Today’s workforce is more generationally diverse than ever before. While older employees are working well into their retirement years, new, younger hires are entering the talent pool. Generation Z, just behind Millennials, is now old enough to have graduated college. In 2018, 61 million of them had already entered the workforce, making them larger than Generation X.
For employers, this massive influx of new talent poses a few unique challenges. First and foremost is their ability to attract younger generations to work for their business. Similar to every generation before them, there are characteristic motivators and inhibitors that drive Gen Z in the workplace. After revising your methods for attracting a new generation of talent, the second obstacle is retention. What benefits, cultures and opportunities can your business offer that will convince younger employees to stay?
Before your hiring team is fully ready for Gen Z, you’ll need to understand the people who embody this generation, the qualities of a workplace that appeal to them and how you can reshape your business to suit the needs of a multigenerational work environment.
Who is Generation Z?
Born between 1995 and 2015, Generation Z is primarily characterized and shaped by their relationship with technology. As the first digitally native generation, their lives have been intertwined with smartphones, computers and the internet for as long as they have been alive. For Gen Z, navigating most, if not all, technology comes intuitively, and they are able to become quickly proficient when learning how to use new tech. Because they’ve never known life without the internet, Gen Z’ers are often fiercely independent and resourceful, able to find answers for themselves and work alone. This is also why Generation Z has been affectionately nicknamed the iGeneration.
How the iGeneration will affect your hiring
Similar to their Millennial precursors, the iGen workforce will dramatically disrupt trends in the business world. This means that your HR and recruiting teams will have to shift their strategies accordingly to adjust for these adjustments in the workplace.
In fact, Gen Z’s relationship with technology impacts the hiring process from the very beginning. Because they prioritize web browsing through their smartphones and portable devices, a staggering 78% of candidates would apply to jobs from their mobile phones if the process became more streamlined. Your recruitment team can attract younger, mobile-first users by ensuring that your job listings and application services are compatible with smartphones. Whether you integrate your hiring with an app or redesign your website for small screens, it’s important to make sure that your application process is easy and intuitive to encourage the best talent on the market to your company.
The iGeneration’s affinity toward mobility doesn’t stop at the devices they use, however. Similar to Millennials, Generation Z highly values a clearly defined work-life balance, often opting to work from home or outside of normal office hours. This has resulted in an even higher demand for remote work benefits, with a three-quarter majority of Millennial and Gen Z managers having team members who work a significant number of hours remotely. In fact, remote work has become so integral to the way they do work that your business likely won’t even be considered by Gen Z’ers on the job hunt if your company does not offer such an option. If your business does, however, offer full- or part-time remote work positions, your recruiting team should highlight these features in your job descriptions.
Technology to connect with the younger generation
Regardless of the field of work or their positions, these digital natives will bring their personal tech proficiencies into whatever workspaces they inhabit. According to recent research, 48% of employees wish that their workplace technology worked like their personal technology. If your technology is out-of-date, you could be losing out on young candidates who want tech-savvy workspaces for their places of employment.
Here are a few examples of digital tools that can both modernize your office and simplify your approach to hiring:
- Personality Assessment Tools: Developed to help you properly gauge the personalities of your candidates before and as they enter your workplace, personality testing software provides businesses with the critical data to help you select the best of your Gen Z applicants.
- Unified Communications Services: Consider switching to a UCaaS provider if you’re seeking a simplified strategy for communicating with your prospective hires. With many candidates ditching email for text message updates and video interviews, most Unified Communications providers offer text, phone, chat messaging and video conferencing to help you recruiting team stay connected across channels.
- Time Tracking Software: Great for managing remote teams, time tracking tools can help you give your younger employees the flexibility they crave. Time trackers are optimal for off-site personnel because they provide a digital space to view the tasks and assignments that each member of your team is working on for any given day, which can help you avoid overlap and the misallocation of your remote resources.
- Team Messaging App: Texting, personal messaging and chatting in online forums all have contributed to Gen Z’s reluctance to speak in-person or over the phone. Adopting a messaging service in your workplace can provide a comfortable environment for younger employees who would prefer to correspond through a digital alternative.
Virtual Reality (VR) Training Services: Virtual Reality is at the forefront of innovation today, and many businesses have implemented VR software to better onboard and train their newest team members. These immersive learning experiences give your employees the opportunity to explore real-world scenarios and emotional reactions, whether they’re training from your headquarters or the comfort of their home office.