Beginning to emerge right now is Gen Z. Made up of those born between the years of 1997 – 2012, Gen Z is a generation of true digital pioneers. They are digital natives with tech as part of their DNA. What generations before them had to actively learn, Gen Z just “know”.
They are a cohort that has and will have, a lifelong technical aptitude. With the skills and know-how to really level up a workforce, techie Gen Zs will have their pick of employers.
In the competition to employ this generation, organisations need to understand them in order to offer something that they want to be a part of.
As a recruiter or hiring manager, we know that a job description is marketing collateral. This short snapshot of the role and organisation can entice, or it can repel. So how can you write a job description that appeals to Gen Z? How can you connect with them, and encourage applications? And once you have them in process, how do you give them a recruiting experience that genuinely excites them and makes them want to work for you?
What matters to Gen Z?
Here are some stats about how you can create a brand and company that attract Gen Z.
9 out of 10 Gen Z-ers believe that companies have a responsibility to address social and environmental issues.
Stats from McKinsey reveal that Gen Z REALLY cares about environmental issues and social responsibility. Appealing to Gen Z means that you need to connect your company’s story with the larger global narrative. Are you building something that contributes to social causes or sustainability, for example? Or how will your developers make an impact with the code they are shipping? Using these factors as a proposition will enable Gen Z applicants to see how they, and their work, can make a real impact on the bigger picture.
Companies with a social and environmental focus are also rewarded with Gen Z loyalty. So whether you are looking to harness their skills by hiring them or have them as a customer, it is essential that employers recognise this Gen Z priority and adopt it as their own.
Diversity and inclusion.
83% of Gen Z believe a company’s diversity and inclusion policies are a deal breaker when it comes to choosing an employer.
So what can an employer do to ensure that their diversity policies are in line with Gen Z thinking?
To tackle this, it’s important to note that ‘diversity’ means something different to Gen Z. To Gen Z, diversity and inclusion are more than the demographic tick boxes of age, religion, gender, race, sexuality, and physical ability. To Gen Z, diversity and inclusion also address how different points of view are accepted and valued.
The Gen Z workforce is more likely to define diversity as a mix of experiences, identities, ideas, and opinions. This goes against the more traditional definition of diversity, which presents as the underrepresentation of racial, ethnic, and gender demographics. This is a view also referred to as “cognitive diversity”.
Therefore, a Gen Z friendly workspace would tackle diversity by creating a more collaborative environment that values participation from people with different ideas and perspectives.
Of course, adopting this path of “cognitive diversity” holds many benefits beyond attracting a skilled and digital native workforce. Teams that comprise people with multiple experiences, as well as backgrounds have been proven to be more innovative, more productive, and more successful.
Professional development and opportunity.
32% of Gen Z-ers believe they should have opportunities for promotion within 6 months.
Gen Z is ambitious and hungry for success. These workers are entirely comfortable with asking for what they want. Across the board, younger workers tend to ask employers for bigger pay or better perks, compared with their older colleagues.
To attract this cohort, job descriptions should articulately and clearly include the steps your organisation takes to promote and support employee development. It should provide detail into the career opportunities that employees are likely to have, and exactly how a career path for a new hire has the potential to evolve. To attract and recruit them, it’s necessary to show them there is a pathway to getting ahead.
Attracting Gen Z. The takeaways.
In sum, strengthening your workforce with Gen Z employees is a strategic move. It has the potential to transform how your business moves forward, giving you access to a new bank of technical skills and competencies. This cohort has tech at its heart, and along with technical ability they exhibit the capacity to adapt to any cultural climate.
However, it is important for recruiters and hiring managers to note that Gen Z views the world differently than the generations that have gone before. To attract, recruit and retain this intrinsically digital group, organisations must lead with the wider personal and social issues that matter to them.