Recruiting and Managing Your First Generation Z Employees

In just 5 years, about 20% of our workforce is going to be made up of a new generational group: Generation Z, also known as Gen Z. Born from the mid-to-late 1990s through the early 2010s, this generation has group attributes quite different than others, given the internet and social media-fueled age they grew up in.

Multi-generational teams are nothing new to today’s workforce. But when companies are adding such a dynamic group in mass, understanding the group’s values and motivations can be vital in both recruiting and managing the group. Some basic principals go as follows: “Googling” information has replaced “research,” social media has never not existed, everything is up for discussion/debate, and empathy is at an all-time high.

Generation Z employees

Here are a few things to keep in mind when recruiting and managing this new generation:

  • 30% say they would take a 10-20% pay cut to work for a cause they deeply care about: Good work means meaningful work. Gen Z more commonly wants to feel the direct impact of what they’re doing on the things they care about.
  • Honesty, Integrity, and Mentorship are the highest valued qualities in a manager: I mean, who doesn’t want that? Gen Z is generally very receptive to a “mentorship” style leadership, especially when that leader can demonstrate their competence in a topic/space.
  • Generation Z’s top motivators at work are money/pay (70%), the ability to pursue their passion (46%), and the challenges/excitement of the job (39%): Gen Z has a very dynamic set of motivators in their work. One of the biggest differentiators is their want to do work that has meaning. They actively pursue meaningful work and are inclined to find something more aligned with their if that is not a part of their current work.

All of these factors are important to proactively keep in mind in both recruiting and managing this new generational workforce. Gen Z is generally a hard working and determined group, willing to put in extra hours to get difficult tasks done. But they also expect to be valued for this extra determination, feel ownership in their work/creation, and directly see the impact that have. This can all be shown in the recruitment process upfront.

Forwardly demonstrate your company values, being honest in the same way so you don’t mislead candidates on what you offer. I mean, honesty is the highest valued quality in leadership to this generational group. Leading with empathy and purpose is going to set apart organizations and managers that are successful in retaining this new talent. Embrace chance, be agile, and be accepting of different perspectives. Gen Z is one of the most diverse generations, in several ways (people, values, ideas, etc.), and supporting this diversity is a must.

So, basically, be ready for a new generation to flood into our workforces and be ready for the changes that come with that.

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