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4 Ways to Recruit and Retain Top Gen Z Talent

Topics: Growth

The newest group to enter the workforce is Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2015. According to a recent study, Gen Z will account for one quarter of the workforce in 2020. Naturally, today’s managers have questions about how best to work with and lead this new group of workers. How do Gen Z workers differ from Millennials? What can the best managers do to support them? And, what can Gen Z offer your company? In this article, we’ll explore ways for you to recruit and retain your Gen Z employees, ideally leading to better retention of the most talented of today’s youngest workforce.

In order to effectively recruit and manage the newest generation of workers, you’ll need to be sure you understand what motivates and drives them.

Gen Z Seeks Fast Technology

According to an article published by Fast Company, Gen Z is driven by technology. Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of candidate engagement and interview software Montage, goes on to explain, saying, “Gen Z is 100 percent digitally native, meaning they are the first job seekers to be born during the age of smartphones, self-service online tools and AI-enabled virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. They’ve never known a world without the convenience and speed of digital interaction. Much of their time is spent on social media, streaming videos and gaming online.”

So what does this mean for hiring managers who seek to recruit talented Gen Z workers? Gen Z workers are used to an online experience that is instant, seamless, and offers immediate gratification. Your company could consider implementing hiring practices that follow the same pattern. Heikkinen recommends moving away from a weeks-long interview process. “To create the kind of candidate experience that will engage Gen Z and accelerate job offers, explore interviewing technology that gives candidates more choice and control–like automated scheduling, AI-enabled virtual hiring assistants, and on-demand interviews–that offers candidates the high-touch, high-tech experience that they want during their job hunts.”

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Gen Z Seeks Job Security

Most Gen Z workers today grew up in the era of the Great Recession. They saw the adults around them struggle with job loss, high rates of unemployment, and financial instability. As a result, many Gen Z workers prioritize job security and will look for companies that can offer longevity and growth. Research shows Gen Z is more pragmatic than Millennials, who are known for prioritizing job meaning over a higher paycheck. So, if you want to recruit talented Gen Z workers, consider what your company can offer them in regards to job security, ideally by choosing to invest in your employer brand and in your pay brand.

Gen Z Seeks Growth and Development

Because the landscape of technology changes rapidly, Gen Z believes the skills required to best perform in today’s workforce are different and evolving from the skills valued by Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. In fact, 76 percent of Gen Z professionals agree with this perception. Today’s Gen Z workers value independence when it comes to learning new skills. Managers should consider offering a variety of learning opportunities to their employees.

Additionally, Gen Z workers value feedback and communication from their managers. Sixty percent of Gen Z workers say they would appreciate multiple check-ins from their managers during the week while 40 percent want to interact with their boss daily or even multiple times a day. And, according to these workers, steady feedback is one way to help retention. As a manager, you should prioritize regular 1:1 check-ins with your employees, especially your younger workers. But, you don’t have to plan for daily 1:1 conversations; often, a simple emoji or one sentence email or IM will do the trick. Gen Z workers just want to know their work is seen, valued, and contributing to the overall goals of the company.

Gen Z Values Diversity and Equity

There are numerous reasons to ensure your company’s policies foster diversity in the workplace. If you want to recruit and retain Gen Z talent, you must address the diversity within your own organization. According to Inc., “77 percent of Gen Z workers said a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there. And 69 percent of Millennials employed at a diverse organization said they would stay with their employer beyond five years, compared with 27 percent not employed at a diverse organization.”

To learn more about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, read this.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways to recruit and retain Gen Z talent. And, while it is important to avoid blanket generalizations about any generation, the smartest recruiters understand the importance of studying the newest generation to enter the workforce and ensuring your employer brand is as attractive as possible to potential talented new hires.

How is your organization approaching Gen Z talent? Let us know in the comments.

Alida Mooreston
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