Stephanie Blewett explores what Gen Zs look for in a workplace and provides insights on attracting and nurturing the potential within this emerging cohort.
Known for their digital savviness and adaptability, Generation Zs are the cohort born between 1997 and 2012. As the largest generation (32% of the global population), they represent a pool of well-educated, skilled, and resilient talent whose potential is only starting to be realised. As more of this group enter the workforce, many are weighing up the value of traditional higher education and seeking diverse career opportunities.
Why do organisations need Generation Zs?
Many organisations invariably require entry-level positions and roles designed to foster succession planning. As companies expand, the inclusion of this generation in their workforce becomes increasingly important, giving experienced team members the opportunity to coach and mentor the next wave of aspiring successors.
While Millennials (born 1981-1996) exhibit a strong affinity for teamwork and collaboration, Generation Zs tend to exhibit greater autonomy. These individuals demonstrate a high level of dedication, actively seeking solutions on their own, often leveraging the vast resources available on the internet.
Generation Zs represents the first cohort to have grown up immersed in technology. While millennials experienced major technological advancements, Generation Zs have been continuously connected to the internet and social media. They possess an inherent understanding of leveraging online resources to find the information required to address challenges encountered in their daily work.
How to attract Generation Z talent
Generation Zs love learning, and they value diversity and a healthy work culture. To attract Generation Zs, employers must develop and offer robust training and leadership programs, with a tangible focus on diversity. This can include:
- A compelling EVP & Employee Benefits
In today's competitive labour market, organisations must develop a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that caters to the needs of all generations, particularly early career professionals. An EVP represents the company's core values and showcases what it stands for. To attract Generation Z talent, businesses must offer a broad range of initiatives that align with their values, such as supporting charities and involvement in volunteer work, providing additional leave benefits, and referral bonuses. The values-focused EVP should also have a focus on employee wellbeing, such as access to mental health resources, parental support programs, and health and wellbeing initiatives.
Engaging and retaining Generation Z talent goes beyond offering competitive benefits. This generation seeks meaningful work that allows them to make an impact and grow personally and professionally. Creating a culture that promotes engagement and supports a sense of purpose will help to draw in and retain Generation Z talent.
- Thinking beyond the traditional office setting
Generation Zs value flexible work environments, which may involve hybrid working models and workplace experiences beyond the traditional office setting. Organisations should shift their focus from simply having people in the office to creating enduring factors truly make the commute worthwhile. Leaders should also focus on driving innovation, creating social connections and loyalty rather than tracking productivity alone.
- Career Progression, Training, & Coaching
Generation Zs value career progression and opportunities for professional growth. With this in mind, organisations should provide clear progression pathways that align with individual career goals. Offering comprehensive training and coaching programs for entry-level roles is crucial when attracting Generation Z talent. By investing in their development, organisations demonstrate a commitment to their employees' long-term success.
What’s next for Generation Zs?
As the job market becomes increasingly candidate-focused, organisations face the challenge of standing out and attracting top talent. Enhancing workplace diversity, fostering an authentic culture of inclusion, and implementing a social impact strategy can have a positive impact on a company’s ability to attract Generation Z talent as well as its bottom line.
Generation Zs value more than money alone. They are passionate about making a difference and want to work somewhere that aligns with their own values. By adapting to the evolving expectations of the largest cohort and building a robust EVP, businesses can compete for top talent and harness the potential of this generation.
Senior Talent Advisor