Much was said about millennials. It seemed to be a misunderstood population, so various efforts were directed at understanding what they are like and how they behave. However, now, the leading role is being taken by members of Generation Z, or in other words, those born from 1996 to 2012 (this information may vary depending on the source of information used), but why have eyes turned to this niche? The reason is straightforward, and they are between the ages of 9 and 25, representing an essential segment of the consumer society and the labor market.
Generation Z has a very marked contrast. They were born in a time of great social and economic optimism, in which things seemed to be taking an encouraging course in all aspects. Still, they had to face the uncertainty and forced changes that the pandemic brought when they were beginning to be part of the productive segment of the nations and shape what their adulthood would be.
This scenario poses a new challenge to Human Resources departments: to create work environments that empathize and generate value for this new Generation, not only for the talent attraction area but also to retain them and build long-term professional relationships.
What Is Known About Generation Z So Far?
Although, in some cases, comparisons can be unpleasant, they are necessary because they allow starting from something already known to configure and understand new concepts or realities, which otherwise can be very complex for understanding.
So, defining Generation Z becomes more accessible when it is done through the comparison with millennials, of which there is already a clear understanding.
- They process information faster because they are used to constant updates, leading to a shorter attention span.
- They move fast. Despite having a lower concentration span than millennials, they can quickly switch between tasks and function well in multi-distraction environments.
- They tend to be less open to advertising and generally more indifferent to offers.
- They are more attached to their electronic devices. Therefore, they are hyper-connected and have a global character in thought, relationships and interactions. They do not know borders.
These aspects help to have a general vision of Generation Z. Still, it is also essential to understand how they perceive the labor market and their professional expectations to propose a compelling talent attraction and retention strategy. On this subject, the Human Resources company Adecco leaves some critical data:
- Millennials value stability (34%), while Gen Z emphasizes finding their dream job (32%).
- Generation Z places more importance on their connections and those of their parents when looking for a job, while millennials are more inclined to online job boards. Also, those born between 1996 and 2012 are 42% more likely to follow their parents’ influence.
- Unlike millennials, Gen Zers believe their college is excellently preparing them for a career.
- They need to feel appreciated by brands and companies and that these are true to their core values. Otherwise, they change quickly; they are used to moving at a fast pace.
Other data are also essential to highlight to understand this new group of workers a little better:
- Members of Generation Z are more likely to learn things on their own, so they always consider taking the most efficient route to achieve their goals. This includes dispensing with traditional higher education and preferring online studies or even being self-taught to quickly enter the labor market.
- Generation Z was born with the entrepreneurial gene much more dominant; therefore, they want more independent work environments where they can acquire the tools and skills to start their own business.
- Despite being born into a very social environment, Generation Z seeks differentiation in all walks of life, mainly through the brands they do business with, future employers, etc.
- They want their profession to be related to their passions and hobbies.
The Most Desired Jobs By Generation Z
With this information, the panorama reveals a little about the jobs, or the type of employment, that members of Generation Z are looking for the most.
To begin with, they must be jobs that allow them to have a positive balance between personal and work. The focus of the Job should be on productivity rather than the number of hours worked. The career plan and leadership are also determining factors when accepting a position. They look for companies where there are leaders or mentors more than bosses.
They have a strong tendency toward collaboration, which is why they value those companies that generate a positive impact on the world, that have volunteers, and where they, through their functions, can also be an agent of change.
Technological startups and companies with new models of business or organization are usually highly sought-after environments by members of Generation Z since they are characterized being places where talents can unleash creativity and which are also very dynamic, agile and flexible, which combines with the restless personality, the non-conformist spirit and the desire to innovate of the majority of those born after 1996.
On the other hand, jobs under pressure, or that require prolonged periods of concentration, or even those where written communication skills are necessary for the preparation of complex texts or reports, tend to be the least desired jobs by members of Generation Z. In fact, according to a study carried out by Job Today, the greatest fear of this Generation is suffering from work stress, they even consider it as an obstacle that can get in the way of their professional life.
Three Tips To Attract Talent From Generation Z
Capturing their attention, retaining it and being interesting enough to generate an action are the main challenges that Human Resources departments face when attracting Gen Z talent.
So, to decipher the first obstacle, it is necessary to be present where they are to capture their attention. Members of Generation Z spend 63% more time on social networks than the rest of the people. Therefore, job offers in traditional channels such as job boards do not seem to be the best option to attract the attention of this audience.
An example of the above is the TikTok video platform, which companies use to attract Generation Z talent through a pilot program called “TikTok Resume”, which people use to search for and apply for a job. Through short videos, this is the perfect opportunity to show and discover true talents and establish a more authentic version of themselves.
Now the second point is to hold your attention; It has already been established that members of Generation Z tend to be very dynamic, impatient and have very short attention spans. Therefore, making selection processes simplified is key to maintaining interest. Creating intuitive and straightforward job application processes with clear steps and short waiting times will help the person not lose interest in the company.
Be Attractive And Interesting
Lastly, be interesting enough to generate natural attraction. This line can be blurred a bit with benefits that can help retain Gen Z talent, but the truth is that this stage is about making an excellent first impression.
To achieve this, the first thing is to have excellent employer branding. Members of Generation Z will find out about the company. Still, going directly to the source, they will look for the same collaborators and employees to provide them with information that can contrast with the company’s reputation. They will go to their media and investigate until they obtain information that allows them to validate that they manage an organization that is consistent with their values and beliefs.
On the other hand, factors such as labour diversity, technology, attractive offices to work in, having social responsibility activities, and flexibility in processes and structures are some of the elements that make a job offer attractive for a member of the Generation. Z.
Don’t Let Them Go! Keys To Retaining Centennials
Once the first phase of attracting the talent of Generation Z has been overcome comes the second stage, how to avoid falling into a constant rotation crisis, that is, how to retain them, especially when it has already been established that it is a generation marked by movement constant.
Few members of this Generation indeed come to a company to stay there for life, as was seen in the well-known “baby boomers”. However, some incentives can make centennials stay longer in companies.
Flexibility Above All
Dynamism and the ability to adapt are two elements that cannot be lacking in a company that wishes to retain talent from Generation Z. To achieve this, it is necessary to implement an agile and flexible organization. Some of the characteristics that define this type of culture are:
- Additional days off for achievement of objectives.
- Flexibility between teleworking and the hybrid model.
- With flexible hours, employees can decide when they start and end their day, as long as they meet the objectives.
- Personalized according to the interests and needs of each employee.
A Place To Belong
The company should not be just a place to work. And it must also be a space that provides them with well-being and, why not, happiness. Members of Generation Z prioritize life balance and put their satisfaction above professional success.
Providing a place to belong can ensure that personal wellness, connection and social needs are met, and therefore the decision to move to another job is not made lightly.
A Career Plan
If something is a priority for Generation Z, it is to have a job aligned with their purposes and where they feel that they are doing something that generates a positive impact. Therefore, offering a career plan with a clear education and training route to improve the skills that most interest them and that, in addition, is aligned with their life and professional purpose is a great way to retain them.
Impatience is one of the characteristics that define the members of Generation Z. In this sense, it is essential to create processes that leave no room for uncertainty. Short projects with clear objectives, where the roles, responsibilities, functions and delivery dates are well defined, will allow them to have adequate management of expectations, which does not generate stress or pressure. This does not mean that there is no room for creativity. On the contrary, it is essential to allow them to bring innovative ideas and experiment.
Together with the millennials, the members of Generation Z will occupy 75% of the workforce on a global scale. This means that global production is in the hands of digital natives and early adopters of technology. Therefore, companies must have a 100% digital mentality to fit in with these new talents.
Human Resources departments are facing a generation that is not afraid of risks. They expect that their employers are also companies willing to take risks and go beyond traditional standards. The challenge is to think outside the box to create an organizational tenure and an employer brand that is disruptive and aligned with what this new workforce demands.