The Future Workforce: Appealing to Gen Z Talent
“The future of work consists of learning a living.” – Marshall McLuhan, Canadian Philosopher
If you’ve been around the block, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Okay Boomer,” being thrown around. This, of course, is in reference to the boomer generation. But how much do you know about Zoomers, otherwise known as Generation Z or Gen Z? Well, we are here to tell you that this is a whole new generation of soon-to-be employees or young career starters. While most are still students, some are entering the workforce at the spry age of 24 years old, which is the upper maximum. So who are Gen Z? Why are we talking about them? And how do they tie into the work culture and hiring patterns of the future?
These are some of the key questions that we will answer in this blog, so keep reading if you want to gain meaningful access to the new wave of the labor force. But, before we talk about those important questions, we need to frame an idea of what Zoomers represent. Apart from being the future of the workforce, they are also the group more likely to change jobs than millennials.
In fact, LinkedIn dubbed Gen Z as leading the ‘Great Reshuffle’ due to 54% of them considering quitting their jobs. This makes them extremely hard to hold onto from the employer’s perspective. They not only bring value to the next generation of workers, but their needs make it difficult to keep the turnover rate down. Having said that, once you understand who they are and what they want, it then becomes easy to formulate a plan of action.
A person would only fall into the Zoomer category if they were born roughly between 1997 and 2012. Though some have it till 2010, that can vary. There is no fixed rule, though. Having said that, a typical Zoomer would be between 10 and 25 years of age at the time of this article.
Did you know that Zoomers have surpassed the Millennial generation to become the most mobile segment of the workforce in the United States alone? According to LinkedIn, they also account for around 80% of the year-on-year increase in job transitions.
It is also interesting to note that Gen Z will make up around 27% of the workforce by 2025, according to research done by Forbes. A large number of these new minds will be pivotal in the business sectors of the world. Of the percentage of the Zoomer population to attend university, almost 20% of them in North America alone, will study in business-related fields. This means that the B2B sector will reap a lot of the rewards if those companies know how to leverage the interest of this future workforce.
Gen Z talent wants an intuitive workspace that that is also flexible to their needs.
What Do Zoomers Want?
To appeal to Gen Z talent, recruiters need to understand them and what they want. Recruitment as a whole needs to pivot into a more employee or candidate-centric role. The needs of the many, as they say. Here are the core ideas of what the Zoomer generation wants:
If there is one thing that most of us are familiar with, it is the importance of remote work, or at least having that option. This was especially the case back in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexibility of work is something that the Gen Z crowd is also looking for. Though, that isn’t to say that they want to work from home, quite the opposite. Most of them want access to an office space in addition to remote work-a hybrid working model if you will. Whatever the policy, as long as the workplace is flexible, it’s a step in the right direction.
An Intuitive Work Culture
People aren’t just rethinking work life for the “where” and “when”, they are also giving great importance to the “why” of it all. It’s more than just a paycheck, it’s about what they can learn on the job and add to their resume for the future. That growth factor has to be there within the work culture of a company.
Experience Barriers and Expectations
Oftentimes, candidates come across a job post that says it is for an entry-level position. However, these sometimes cite a requirement of 3 years of minimum experience. This can hurt your chances of appealing to the Gen Z crowd. At the end of the day, you don’t want to create a gap between what you advertise and what you expect. If you say you need an entry-level candidate, then it’s best to set an expectation that the candidates who do apply, will have little to no industry experience. It also helps with the appeal factor because the Zoomer candidates will walk into an interview knowing full well that all expectations have been met and that you have enabled a high level of transparency.
"You have to value skills and not just degrees."
- Ginni Rometty, Ex-CEO of IBM
How You Can Appeal to Gen Z
We already know that the upcoming generations are becoming more and more tech-savvy. They don’t know a world without TikTok, Discord, iPhones, and Snapchat. It is the norm for them and most of us who have adapted to the arrival of technology since. The Gen Z crowd is a perfect example of tech-savvy digital natives. They are also good examples of a more diverse group of potential hires. This means that companies need to go the extra step in exhibiting and implementing inclusive and diverse workplaces. In addition to that, here are a few additional ways in which you can employ to appeal to Zoomer candidates.
Incorporate Technology into Operations
As mentioned above, the Zoomer generation is highly tech-savvy. If it connects to the internet, they know how to use it. Therefore, they also expect the companies they work for to have the same capacities. This explains why so many go into tech, IT, and business. Interestingly enough, platforms like TikTok and Discord are being viewed as the future tools of the workplace.
Structure of Communication
This point applies to all employee pools beyond just Gen Z. Having said that, Zoomers are very inquisitive, cautious, and bright. They exhibit high levels of skepticism and are not afraid to question something, even if it is a superior. That is the day and age we live in. Employers are answerable to employees, it is a two-way street in the workplace these days. So, employers will need to adjust their communication style accordingly to be more accommodating of these doubts and questions.
Create an Inclusive Workplace
Given that the Gen Z crowd is one of the more diverse groups of employees that will hit the job markets, it would do a company good to lay the foundations for a more inclusive workspace. More than just saying the workplace is inclusive, employers need to foster a sense of community within the workplace if they hope to appeal to the Zoomer generation.
Gen Z is much more in tune with the human issues in the workspace. That's is something employers will need to focus on.
Give Importance to Human Issues
In the last 10 years or so, the issue of mental health in the workplace has become of great importance. This is the culture they grew up in, and they are wiser for it. They were also raised in a period of uncertainty, with many of them seeing the impacts of the pandemic and even personally experiencing them. These days, workplaces are also really high-functioning, high-stress, fast-paced environments, which can contribute to stress and anxiety. Companies that embrace and provide outlets or resources for these needs will have Gen Z talent flocking to them.
Provide Growth Opportunities
Unlike the millennial crowd, Zoomers are not as attracted to the start-up scene. Instead, they are more drawn to organizations that can provide career growth, a stable work environment, and minimal career risk. They also want companies that recognize these talents and genuinely care about them. It is fair to say that they are a very intuitive candidate pool.
Be Proactive with Information Exchange
We touched on the importance of transparency earlier. Well, this is an important point when employing Gen Z talent. As an employer, it is crucial to communicate tasks clearly and in detail to make sure that everyone is on the same page. The same goes when dealing with Zoomers. It is also important to set clear expectations, for example, at the beginning of a financial year as to what you want them to deliver. Be proactive with this information exchange to make the most of your employee’s skills. This is true for all employees, even those from different generations.