Generation Z is entering the workforce, and unlike the Millennials and Gen Xers that came before, they are industrious and driven by money.
Now at around 67 million, Gen Z includes those born between 1997 and 2014. Similar to the Silent Generation, Gen Z grew up during the financial crisis of 2008 which has influenced how they think about success. With parents who had to tighten their belts, scale back, and potentially downsize, Gen Z puts greater emphasis on wanting a stable job that is “recession proof,” instead of taking risks or wanting to be self-employed. The combination of growing up during the Great Recession and graduating college into an economy with an unemployment rate of 4 percent, has molded Gen Z to be cautious, competitive and pragmatic. And to date, they are the most racially diverse group entering the workforce.
Before you stop reading this blog and high-tail it to the nearest college campus for a makeshift recruiting event, here's what else you need to know. Because they grew up in the time of technology and social media, Gen Z’s are extremely tech savvy (more so than the Millennials) however, with tech communication reining supreme, they are more anxious, socially reserved, and uncomfortable with one-on-one interactions.
So, how do you attract these socially awkward worker bees?
Use more video
Because Gen Z grew up using phones and social media for communicating, they don’t necessarily feel comfortable speaking to people directly. This can be an issue when it comes to interviewing and training. Try using video technology in recruiting by asking potential hires to record the answers to your questions and send in via video diary. Record YouTube-style training videos so they can follow along on their phones to learn new skills on their own time.
Hands on and hands off
Unlike previous generations, Generation Z grew up trusting adults and authority figures. And, they prefer their bosses and managers to step in and help them during rough situations. However, as one company found, many Gen Z’s don’t like to work in teams and are more motivated by money and individual recognition.
Mental health is important
With higher reported levels of depression and anxiety, it’s important to provide mental health resources to Generation Z. For example, try partnering with free mental health hotlines to provide a place for struggling employees to call and chat with a counselor.
As more Gen Z’s enter the workplace, employers are going to have to start adjusting to their unique learning and working preferences. But, with their strong work ethic and drive for financial success, they might be the ones to fill the talent gap.
Are you struggling to communicate with your multi-generational workforce? Watch our on-demand webinar below for more tips.