How to Recruit and Retain Gen Z Employees

As Boomers and the oldest Gen X are exiting the workforce, younger Millennials and Gen Z are flowing in. While the younger generations seem to be completely different than the older generations, many care about some of the same things- financial security, working conditions, etc. However, due to social and cultural differences in the era that Gen Z has grown up in, they have concerns that were never even workplace topics of discussion 20 years ago.

Now that Gen Z are participating and even influencing the labor market, it is time to take a step back. Now, recruiting and retaining Gen Z employees means pinpointing what is really important and adjusting strategies.

What Really Matters to a Gen Z’er

Widespread Financial Anxiety

The top concern for Gen Z (and even Millennials) is their financial situation. Pay is the number 1 reason that younger workers left their jobs in the last year. Can we blame them? I mean 46% of Gen Z are living paycheck to paycheck.

Meanwhile 42% are working more than one job to cover living expenses.

Working Conditions

Three words.

Voluntary job turnover.

With the Great Resignation continuing throughout 2022, 40% of Gen Z workers reported that they would like to leave their jobs within two years, and many would leave without even having another job lined up. While that number may seem concerning, research has shown that employee loyalty could potentially be growing. From 2021 to 2022, the number of Gen Z workers reporting they want to leave their jobs in two years actually dropped by 13% – from 53% to 40%.

When choosing an employer, Gen Z prioritizes employers that will invest in them. They aren’t just looking for a good work/life balance. They also want to be sold on the opportunity that they will grow and develop where they are. Additionally, culture fit is important. If you don’t align with their values (or express it), you could have young candidates rejecting your job offers.

Environmental Concerns

According to many young Millennials and Gen Z’er, the Boomers and the oldest Gen X have pretty much ruined Mother Earth. 75% of Gen Z say the earth is at a tipping point, and many are willing to do whatever it takes to support sustainable change.

As a result, these young workers want to see businesses, the people who have the most impact on society, invest in visible, everyday environmental actions.

Mental Health Support

Between burnout, high levels of stress, and ineffective action, Gen Z believes there is a mental health crisis spreading across the workforce. While businesses are beginning to talk about mental health more, it is time for there to be some action that translates to tangible, positive change.

4 Tips to Recruit and Retain Gen Z Employees

Meet them in the Middle

A common theme through this entire Labor Shortage and Great Resignation is…

Candidates are demanding and employers are refusing to meet them halfway.

When recruiting Gen Z, you can’t have the mindset my way or the highway. In the end, the highway may be what you end up with. Despite (and because of) their financial anxiety, they still worry about ending up in a workplace with an employer that doesn’t offer them security.

First and foremost, if you can, then pay your employees more. With finances and long-term financial planning being a concern for Gen Z, you should be actively working to address many of the pay inequalities that exist. It’s going to be really hard to be competitive if you can’t address young employees’ financial concerns.

If you can’t pay more, then make your job offer more competitive by offering perks that will save money or make the candidate’s life easier. The key in this is to listen to your candidates, and hear what concerns they have about their future so you know exactly what to offer. Some examples include:

  • Paid time off
  • Work from home benefits
  • Healthcare
  • Retirement savings
  • Financial education and resources
  • Growth and development opportunities for career advancement

Give Your Young Employees Some Agency

The best way to retain young employees and keep them engaged is to give them a voice. Gen Z wants to work for businesses that share the same values as they do. So, give them an opportunity to spearhead different projects related to what they are passionate about.

It is also important to listen. With environmental, social, and mental health concerns affecting the majority of Gen Z workers, it is vital that you hear what solutions they may propose to enact change in the community or in their own work environment. Seeing their ideas reflected in the business’s actions help them feel like the work they do is meaningful and that they are making a difference.

Where’s the Growth?

Growth and development can be looked at from two different perspectives.

First, you know that Gen Z, like Millennials, want opportunities to educate themselves and develop new skills. Offering programs, education funds, training courses, and more will help recruit and retain Gen Z workers.

On the other hand, you also have to show how the company is growing. I don’t just mean showing candidates how many more sales you have or how you are increasing productivity. I mean showing candidates how you are making commitments to your workforce that translates to positive outcomes. For example, mental health and work/life balance in the workplace are major concerns for Gen Z. So, you should be able to concretely show how you are addressing those concerns so that your current employees are happier, healthier, and more ready to deal with stress.

Flex Your Company’s Values

Less than 50% of Gen Z workers believe that businesses are actually making a positive impact in society. When trying to recruit and retain Gen Z candidates who prioritize company culture and culture fit, it can be really difficult if you aren’t active in society. If you are active, then now is the time to flex it.

Show candidates what your business’s values are and how you are perpetuating those in society. Then take it a step further and show them the positive impact you are making. If this is something that the candidate is interested in, then offer to allow them to be part of the initiative, project, etc.

All statistics on this page come from: The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey

If you are ready to tackle recruiting Gen Z, then it’s time to start with a

free job posting.

Remember, share your job posting, reach out on social media, connect with passive candidates and don’t forget to prioritize your candidate experience. Goodluck!

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