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Catering to Gen Z in the workplace

 

This summer, young people are graduating from universities across the country. Many of them are embarking on their careers and entering the workforce for the first time. As a hiring manager, how do you attract and manage this generation of workers?

The illusive Gen Z, or Gen Zers, were born between 1997 and 2012. As of 2023, most of Generation Z are in their early 20s and starting out in the workforce. This collective of ‘digital natives' is the most diverse and best-educated generation so far. After all, they grew up in an era of rapid technological change, and as a result, have strong digital skills.

Without a doubt, this tech-savvy generation of workers is an asset to teams and modern workplaces, but there are elements you need to consider when it comes to attracting, recruiting, and retaining Gen Z.

Six tips to attract and retain Gen Z grads

1. Recruiting: clear transparent and fast recruiting process

When it comes to hiring, employers need to support and nurture Gen Z talent through recruitment processes. Gen Z may prefer recruitment practices that take place through in-person interviews. Lengthy online applications are likely to put off this generation.

Interviewers and hiring managers need to recognise the challenges this cohort experienced throughout the final years of their education. Previous interviews for internships and student jobs might have only taken place online.

Hiring managers need to build mutual respect through the candidate's journey with regular communication and interview feedback to keep them loyal. With websites like Glassdoor, keeping Gen Z waiting in the interview process may result in negative online reviews.

2. Attraction: be mindful of your employer brand

If you are looking to attract Gen Z to your team, you need to look at your employer brand. A Wonderful Workplaces survey revealed that 94% of candidates consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs. When a graduate begins their job search, their online search queries might include “Best tech companies for grads."

While salaries and benefits are important, Gen Z prioritises company purpose and proof of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This socially conscious group seeks out companies that align with their values.

3. Attraction: diversity and inclusion

Generation Z is said to be the most diverse generation in history. They value diversity beyond race and gender, including identity and orientation. Companies that can represent the spectrum of differences in their external branding can diversify their talent pipelines. This generation values diversity and wants to work in an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and valued.

4. Retain: provide regular feedback

Gen Z wants to know how they are performing and how they can improve. If they work from home, they miss out on workplace observations and ad-hoc feedback. As a line manager, regular feedback and extra support will help with their engagement. One survey showed that 75% of Gen Z said they prefer to receive feedback from a manager in person and in real-time.

5. Retain: ensure there is training and development

Firms including Deloitte and PwC say that recruits whose education was disrupted by lockdowns have weaker teamwork, presentation, and communication skills than previous intakes. It is important that line managers look out for this and look at training, mentoring, or coaching to help. Some of this generation have spent part of their schooling or university away from their peers and in a classroom. Adapting to a work environment is a challenge for many graduates, but those who experienced COVID-19 lockdowns find it difficult to adapt to the workplace.

This group wants meaningful work and career development. They want to feel that their work contributes to making a difference. They are also keen to improve their skills. In the Workforce Institute report, 57% of Gen Z stated that they expect to be promoted at least once a year. If you are managing Gen Z, what training and career development can you offer them?

6. Attract, recruit, and retain with flexible working

Providing flexibility in work hours and location is key to this intake. For Gen Z, the main reason for wanting remote work is to save money on commuting. Gen Z values their time outside of work and wants a healthy balance between work and home. They value in-person interactions, so a hybrid work environment can suit this cohort.

Line managers can keep their Gen Z workers engaged by understanding their perspectives, priorities and tailoring their line management approach. Generation Z values work-life balance, progression, and alignment. They are willing to walk away from a job if their needs are not met.


If you would like support in finding the right graduates for your business, we can help. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0330 058 3400 to discuss how we can help you find the right talent for your teams.