Recruiting Millennials, selling to Millennials, writing for Millennials, we are all Millennials… How to engage Millennials, make them feel comfortable at work, consider their ambitions and emotions… What to do for Millennials to be happy… Okay, it seems the hullabaloo around Gen Y winds down in these latter days.
It’s because the growing numbers of Generation Z enter the workforce. And now, we brands and hiring managers have new pain in the neck: we need to reconsider recruiting and retaining practices for engaging this younger generation and create a work culture that keeps them around.
Why so soon?
Born in 1998 and above, Gen Z representatives seem too young to break into a job market. However, 75% of them are ready to forgo a college education and start working for a company that would provide them with training and, therefore, necessary skills.
“With so many e-learning programs and online courses available today, young people prefer skipping college and go straight to work,” says Samantha Engman, Freelance Writers Quality Control at Bid4Papers. “Avoiding student debt is another reason. Or, as some of our outsourced writers admit, they are in college for grades and diplomas; but at the same time, they do side work to get experience and skills for their future careers.”
Besides their stormy enthusiasm to join a workforce asap (20% of employees will be Gen Z by 2020), the work attitude and behavior of this age group differ from Millennials’ by far. Gen Z expert, Ryan Jenkins explains:
“In many ways, Generation Z is the extreme version and the opposite of Millennials. They are more global, pragmatic, tech-dependent, entrepreneurial, and individualistic. At the same time, they are less educated and focused.”
He shared twelve insights on Gen Z work attitudes and behaviors for hiring managers to understand how to attract and engage this type of workers. Their expectations and perspectives of work may turn into a big challenge for recruiters.
Things to consider:
Their exceptional experience: Gen Z wants to work in a company that’s mobile, socially responsible, and trendy.
Their tech background: Gen Z responds to new recruiting tactics such as AI or machine learning.
Your employer brand: Gen Z will more likely apply if you manage your company brand and have a positive reputation on the job market.
How to manage Gen Z and engage them to work?
Their expectations are more about the day-to-day experience at work. Though a benefits package matters, Gen Z employees also want to be socially connected with everyone in the company, including their boss, and be able to contribute to it rather than just spend time there and earn money. They look for mentors, not employers:
“If you manage Gen Z, you’re not only managing their skill performance, you’re also kind of coaching their life as well,” says Heather Watson, Behavioral Designer at GEN HQ. “They want buddies and friends, which goes against everything you’re taught in a management class.”
Keep it in mind when writing and assigning tasks to your Gen Z employees. Yes, they are talented. Yes, they are creative thinkers, able to analyze tons of information and practice multitasking. But their mindset is not like the one of Gen X and Y.
Assign tasks like a boss
Be specific when writing tasks for Gen Z employees. Unlike with Gen Y (Millennials), they consider concise and clear instructions a chance for blue-sky thinking.
Interest is the #1 motivation for Gen Z. Exciting tasks and a lack of boredom are part of their state of comfort.
Gen Z employees can do several tasks simultaneously and without losing quality. It’s their superpower. But they aren’t ready to work with projects, the point of which they don’t understand. They need to know: what they do, why, and what it has to do with the company goals.
Gen Z representatives don’t like fixed working hours and don’t understand why they should sit in the office nine-to-five. They work when they feel comfortable to work. They consider work a bunch of tasks to complete to good quality and in time. Deadlines are the only restriction they accept.
Gen Z doesn’t accept control but follows the rule of the game, when they know time frames to consider. Strict schedules are not for them, and that’s among the reasons why freelancing stands by its guns today. According to research, most workers will be freelancing by 2027: Gen Z realizes they can earn money from anywhere, while traveling the world.
Besides, Gen Z is the most entrepreneurial generation. They are ready to start writing business, launch startups, save the planet, whatever: it’s crucial for them to be competitive and stay extroverted. So provide them with the opportunity to work remotely, be flexible concerning their working schedule, and give them a chance to fulfill potential.
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Create a challenging and rewarding environment
Gen Z is not ready to wait. They grew up in a relatively safe and comfortable environment, where their every wish could come true within a year. They don’t look into the dim and distant future, and their horizons are closer. So employers need to not only set deadlines for completing the task but for achieving the first measurable results, either.
Have a mission and care about the world
Gen Z is a generation with strong morals, deep concerns on climate change and alternative fuels, attention to politics and society, and more. They are serious about voting and environmental practices, so they will take all these issues into account when choosing a workplace.
To engage them, make sure your brand is socially and environmentally responsible. Practices like green marketing, a partnership with non-profit organizations, hosting fundraisers, or giving back to the community in other ways would be a big plus. Demonstrate what your company can offer to the world, and continue to develop ethical and progressive business practices.
And last but not least
Offer the opportunity for their professional growth. Gen Z is jam-packed with YouTube how-to’s on every question in every niche today, so stay tuned and give innovative solutions to satisfy their learning needs.
With a better understanding of Gen Z expectations and preferences, you will develop effective training programs for young co-workers. Provide training in small units and short-term activities, deliver it in an accessible manner – and they’ll thank you.