How to Attract and Manage the Generation Z Workforce

By Jordann Donskey

For the last few years, the millennial labor force has dominated many HR conversations, but it’s important to note the new generation joining the workforce: Generation Z. Experts find that the needs and experiences of Generation Z are unique, as they are the first generation to only know life with mobile and internet technology. Therefore, they encompass an overall different attitude about work.  Companies need to know what the priorities of these job seekers are as Generation Z will represent 20% of the workforce by the year 2020.

What Generation Z is Looking For
Generation Z wants to know that they are making a positive impact in their organization with the security of having opportunities for growth. They value mentorships and want to know what is expected of them. They have goals and need a clear path to reach them. They don’t expect to get paid for just showing up; but, they do want to be generously paid in salary and benefits for their work efforts. Like most people, they seek job security in a flexible environment.

Aligning Your Recruiting Efforts to Support Generation Z Job Seekers

  1. Highlight Your Company Culture
    Generation Z job seekers value the companies they work for, but they can see through fluff. They want to work for organizations that have integrity. Attracting these job seekers means you must position the positive traits of your organization. Philanthropy and social consciousness is important to this generation, so take advantage of social media to highlight how your organization works as a good steward to society.
  1. Use Technology to Your Advantage
    Generation Z is tech savvy, especially when it comes to their smart phones, so your recruiting efforts should reflect this. Post jobs online and make it easy for applicants to apply right from their phones. Additionally, instead of sending emails or calling applicants about the status of their applications, send text messages. A good applicant tracking system will allow you to send batch SMS messages and create automatic replies.

    Still, while Generation Z engages heavily with technology, don’t be fooled. They still value face-to-face time and prefer an in-person interview over a virtual one.

  1. Consider a Wide Range of Experiences
    According to Business Insider, Generation Z individuals start thinking about their careers earlier than previous generations. In fact, 50% of Gen Z high school students are already completing internships and taking advantage of volunteering opportunities in fields they’re interested in.  That said, be sure to consider non-traditional work and education experiences when reviewing Generation Z applications.  Tracking internships, volunteerism, school projects and community projects will be more critical than ever as Generation Z has learned in more explorative ways than previous generations.

How to Manage Generation Z

  1. Streamline Onboarding
    Your human capital management system should have the latest tools to support a streamlined onboarding process. Because Generation Z rarely unplugs from technology, their minds are constantly stimulated. They do not like waiting for things to happen. They want to get moving in their new careers as soon as possible. Therefore, your applicant tracking solution should integrate with your onboarding system, so that accurate data is collected and ready to produce the road map necessary for successful employee onboarding.
  1. Communicate Growth Opportunities
    Generation Z individuals are looking for growth opportunities both personally and professionally, so they want to know the career paths available to them and won’t hesitate to search elsewhere if they feel they are stagnant or confused about their future. To avoid this, your human capital management system should support employee development, training and performance management.  Be sure to communicate clear pathways of growth and meet monthly, quarterly, and yearly to discuss their career goals.
  1. Encourage Creativity and Independence
    Generation Z job seekers are more entrepreneurial than previous generations.  They are attracted to the appeal of being their own boss. Those that choose a traditional career course will bring their entrepreneurial spirit with them; employers should understand this and tap into this innovation and energy.  It is imperative that you encourage Generation Z workers to take risks and support job enrichment activities in this vein.
  1. Implement New Technologies
    The tech savvy Generation Z will excel in work settings that are modern and take full advantage of the latest technology. In order to keep Generation Z engaged in the workplace, consider implementing new tech initiatives and having Generation Z employees take the lead. This will complement their skills as well as challenge them.

Start with Recruiting
Preparing for the Generation Z workforce starts with recruiting tactics that attract their entrepreneurial spirits, in addition to having an applicant tracking system that suits their mobile life. When it comes to managing and retaining Gen Z talent, it’s imperative to nurture their willingness to learn and grow. This large generation entering the workforce today will lead organizations into the modern challenges of tomorrow.

Jordann Donskey is a senior marketer at EPAY Systems is a leading SaaS provider of seamless human capital management technology and services designed to help medium to large businesses manage their workforce in a lot less time and with a lot less work.

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