers feel that they are struggling with mental health issues. Companies must provide mental health resources for Gen Zers and encourage the use of those resources to employees of all generations without shaming. Social connections are integral; COVID decimated social opportunities for this generation so many Gen Zers are eager to connect with others. Team and whole company events and outside of work service volunteers help Gen Zers fulfill their social needs and develop a work camaraderie.
Positives Attributes of Gen Z
Gen Zers have many positive attributes. This generation is highly driven and motivated to succeed. They are socially aware due to its diverse nature and understand the importance of having all individuals contribute to the common goal. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Zers want to work for a company whose values align with their own. Gen Zers want to know that the company that they work for is making a positive influence internally and externally. Companies need to communicate the philanthropic causes and efforts supported by leadership and its employees. Social causes and positive change are important to Gen Zers so companies need to provide opportunities for Gen Zers to make a difference by volunteering in community support and outreach events. A company’s mission and vision are integral to a Gen Zer when applying for a role.
To attract Gen Z candidates, make sure your job listings on your applicant tracking system (ATS) are written to include key content they want to know about the job before applying: What will this job pay? What benefits exist that meet my needs? Is this role onsite, hybrid or remote? What flexible work options exist? How will this job positively impact the community? If your organization is unsure how to write job listings to attract Gen Zers, let ExactHire do the heavy lifting for you through our Full Service Hiring. Knowing how to attract Gen Zers will help organizations find knowledgeable talent that is eager to commit to an organization that commits to them. Don’t miss out on a generation that seeks to make a difference!