According to Pew Research Center, anyone born from 1997 onward is a part of a new generation, Generation Z. The United States Census Bureau would say the generational cutoff is at the year 2000. Regardless of where this cutoff lies, we can bet that this year Gen Z will surpass baby boomers and millennials. That's right. Out of the world's 7.7 billion people, Generation Z will comprise almost one-third of the global population. Just here in our nation, Nielsen reported in 2017 that Gen Z was 26% of the generational composition. Meaning one quarter of the US population are Gen Z's and in 2019, that number has likely increased! So how does this affect the workplace?
Generation Z's are very different from their Millennial counterparts. They've been born into a world with technology at their fingertips. They are constantly subjected to an increasing amount of stimuli that they voluntarily engage with. Research firm Nielsen Holdings PLC deduced that even with the constant array of messages, this generation can quickly detect whether or not something is relevant for them. Therefore, you have less time to make an impression with a Gen Z vs. a Millennial. This should tell you that there are differences in how to approach Gen Z in the workplace and here are some tips to navigate the changing times.
Gen Z's Want to Know Why, Not Just What
When it comes to interviewing, there is more to disclose to a Gen Z. Instead of focusing on the job responsibilities, tell them why they are going to be doing what they are doing. They want to know why their position is important. 30% of Gen Z would take a 10-20% pay cut to work for a company with a mission they deeply care for. When approaching a Gen Z interviewee, make sure to convey the value of their position within the organization.
Old-School Tech Just Won't Work
Born into a world of free wifi, Gen Z are sure to have different expectations when it comes to technology. They've never had to wait for dial-up and they've never had less than 100 options when it comes to apps as opposed to Millennials who had to choose from Solitaire or Minesweeper. A whopping ninety-two percent of Gen Z have a digital footprint. They are used to immediate consumer technology and this means that they'll expect the same within their workplace. Why should they wait a week for an HR request to be approved? Does your workplace have the technology to support mobile access? With self-service HR solutions and near instant feedback, having a digital platform to support these needs is vital to engaging Gen Z.
Feedback. Feedback. Feedback.
Since Gen Z are used to instant messaging and communication, it's no surprise how much they crave continuous feedback. A study done in 2018 found that 66% of Gen Z needs feedback from their supervisor at least every couple of weeks to stay in their position. What about annual reviews? Research says, Gen Z needs more than that. A way to combat this is with performance management software. This would allow you to instantaneously view and assess performance while also providing frequent points of contact to keep your Gen Z employee engaged.
Benefits That Attract The Preferred Type of Candidate
When someone asks you about your new job we often say, "Oh it's great they have amazing benefits," but what does this mean anymore? Older generations often look for competitive healthcare plans, but for Gen Z the real benefit is flexibility. A 2018 Deloitte study determined that flexibility was key to loyalty. Gen Z desires a work-life balance and employers can help define what that means to each individual by giving Gen Z the tools to do so. Employee self service and mobile scheduling means being able to select shift preferences from your device. It means being able to view your schedule, request time-off, and make decisions about your life, your benefits, of your own accord. You can engage your Gen Z by empowering them with these mobile solutions and benefits that provide them the flexibility they seek and are comfortable with.
Times are changing and so is our population. The upcoming and overpowering Generation Z is a force to be reckoned with. They will help to evolve how firms recruit, how they retain, and how they choose to advertise and market. Keep these tips in mind as you may start to recruit Gen Z for your own organization.