Generational thinking can be a tricky endeavour. It often takes place on a terrain that it is filled with myths, stereotypes and clichés. Moreover, differences within a generation can typically be larger than between different generations. Nevertheless, with Generation Z entering the labour market scene, it is absolutely true that this is, in fact, a new type of generation. The eldest of the bunch are now 25 — also known as Zoomers. But what do you need to know about them to successfully persuade and recruit them?
#1: Environmental purpose? Double it.
We are, by now, all too aware that the Generation Z is a generation that is guided by environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. But the difference may be greater than you might think. Recent research by British insurance company Bupa illustrates that two in three Gen Zs (68%) are anxious about environmental issues – more than any other generation.
One in three (31%) would turn down roles in companies with poor ESG.
The report shows that Generation Z priorities mental health over their earnings. Over half (54%) would take a pay cut to work for a business that reflects their ethics. Moreover, one in three (31%) would turn down roles in companies with poor ESG. Finally, 59% of Gen Z and over half of people overall (52%) said they would stay longer with a company that had ESG commitments, as well as recommend it to others as a good place to work.
“Our research shows that they are quickly becoming critical to success”, said Sally Pain, Chief Sustainability Officer at Bupa. “For companies who want to build and nurture future leaders for their business, investing in strong targets that connect with their employees’ personal values is vital.”
2: They know their worth
Generation Z is entering the labour market at a time wherein recruiters having a hard time tracking down enough candidates. The time, also dubbed The Great Resignation, will lead to the generation being aware of their bargaining power. “Pay needs to get higher”, said Dragos Badea, CEO of Romanian start-up Yarooms. “Growing up with the spectre of crippling student loan debt from their older siblings, Gen Z is much more likely to put financial reward as a top motivation for choosing a workplace unlike personal development that was so popular with millennials.”
3: Lazy? Think again
We mentioned stigmas — and the dominant stigma for Generation Z is one we’ve all heard: they’re a bunch of cappucino-drinking, avocado-munching lazy generation. According to a report by Kronos, Gen Z views themselves as one of the most hard-working generations ever. “One-third (32%) of Gen Z respondents say they are the hardest-working generation ever, with Millennials ranked as the second-hardest working generation at 25%.”
4: Referrals are the way to go
Yello looked at Gen Z’s favourite places to work — and highlighted referrals as the common preferred recruiting method. According to the report, nearly 62% of Gen Z prefers and relies upon referrals from an employer’s current or former employees as the most-trusted search for job searches. Job boards came in second (56%), while company websites (55%) round of the top three.
5: Gen Z hates outdated recruiting methods
Gen Z are digital natives. Grown up in the advanced Netflix and YouTube era, they truly value technology that works. According to Yello, 54% of Gen Z won’t complete a job application if the recruiting methods are outdated. Meanwhile, tech-savvy as they are, 26% agree with the notion that a lack of tech throughout the hiring process would deter them from accepting a job.
6: Gen Z demands diversity
Early benchmarks by the Pew Research Center showed that Gen Z is, in fact, the best-educated and most ethnically diverse generation ever. 88% of Generation Z argue that workplace diversity is important. 78% of Gen Z would consider finding a new job if their employer didn’t demonstrate a commitment to promoting a diverse workplace.
78% of Gen Z would consider finding a new job if their employer didn’t demonstrate a commitment to promoting a diverse workplace.
7: Speed is key
Generation Z loathes drawn-out application processes. According to the Center for Generational Kinetics (GenHQ), 60% of Gen Z says the job application should take less than 15 minutes. “Many employers want to screen out applicants quickly, so there can be additional steps and a longer screening process after the initial application is submitted”, the research states. “But the key we uncovered is to take specific steps to get Gen Z to complete the initial application step so both Gen Z and the potential employer can learn more about each other.”
8: They want to learn, but require leadership
According to a Kforce survey, nearly 61% of Gen Z argues opportunities for career growth was the most important factor when considering a job offer. But as soon as they’re in the jobs, 54% of recent graduates find difficulty transitions from college to the workplace. They require leadership, Kforce argues.
“Respondents reported that instilling professional norms was their greatest challenge when managing Generation Z employees.”
“Respondents reported that instilling professional norms was their greatest challenge when managing Generation Z employees. Followed closely by conflicting expectations for tasks and assignments. Managers should establish regular one-on-ones during onboarding. Use this time to check in on assignments, offer feedback and open the floor to questions and concerns.”
#9: They value face-to-face communication
While Gen Z is hardly seen without a smartphone in hand, this generation actually prefers face-to-face instruction to remote learning. “Generation Z grew up with technology, yet most of them prefer in-person communication over tools like texting and videoconferencing”, says University of Nebraska–Lincoln broadcasting professor Barney McCoy. “Gen Z students are better at focusing in a classroom, but they do have a shorter attention span than their millennial counterparts.”
“Generation Z grew up with technology, yet most of them prefer in-person communication over tools like texting and videoconferencing”
#10: Gen Z is eager to return to the office
As many Gen Z workers have entered the workplaces amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 have only worked remotely, according to Skynova research. It has lead to Gen Z slowly growing less fond of remote work. Particularly due to it being tough to create co-worker friendships. 61% of the Gen Z remote workers say they’ve had problems making co-worker friendships, opposed to only 12% of those working on-site reported having an issue making friends.
Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) say they plan to look for an in-person job next, and 22% say they wanted a hybrid role.
Beyond making friends, acquiring skills, finding a mentor and networking are all aspects Gen Z has found difficult to grasp. It has lead to 58% of the generation planning to stay for 1 year than less, compared to 31% of millennials and 19% of Gen X and older. Finally, nearly half of those surveyed (47%) say they plan to look for an in-person job next. Meanwhile, 22% say they wanted a hybrid role.
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Header image credit: Nben54. Generation-Z girls taking and sending photos.