Hiring managers take note – Generation Z has arrived. This cohort born between the mid-1990s through 2010 will account for twenty percent of the workforce in just four years. Are you prepared for them?
Recruiting and retaining Generation Z isn’t as easy as just carrying over the strategies created to address millennials. They come with their own specific set of experiences, behaviors and expectations that hiring managers must take into account to be successful.
“Generation Z is driven by a strong desire to work for themselves.”
In late 2014, Northeastern University led the way with an extensive survey of Generation Z. What they found was surprising. A highly self-directed group, Generation Z is driven by a desire to work for themselves exceeding that of any other cohort before them.
“A new generation of Americans is on the rise: highly entrepreneurial, pluralistic, and determined to take charge of their own futures,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun.
Firms must begin to prepare for this new wave of professionals. Rather than wait for 2020 to implement a hiring strategy, here are four things you need to know about hiring Generation Z.
Money is important to them
The Great Recession had a deep impact on Generation Z. They came of age when the economy was at its weakest point in recent memory. Seeing their parents lose their savings and be forced to put off retirement left an indelible impact on the generational consciousness.
While millennials are willing to take a lower salary in exchange for other benefits, Generation Z places a higher importance on money. Debt, particularly that accrued for student loans, weighs heavily on their minds. In order to attract top talent, you’ll need a very competitive salary and benefits package.
They are always connected
Generation Z is composed of digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology at their fingertips. Instant access to information and a do-it-yourself problem solving mentality dictate how they behave both at work and in their private lives. Despite their reputation for hiding behind screens, however, Generation Z actually prefers face-to-face communication.
Despite their reputation, Generation Z prefers face-to-face conversations.
Text, social media and email are all important for staying connected, but Generation Z flourishes when they can develop authentic relationships with management. Hiring managers shouldn’t hesitate to be personable with them in interviews. Talk in person and keep solely digital conversation to a minimum.
They expect to be rewarded for loyalty
Generation Z doesn’t think that they’ll be promoted overnight, but they do expect to be rewarded for their hard work and loyalty. Unlike millennials who have depended on part-time and contract work, those in the upcoming generation foresee only working for about four companies over the course of their careers.
Four employers in a lifetime is probably unrealistic. Generation Z’s expectations for what life will require of them, however, is soberingly pragmatic. According to U.S. News & World Report, the majority predict they’ll have to work harder than past generations for a successful career. More than half also expect that they’ll be working until age 70.
Feedback is desired
Like the baby boomers before them, Generation Z workers are loyal, realistic, motivated and prefer talking over texting. Where they differ somewhat is an openness to feedback. While the next generation is more than capable of managing their own projects in high-energy positions like hedge fund jobs, they still desire input from management.
How does this play into the hiring process? Generation Z wants to know that they can make a positive impact on your business. In your pitch, play up their responsibility and offer a vision of where the candidate’s career path would go in a future with your firm.