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5 Ways to Show Gen Z Talent Your Company Prioritizes Mental Health

Student loan debt. Out-of-control cost of living expenses. The COVID-19 pandemic. Recession.

Generation Z has been carrying the weight of many societal problems on their shoulders as they simultaneously try to establish themselves as professionals in the workplace—and as a result, they’re suffering. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 27 percent of people in this age group report that their mental health is fair or poor—a much higher percentage than Millennials and Gen Xers, who report fair or poor mental health at rates of 15 and 13 percent respectively. Another study conducted by Deloitte found that some of the most common stressors among Generation Z are job prospects, daily finances, and their long-term financial future.

As a result of these factors, mental health is a priority among young professionals, so if you’re focusing on early in career hiring, it needs to become a priority for your organization. To boost your Gen Z hiring, it’s important to show this talent that your company prioritizes mental health, and the following are some ways to help you do it.

1. Provide Robust Mental Health Benefits

First and foremost, the best way to show Gen Z talent that your company prioritizes mental health is by offering robust benefits that assist them during hard times, and help them avoid going through issues that may have negative effects on their mental health. Some ways to do this include offering healthcare plans with generous therapy benefits, and access to wellness benefits such as gym memberships, meditation classes, and resilience programs.

Remember that if you're not making an investment in mental health, your early in career hiring may take a hit because your competition probably is. According to Wellable Labs, 90 percent of employers are increasing their investment in mental health programs and 72 percent are prioritizing wellness benefits like health education and fitness classes.

2. Organize Mental Health Events

To help create an employer brand that emphasizes good mental health, your organization can offer events for job seekers that include content about these issues. Events that address topics like avoiding burnout, and managing stress during a job search or in the workplace, can provide useful information for young professionals and demonstrate that you care about their well-being. In addition, during recruitment events that you organize for Gen Z hiring, be sure to promote the ways your business prioritizes good mental health so candidates know that they won’t have to suffer in silence if they have problems.

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3. Acknowledge the Unique Experiences of Underrepresented Communities

If you have a diversity recruitment plan, you need to pay attention to the mental health of talent from underrepresented communities if you want to attract these workers. People in underserved groups have unique problems that other talent may not experience. For example, they may suffer from impostor syndrome, which can cause people to believe they're not qualified enough for a position because of who they are—and this can occur even after they've been hired. This can be a devastating experience mentally and emotionally because despite how well they may perform on the job, these workers experience anxiety because they feel like a fraud.

One way to better understand talent from underrepresented communities is to establish employee resource groups for different demographics if you don't already have them. These groups are designed to allow people from specific communities to come together to discuss their concerns, and when decision makers of an organization also participate, the company gets a clear picture of what workers from diverse communities need.

4. Provide Competitive Pay and Benefits

It's clear that Gen Z workers are concerned about making ends meet during this financially uncertain time, so to attract this talent, you should ensure that young candidates are being offered fair salaries. Also, it's a good idea to practice salary transparency, which not only appeals to younger workers because they tend to be more open about how much they earn, but it shows that you care about them receiving the compensation they deserve. In addition, provide benefits that promote good mental health, like flexible work schedules, generous time off, and the ability to work from home.  

5. Offer Professional Development

Young workers are not only concerned about how they're going to excel in the workplace today, they also want to know that they'll be able to build a future. By offering professional development opportunities, from coaching to education, you can help alleviate this stress and demonstrate that you're invested in the growth of your workforce. 

Mental health is becoming more and more of a concern among workers as they struggle with the unprecedented stressors of these current times. While you're working on early in career hiring, be sure to emphasize the importance of your workforce’s mental health, so candidates know your organization cares about them not only as employees, but as human beings.  

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