We read a lot in the press about millennials, but what about Generation Z? As the eldest are about to enter the workforce, businesses need to be considering the next round of future workers and what they can do to entice and more importantly, keep them. Although it’s unrealistic to characterise an entire workforce, it can be helpful to consider the background and era that this generation has grown up with and how this can be reflected in job roles and descriptions.

Generation Z v millennials

Unlike millennials who can still just about remember the slower pace of technology, this generation have grown up in an era which is adaptable, on-demand and customisable. This is therefore reflected in their demands of employers – they want flexibility, clearly defined development opportunities and responsibility. However, this doesn’t have to be limited to larger organisations. For smaller businesses, this represents a massive opportunity to offer a new employee exposure across all areas of the business. Gaining a 360 degree view of a business is an attractive prospect to young, ambitious workers. Be sure to state this in your job advertisement – mapping out the development opportunities and being clear about the timescales for promotion.

One difference, according to studies, is that generation Z prefer the old-fashioned way of communicating – face to face. In comparison to their counterparts, who prefer electronic means of communication, this generation are more likely to want a conversation. This is an important consideration in the recruitment process and businesses may want to offer an  informal chat at the initial stages, rather than the traditional route of advertising and then conducting interviews.   

Attract candidates with benefits – not job titles

In terms of recruiting and attracting Gen Z, job titles are not as important as they are possibly to other generations. It’s more about what the role can offer them and where it will take them.  As many have grown up in the age of the entrepreneur, it is predicted that a large proportion have ambitions to run their own businesses. If they can see clear development opportunities at your business over a competitor, this is a larger pull than a fancy job title.

What’s more, research suggests that a large percentage of this generation will not go onto higher education due to cost of fees, with many turning to apprenticeship schemes. Therefore offering training opportunities at work, or professional development, will be seen as large incentive.

Offering flexible working opportunities is a massive plus and demonstrates that a business is modern and forward-thinking. The 9-5 model is outdated, and both millennials and generation Z are coming to expect something different. If you offer flexible working, then make sure this stands out in your recruitment advert and on the job description, as it’s a massive plus.

Where to find them

Social media is the ideal platform to use to recruit them, particularly LinkedIn, Facebook Jobs and Instagram using relevant hashtags. However, if you’re a small business make sure that your own corporate social media channels are up to scratch as potential candidates are likely to research your business, and nothing looks worse than unloved and unused accounts.

Don’t be afraid to show off your company values

What we have learnt from millennials is that a strong brand is important to candidates, as is a focus on CSR. This generation care about sustainability; they have ethics and morals and if your company can demonstrate all of these then you are likely to attract a high calibre of employee.

Go deep on the job description

Further research suggests that due to the nature of the technology they have grown up with, generation Z are excellent multi-taskers. They can handle numerous tasks and can work on the move. Don’t be afraid to incorporate this into the job description, spelling out exactly what the role will involve and when.

Get it right from the start

The most important thing to remember, whoever you’re hiring, is to have a good onboarding scheme in place. In many of the exit interviews we conduct, employees cite poor onboarding as a major factor for their unhappiness and decision to leave. A good experience from day one is more likely to keep your employee motivated and enthused.

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