From the Baby Boomers to Millennials, everyone in the workforce today falls into some sort of generation category – and with good reason too. Generations make up a group of people born at a certain time, and each generation has brought their own unique perspectives, qualities, and quirks to the current workforce. And over the past few years the Millennials have dominated the discussion in talent acquisition – what they want, what they don’t want, who they are, and who many think they are. And while the Millennials aren’t going away anytime soon, talent acquisition teams have to prepare for a new generation: the first wave of Generation Z.
What is Generation Z?: What Your Generation Z Candidate Looks Like
In a recent article published on Forbes about the 10 workplace trends hiring managers and companies are likely to see in 2016, author Dan Schawbel noted that one thing every hiring manager should be ready for is the first group of Generation Z employees coming out of school and getting ready to enter the workforce. Generation Z candidates, born between 1994 and 2010, will have some distinguishing characteristics to their personalities. Schawbel notes that Generation Z “is jaded from the recession, suffers from student loans and has learned a lot being the children of Gen X.” In other words, Generation Z didn’t have the opportunity to see the job market thriving before watching it fall into a recession – they witnessed the recession, felt the brunt of it by growing up in it, and are now nervous – if not a bit insecure – about what will happen when they graduate.
But that’s not a bad thing, as it’s given Generation Z a drive unlike anything the workforce has yet to see. Schawbel says that, based on research, “members of [Generation] Z are even more entrepreneurial, loyal, flexible and realistic in their approach to careers and purchasing” when compared to Millennials. This is great news for your hiring managers because it means you’re getting driven, dedicated job candidates who want to remain loyal to an organization, flexible in what they do in the company, and don’t have their heads in the clouds or think they’re above their own qualifications.
Preparing Your Employee Selection Process for Generation Z
There’s no doubt that Generation Z job candidates are going to offer a lot of potential to your organization, no matter what role they’re looking to fill. The question now is, how do you attract a Generation Z job candidate? The recession they suffered through has come back around, and there are more opportunities available, so making your organization stand out is a must when using your employee selection process to attract the top talent in this generation.
The first thing is to promote the benefits of your organization over money. What someone makes will always be a factor to them, but Generation Z candidates won’t be as swayed by the dollar sign as they will be over the benefits of an organization – and we’re not referring to healthcare benefits either (though that probably does help). Instead, we’re talking about the benefits of being able to grow in a company, and what their life will be like at that company.
"They choose opportunities for growth and work-life balance over salary when selecting what company to work for,” said Schawbel in his article, referring to what Generation Z candidates will be evaluating in organizations. That’s not a far stretch off from Millennials, who want the opportunity to grow in an organization without having to feel like they’re putting in the man hours for three jobs. We’ve already seen evidence of this ‘work-life balance’ trend starting to take place in the growing popularity of work at home opportunities, but it stretches beyond that. Does your company offer flexibility in situations that might call for it? Generation Z candidates will be flexible for you, and they’re expecting the same in return. Make sure you share that with them during the hiring process and stress any work-life balance positives your company creates. You might also want to talk about the different career paths they can take in your organization, and help them understand how they can grow as professionals within your organization.
What else should you be offering Generation Z to entice them? Mentorships for one. This doesn’t mean a formalized program per se, but something (or someone) that Generation Z candidates can learn from, should they decide to come into the organization. Growth is important, but guidance in that growth is key for a Gen Z candidate. That doesn’t mean the mentorship has to be in person either – Gen Z candidates grew up in an era where “Google” was a verb and “Facebook me” was the equivalent of exchanging phone numbers. That means that Gen Z will be more than comfortable communicating with mentors digitally, and may even prefer it. According to Schawbel “they will seek mentors and supporters because they are first starting out in their careers, and they will be even more connected through technology.” Take advantage of these desires and skills by having them work holistically with each other.
Generation Z candidates have one big concern, and that’s who they’re going to be working with. Specifically, Generation Z candidates are worried about working with Baby Boomers, because 45% of them believe that working with Baby Boomers will be challenging – likely due to generational gaps. This is where you have an opportunity to stress a company culture that helps cultivate new minds and ideas, or uses mentor programs to help new employees learn from seasoned vets, while giving the young employees a chance to share their perspectives and how they believe they can help the company. Whatever you have to offer in way of company culture, don’t shy away from the positives – it will be a key difference maker when it comes to hiring Generation Z.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas