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Dispelling Myths About Gen Z

Of course you know that hiring early in career talent is important—the future of your organization depends on it after all. However, some companies may have reservations about hiring Generation Z candidates because of the reputation attached to these workers. When you hear certain things about Gen Z, you may think that older candidates are a better choice—after all, the future of the organization depends on it. But before you write off this demographic altogether, it's important to consider that there are some common misconceptions about Gen Z that may be clouding your judgment. 

3 Myths About Generation Z to Dispel

Chances are you've heard negative things about Generation Z—things that may have made you think twice about hiring these young professionals. However, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. There are some clear myths that have been circulating about Gen Z for years, and they not only do a disservice to this talent, but they can also hinder your early in career hiring efforts. The following are three myths about Gen Z that are worth dispelling in order to judge these candidates fairly.

1. Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Work

The Great Resignation hit the workplace hard last year, and one popular narrative tells us that it was Gen Z leading the charge, spearheading a mass exodus out of the workforce because they’re simply too lazy to work. However, while many workers in this generation did leave their jobs, they didn't leave the workforce entirely. The truth is, they left jobs that they didn't find fulfilling for better opportunities. Generation Z workers want to be in environments where they not only earn a paycheck, but also live their purpose. In addition, early in career talent has values that they expect their employers to share, such as a dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If an employer does not demonstrate that DEI is important in the company, these workers have no problem leaving for one that does.

Another variation of this myth is that Gen Z talent does want to work, but they will only work remotely. While the pandemic did make working from home much more common, that doesn't mean younger workers aren't interested in coming back to the office. In fact, Visier conducted a survey that found that two thirds of Gen Z candidates would actually prefer to be on-site, rather than working remotely.

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2. Gen Z Employees Are Just Job Hoppers

You may have heard that Gen Z workers only want to hop from job to job to job and have no interest in building a long-term relationship with their employers. With a reputation like that, who wouldn't be reluctant to take a chance on hiring these candidates? No one wants to invest time and money hiring an employee who is only going to turn around and leave in a short time anyway.

However, research doesn’t bear this perception out. A study by RippleMatch of about 5,000 early in career candidates found that 60 percent of them want to stay at a company for at least two and a half years and of those survey respondents, about 50 percent want to stay in a job for at least three and a half years.

On the other hand, research shows that the generation just above them isn't necessarily as loyal as employers may believe. In fact, CareerBuilder found that on average, Generation Z employees stay in a job for two years and three months, while Millennials only stay in their jobs slightly longer at two years and nine months.

3. Gen Z Only Cares About Instant Gratification

A young worker fresh out of college doesn't understand why they haven't elevated to a managerial role within a year. They wonder why they're not already in a corner office making hefty salaries because surely they're worth it. You've probably heard this trope about Gen Z talent: They're driven by instant gratification and they expect to receive much more than they've actually earned. 

While this may be an amusing narrative, it's not really representative of the truth. While Gen Z workers do have an eye on advancement, they also know their worth. They bring a lot to the table in terms of knowledge and skills, so they're not willing to just sit around in a job for years stagnating. Also, it's important to remember that this is the generation that’s been on the Internet for their entire lives, so they’re used to being part of a fast-moving world, and they're not willing to wait if their contributions are not being valued in the workplace. 

If you're shying away from hiring Generation Z talent, you're not alone and given the reputation that these workers have, it's not surprising if you do. However, keep these myths in mind when you consider early career candidates, because the truth of what they have to offer far outweighs the narratives that surround them.

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