By 2030, Gen Z will make up the majority of the workforce. Therefore, organizations need to become aware of the characteristics and preferences of this generation in the workplace as they will shape the future of the workplace. This guide will show you exactly what you need to know when hiring Gen Z talent and tips for managing Gen Z in the workplace.
Who is Gen Z?
What is Gen Z known for? Well, this is the first generation to never know the world without the internet. This is an important point of contention for Gen Z employment because it will also have a direct impact on the values and characteristics of this generation.
Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, are those who were born from 1997 to 2012. This generation makes up 2 billion of the global population. According to this study, the Gen Z population will make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025. This data is important because this generation will bring their unique perspective about social and moral values into the workplace, which will also impact the hiring process of the organizations they will be working for.
A typical Gen Z is self-motivated and can be outspoken about their views, such as their desire for a diversified community, non-hierarchical leadership, and social awareness. They can be highly collaborative but also stern about their views of climate change and other issues that have a social and global impact.
Gen Z Characteristics
When hiring Gen Z, it is important to understand and get to know their characteristics.
1. Gen Z values their individuality
Millennials at work are notably known for celebrating their individualities but this will become more prominent with the Gen Z. The latter likes to consider themselves as a valuable asset to the company rather than just being present to clock in time. For this reason, they can be a huge asset to the company because they take pride in their skills and what they can bring to the table. While they can be collaborative, Gen Zs tend to prefer working alone and having a private space for work.
At the same time, it also impacts how they choose their future employer. They want to be a part of a workplace that shares their culture and values while also honoring the contribution they make to the organization.
2. Gen Z is naturally competitive
In connection with Gen Z's confidence in their abilities and skills, they are naturally competitive. They like the challenge of being tested in the workplace and do not back down on any responsibilities at work. This characteristic is something to exploit in the workplace. Encourage healthy competition in the workplace so that you can push Gen Zs to give their best work.
3. Gen Z is selective
Gen Z is very particular about its work environment. They want a company that shares their mission and values in life. Even if there is good pay waiting for them, they will choose not to become affiliated with an organization that goes against their social values and culture.
By being a part of an organization that shares its values and beliefs, they support their endeavors and can give their best work. They want the company they work for to be an extension of themselves and make sure it aligns with their values.
4. Gen Z is a fast thinker
Gen Zs can think on their feet quickly. They are less tolerant of activities that are not aligned with their values or go against anything that they believe in. They can process information at a rapid pace and form assessments based on this information. If you plan on hiring Gen Z, you must keep them engaged and challenge them mentally, or else they will be bored.
5. Gen Z is a mobile-first generation
The reliance on smartphones and mobile devices is no surprise. Given that Gen Zs are born during the internet era, they rely heavily on productivity apps that boost their workplace performance. They have a good command of technology and consider it an indispensable part of work.
6. Gen Z is not afraid to voice their opinion
This generation is not afraid of questioning authority or making their direct superior accountable if things go wrong in the workplace.
7. Gen Z is direct (and they expect you to do the same)
While they use a lot of communication technology, they also put a lot of value on direct communication. If there is an issue to be resolved, they will communicate it with you directly. They also expect authenticity and relevance when handling such issues.
How to Recruit Gen Z
With this knowledge of the common characteristics of Gen Z at work, it’s important to know how you can recruit them into your organization.
1. Be more flexible
Flexibility is important when you want to attract Gen Z talents to your organization. Flexibility refers not just to the workspace and the working hours, but also to define their roles in your team.
While Gen Zs are hired for a specific position, they enjoy the flexibility of doing other things that are beyond the scope of their roles. This goes back to their trait, which is being naturally competitive. Make sure you offer them new challenges to keep them engaged and harness that characteristic for your organization's benefit.
2. Focus on culture
To attract Gen Z, you must turn your employees into recruiters. What does this mean? One of the keys to managing Gen Z in the workplace is to highlight how your company culture is aligned with its values. The best way to demonstrate this is through your current employees. They must be able to see themselves in the position of these employees, which gives them a concrete picture of their future position in the organization.
Company culture should be reflected not just in the office, but also in the kind of life that the employees enjoy out of the office.
3. Entice them with the role
A lot of companies employ their brand and reputation as a way to attract new talents. However, Gen Z is not drawn to that. Instead, highlight the role that you want them to fill and relate it to their values. Focus on the challenges and responsibilities they are expected to face if they fill that role, and why you think they are the best fit for that.
According to Forbes, the role trumps the brand in the eyes of Gen Z workers. They are more attracted to pursuing their dream job (especially the ones that make an impact on the organization) rather than the allure of working for a specific organization.
4. Prioritize their well-being
Self-care is important for Generation Z. It is important to highlight how your organization prioritizes work-life balance, such as providing vacation or leave incentives, flexible working hours, etc.
The Great Resignation and the rising cases of employee burnout have turned off the Gen Z workforce. Offering them a healthy balance between work and personal life is a good pitch to include when recruiting Gen Z.
Why Gen Z Could Help Your Organization
If you're a forward-thinking organization, you'll want to make Gen Z a part of your team. Here are some of the reasons why you’ll want them to be a part of your diversified workforce:
• You can create social and economic impact as an organization. In turn, this could help boost your brand and your company culture.
• You build a tech-native workforce. It is undeniable that technology and mobile apps are going to play an integral role in your workplace. Employing Gen Z can help you leverage these tools to boost productivity and promote collaborative work.
• You can build more agility in the workplace. You can leverage Gen Z's creativity and forward-thinking approach at work to optimize performance and productivity.
• You can boost interpersonal relationships among your team. It helps to overcome the challenges of remote working and the issues of burnout due to a lack of social connection among co-workers.
• You can make your workplace more inclusive and diverse. Discrimination of any kind is frowned upon in the workplace. Recruiting Gen Z is an avenue for you to bring in a diversified workplace and celebrate what each member of your team has to offer.
Agile Working & Gen Z
As more of Gen Z is entering the workforce, organizations must adapt to their needs, if you want to retain them. A flexible workspace is a part of having a flexible working setup.
Studies show that the physical work environment has a direct impact on the employee experience at work. The emerging workforce prefers an agile working space that nurtures their creativity and focus. They want a work environment that can adapt to their needs, especially if they want a private area to focus on their work. At the same time, it must foster collaboration with areas suited for team collaboration and social hubs.
An agile working area for them is defined as something that not only builds on productivity but also helps them achieve a work-life balance.