The Gen-Z juggernaut is all set to take over the workplace of the future. According toZurich, Gen-Zers are expected to form 27% of the workforce in the next two years. Businesses need to understand and adapt to the unique experiences, values and behaviors of Gen-Z talent to attract and retain them.
As a mother of two Gen-Z children, I often learn a lot about their challenges and perspectives. I also mentor young women in STEM and entrepreneurship.
Recently, I have been mentoring a few Gen-Zs in their career development and through that, I've noticed that the current system of our recruitment process is not accessible to all talent for all types of opportunities.
Let’s look at some steps that businesses can take to remedy that situation.
1. Promote workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.
In my experience, Gen-Zers value DE&I in the workplace more than Boomers or even Millennials. Businesses should make every effort to create a welcoming, equitable and inclusive workplace environment that celebrates diversity and respects individuality. In addition, companies that have diverse representation in leadership are more likely to attract and retain Gen-Z employees than companies that do not.
2. Offer flexible work arrangements.
Many Gen-Zers place a high value on work-life balance and may prefer flexible work arrangements such as remote work or flexible scheduling. Businesses should consider offering these options to attract and retain Gen-Zers.
3. Provide opportunities for continuous growth and development.
A career cul-de-sac is a place nobody likes to be in, and Gen-Zers are no exception. Gen-Zers are usually interested in ongoing learning and development opportunities such as formal training and mentorship programs.
4. Emphasize corporate citizenship.
From what I've seen, Gen-Zers are more likely to work for companies that prioritize corporate citizenship and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, climate change, public health and other pressing challenges. Businesses should consider incorporating corporate citizenship into their mission and values to attract Gen-Z talent.
5. Highlight impact and purpose.
It is important that companies highlight the impact of a role in the job description itself. Gen-Zers often prefer to work in roles that make an impact beyond the company walls. Companies should allow employees to volunteer and contribute to causes they care about.
It is interesting to note that Gen-Zers are the only generation that prefers purpose over pay. According toDeloitte, Gen-Zers would rather settle for less money if they find their job interesting and purposeful than be involved in a well-paying but dull job.
This brings us to our next point.
6. Offer competitive compensation and benefits.
Companies must offer fair and competitive compensation and benefits to engage Gen-Z talent. Those include not only salary but also health insurance and other perks such as wellness programs, corporate discounts, student loan repayment assistance, tuition reimbursements and paid vacation.
7. Use technology.
Gen-Zers are digital natives in that they have no recollection whatsoever of the non-internet era. They tend to expect businesses to use the latest technologies in the workplace. Businesses should use relevant and up-to-date technology to streamline processes, improve collaboration and enhance communication.
8. Provide feedback and encourage open communication.
Gen-Zers usually value transparency and prefer open communication. Businesses should provide regular feedback and create a safe and nonjudgmental space for employees to share their opinions and ideas.
Bringing it all together.
When companies take these steps into account, they can create a workplace where Gen-Zers can thrive and feel fulfilled in their careers. As the next generation of employees enters the workforce, there are so many opportunities for growth not only for the employees but also for the companies they dedicate their time to. Consider what your company is already doing to reach these candidates and what it would take to make the adjustments to help attract more Gen-Z employees.