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Recruiting Generation Z

Posted on 15/05/2019 by Tracey George MIRP

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The current UK workforce can be roughly split up into the following demographic groups:

  • Baby Boomers - born between 1944 and 1964
  • Generation X - born between 1965 and 1979
  • Generation Y, or the Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994
  • Generation Z - born between 1995 and 2015

Generation Z are the most recent cohort; the oldest of them are now turning 24 and moving on from university or apprenticeships into the workforce. The first generation of true digital natives, gen Z have often been lumped together with the technologically savvy millennials, but early research suggests that they value different things in the workplace. Gen Z are more pragmatic, more money-conscious and more entrepreneurial that their millennial counterparts.

This generation will eventually dominate the workforce and with good candidates in increasingly short supply, employers will have to adapt their hiring practices and working practices to entice Gen Z on board. So what do generation Z really value and how can organisations position themselves as employers of choice?

Even more focus on technology

Whilst millennials are generally considered to be digitally savvy, Gen Z is the first generation to be born into a world of smartphones and social media and to have used the Internet from a young age.

They have an instinctive understanding of and attraction to new technology and want to work for organisations positioned at the cutting edge. They are looking for employers who embrace digital change, rather than shy away from it, and who are looking for new and innovative ways of working. If your organisation is working on something different, speak up about it in your recruitment process.

Face to face communications

Gen Z have grown up with technology, but research has shown that while millennials may be happy communicating via email and instant messaging, this generation prefer to talk face-to-face. They understand the limitations that technology can place on communication and prefer to talk in person.

When you’re hiring, don’t assume that your younger candidates will automatically prefer Skype interviews or remote working – they know the value of face to face time.

Constant contact

A recent report has found that nearly one in five generation Z candidates will drop out of the recruitment process, even after being offered a job. They are familiar with blocking and ghosting in their personal communications and are much more willing to disengage from the recruitment process if they lose interest.

Generation Z have grown up with constant personalised communication through digital channels from brands and advertisers. They are used to being courted and if your recruitment process is too long, too complicated or you fail to keep in constant contact, they will look elsewhere.

Money conscious

Generation Z have grown up during the Great Recession and in a consistently uncertain economic climate. Combined with some of the highest fees for university education in the world, this has given them a more pragmatic and frugal approach to money than the millennials.

While not necessarily motivated by high salaries, they are looking for jobs that offer a secure income and are willing to work for it. They are more likely to have a “side hustle” to earn extra cash, more willing to work evenings and weekends and happier to relocate for a new job than previous generation.

While it’s difficult for charities to compete on salary, you can continue to attract generation Z candidates by offering roles with clear career paths and opportunities for advancement. Generation Z employees are three times more likely to stay with their first employer for five or more years if they feel their skills are fully utilised.

Independence is more valued than collaboration

One of the defining features of the millennials in the workplace was their preference for collaboration and open teamworking. Generation Z are much more independent, entrepreneurial and competitive. Giving gen Z employees sole responsibility for projects is a sure way to make them happy.

In the work place, generation Z like their personal space and boundaries. Unlike millennials, who were happy hotdesking and sharing workspaces, they need spaces for quiet, focused work.

Flexibility is still a must

The one key area that all the generations agree on is the need for flexible working opportunities. Employees of all ages and genders want working schedules that will fit in with their lifestyle, whether that’s giving them time for hobbies and socialising, helping them to care for children or elderly relatives or simply cutting their commute times.

At TPP, we’ve written a great deal about the need for charities to offer better flexible working options to their employees and although there are more opportunities available, it is nowhere near the level of demand. Those organisations who can offer more choice and flexibility at work have a huge competitive advantage when it comes to hiring the best talent.

If you’d like more tailored information on attracting the next generation of candidates and how to make your roles attractive, get in touch with TPP Recruitment today.