Characteristics of Gen Z: A Guide To Hiring And Making Them Stay
Millennials are no longer the youngest members of today’s workforce. Enter the Generation Z jobseekers, born from 1995 to 2010. The most senior Gen Zers are still building their careers, and seeking entry-level roles. To better attract this talent pool, you must understand the characteristics of Gen Z jobseekers--and what attracts them to the workplace.
Gen Zers vs. Millennials in the Workplace
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1994, are fluent in technology. However, Gen Zers are a completely different breed, having grown up with internet access. They are true “digital natives”. In fact, digital tools such as mobile devices are seamlessly incorporated into their lives.
According to Western Governors University (WGU) in Utah, both generations have these similarities:
A desire to have a positive impact on society
Appreciation for diversity
Seeks higher purpose in their work
Values their unique identities and experiences
Meanwhile, Gen Zers are said to have a stronger motivation for these areas compared to Millennials:
Desire for stability
Top 10 Ways to Attract Gen Z Jobseekers
With Gen Z's distinct characteristics, you can tweak hiring techniques to better appeal to them. Here are some tips to target the Gen Z crowd more effectively:
1. Emphasize your tech capabilities.
Gen Z enters the workforce equipped with technological skills, able to navigate gadgets with ease. Proof of this is a 2018 survey conducted by Dell Technologies. After interviewing 12,000 Gen Z students in Southeast Asia and other countries. Filipino Gen Zers emerged as the most confident about their tech skills at 68%. Additionally, 90% of surveyed Filipinos said that they are interested in working in companies with pioneering technology. Almost all Filipino Gen Zers agree that they will choose employers based on the technology their businesses use.
What you can do: Highlight your tech tools in your company website and job ads. Present your business profile in digital formats that catch Gen Z’s interest. Visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram present information in creative, eye-catching ways.
2. Strengthen your online presence.
Gen Zers grew up with mobile technology like smartphones. As a result, they are used to a deluge of information, which may have shortened their attention span. In fact, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health conducted a survey among multi-generational nursing students in Spain. The Gen Zers were found to have an 8-second attention span, compared to the Millenials’ 12 seconds. Furthermore, the study says that Gen Zers prefer learning through observation and hands-on experience over traditional methods.
What you can do: Make sure your company’s online branding is on point. To showcase your work environment and company culture, regularly update your employee events page. Upload photos and videos of fun and interesting activities for employees. Additionally, this builds your brand of being caring toward your workforce, which Gen Zers find attractive.
Also read: Retain Your Top Talent Post-COVID
3. Get rid of prejudices on age.
Graduates from 2018 onward are already products of the K-12 academic system. According to the Dell survey, this translates to around 1.25 million Grade 12 students equipped to start working minus a college education. Also, the survey reveals that the Philippines is only one of two countries that included technology as a formal course. Additionally, 76% of Filipino Gen Z students found their training adequate in preparing them for work.
What you can do: Rather than focusing on age or education level, skew your job ads toward recognition of skills. The K-12 system requires radical rethinking on your part. Take an inventory of roles, and find out which ones do not require a college education. Instead, zoom in on the jobseeker’s achievements, skills and willingness to learn.
Also read: 6 Useful Ways To Eliminate Bias In Job Ads
4. Promote work-life balance.
The desire to enjoy life outside work cuts across age groups. As a matter of fact, part two of the Decoding Global Talent Report reveals work-life balance ranks second among Filipinos’ job preferences. According to Toronto-based insights platform Alida, Gen Zers are similar to Millennials in prioritizing work-life balance. WGU traces this mindset to these generations’ affinity for technology, which allows them to multi-task.
What you can do: Highlight job perks that embody work-life balance such as your 24-hour chef, free gym membership and flexible arrangements. According to the Decoding Global Talent report, the majority of surveyed Filipinos are willing to work in a mixed setup with both remote and onsite elements.
5. Offer stability.
Interestingly, the Dell survey showed that Filipino Gen Zers are the most anxious about work stability. Maybe this explains why, like the Millenials, Gen Z also thrives in “side hustles” to secure their income. The current “gig economy” lets them work for multiple businesses, giving them more professional freedom. WGU also states that one out of five Gen Zers are interested in turning their passions into a business or a full-time career.
What you can do: Emphasize your company’s stability to assure the apprehensive jobseeker. If you are offering a part-time position, underline the limited scope of required work, leaving enough time for Gen Zers to pursue their passions and side jobs.
6. Add a human touch.
According to the Dell survey, 94% of Gen Zers see automation as a work partner, instead of a job threat. But despite their tech mastery, this generation highly regards the human element. For example, 80% look forward to learning from co-workers in a real-life setting. And while 91% see social media as an important work tool, more than half prefer talking with colleagues in person.
What you can do: Emphasize your company’s hands-on approach when training new employees. For now, video chats may be the closest thing to a real-life conversation, given the limited face-to-face interactions. Try working around the challenges brought by the pandemic. Some companies have online parties and group fitness classes to facilitate their workforce’s mental health.
7. Advocate collaboration.
Because Gen Z appreciates human connection, they also value collaboration and supervision. “Today’s young professionals grew up in a collaborative educational environment, and they are bringing those same expectations to the workplace,” said Pang Yee Beng, Dell EMC senior vice president for commercial business in South Asia and Korea in a Business Inquirer article. “Though face-to-face communication isn’t always possible in today’s modern workplace, immersive technologies are enabling all types of workers to collaborate in both the physical and virtual worlds.”
What you can do: Build a culture of close mentoring. With your immediate feedback and frequent check-ins, employees feel valued. Furthermore, foster relationships among employees of all ages. The Dell survey says that 86% of Filipino Gen Zers are willing to teach senior colleagues on tech matters.
8. Make a stand on important issues.
The Decoding Global Talent report further shows that around 85% of Filipino workers below 30 years old value environmental responsibility, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In fact, more than half said that they would turn down companies that go against these ethical issues.
What you can do: Put a premium on your CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs. Be clear about your role in environmental protection and your programs’ concrete impacts. Re-evaluate your recruitment and work practices. Are you promoting diversity and inclusion in all your processes? If not, then it is time for you to make some changes.
9. Give learning opportunities.
The Gen Zers are skilled researchers, having grown up with a wealth of online resources. As a result, they are masters of self-learning. According to the Decoding Global Talent report, 62% of those aged 21 to 30 spend a significant amount of time learning. Apart from on-the-job training, Filipinos prefer self-study and online resources to improve their skills. Meanwhile, the Dell study says that 67% of Filipino Gen Xers look for companies that provide upskilling.
What you can do: Make sure to provide plenty of learning opportunities within your company. Take advantage of Gen Z’s growth mindset through mentoring programs and regular seminars. If you want to strengthen their tech knowledge, let them take online courses from JobStreet in collaboration with Luna Academy.
10. Aim for a higher purpose.
According to Mashable, the majority of Gen Zers seek to find meaning in their jobs, letting them make a positive change in the world. This is reflected among local Gen Zers, with 60% wanting jobs that will let them help others or the environment through technology.
What you can do: While all businesses aim for financial success, remember to highlight your company’s purpose. Tell stories about your socially-oriented activities and how you are fulfilling your company mission. Gen Zers will relate to your passion for changing people’s lives for the better.
Do Not Fear Gen Z's Inexperience
Easy access to information and innate skill in anything digital make up for Gen Z’s lack of experience. Thus, their minimal to no-work background should not be a hindrance to hiring these young workers. Plus, fair hiring practices will make your company even more attractive.
Be able to spot potential off the bat. Gen Zs are full of promise and passion. A good mentor to teach them the work essentials will speed up their learning curve. And in turn, create multi-talented and hardworking individuals.
Start hiring Gen Zs and create your power workforce.