We're currently in a multigenerational workforce, with Baby Boomers down to Generation Z working side by side and striving to coexist peacefully. However, Gen Z is the future of work—and a big one. According to ManpowerGroup, this generation of workers, who were born between 1995 and 2012, currently make up 24 percent of the global workforce and will be 30 percent by 2030.
As these numbers grow, and companies think about where they’re headed in the future, it's important to understand what makes the youngest generation in the workplace tick. The fact is, Gen Z employees come into the workforce with their own set of morals and values—and they use them to evaluate the companies they work for. As a result, when recruiting Gen Z talent, you have to be positioned to give them what they want in order to attract and retain them. Continue reading to get a glimpse into the morals and values that are important to Generation Z, and what you can do to ensure that you meet their expectations.
What Gen Z Employees Value Most in the Workplace
Just as companies have expectations for applicants competing for jobs, recruiters should know what those applicants expect from the companies they engage with. When hiring Gen Z employees, the following are examples of what these workers value, and how to meet their expectations.
1. The Expectation: Work-Life Balance
The youngest generation in the workplace watched their parents and older siblings work long hours, often at the expense of their mental and physical health, as well as their ability to spend time doing the things they love with the people they love. Generation Z has seen how detrimental this approach to work has been for the older generations, and they want a change. Unlike their parents, Gen Z is demanding work-life balance—and not only are they unafraid to ask for it, they won’t hesitate to leave a job that doesn't provide it.
How to meet this expectation: Offer these workers the flexibility they need to relax and pursue activities outside of the workplace. Flexible schedules and the ability to telecommute can go a long way toward giving Gen Z talent the work-life balance they value. Also, maintaining good mental health is a priority for Generation Z workers, so be sure to offer mental health benefits, such as access to therapy and employee assistance programs, so they can speak to professionals about their problems, rather than letting them fester until they crash and burn out.
The Early Talent Sentiment Report
2. The Expectation: Diverse Workforce
Generation Z is extremely diverse; in fact, this generation is the most diverse group in terms of both race and gender to enter the workforce to date, so they expect their employers to be a reflection of that diversity. This talent believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion is the moral standard all companies should follow, so they consider job offers based on these principles.
How to meet this expectation: If you have a diversity recruitment plan in place, you're ahead of the game for hiring Gen Z workers because DEI is already on your radar. However, to make this talent happy, the plan needs to be successful. Get diversity data on which demographics are already in your workforce, and which ones need more representation, and use it as a guide for recruiting. If you haven’t already implemented diversity recruiting strategies, now's the time to start. Showing that you're making an effort can be attractive to talent, as long as you demonstrate that DEI is important to you.
3. The Expectation: Inclusive Work Environment
It's not enough to just have a diverse workforce, Gen Z is looking for a company that makes them feel included. Can they bring their full selves to work? What ERGs does your company have? How does your organization celebrate employees' differences? If you don't offer much support to your employees once they've been hired, you can surely bet Gen Z will be on the hunt for their next job.
How to meet this expectation: Even if your organization has increased its representation amongst its employees, you want to make sure once candidates are hired they feel heard, included and supported. Start by asking your current employees for feedback on how to improve your company’s inclusion efforts. Be sure that inclusion also starts at the top of your org. Leaders need to make sure they are using inclusive language, checking in with their employees and providing safe spaces for real conversation, and offering employees ways to provide feedback.
When you want to target any group of talent, you have to understand their needs. Gen Zers have very specific experiences that shape their worldview and relationship to work. By understanding how these candidates evaluate companies based on their morals and values, your Gen Z hiring efforts will be much more successful.
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