If I had been born one Olympic Games cycle later, I could include myself in Gen Z. Alas, I’m classified as a Millennial, and now that Gen Z is growing up, marketers and businesses are after this fresher generation’s attention.
While there’s no exact start and end date to who counts as Gen Z, demographers and statisticians generally consider this generation as people born between the mid 1990s and mid 2000s.
Also referred to as Post-Millennials, Gen Z is defined by kids who grew up using the internet at a young age, and are comfortable with social media and technology.
Now that the older end of Gen Z is preparing to graduate college, a new demographic is entering the workforce. Employers who were previously scrambling to attract Millennials are now after the freshest crop of recruits.
Bazaarvoice, a social strategy company that connects brands to consumers, weighs in on what Gen Z is looking for when it comes to employment. 73% of their workforce are Millennials, so Bazaarvoice clearly knows how to attract and retain young talent.
Based on their research and experiences, Bazaarvoice dug into what Gen Z wants from companies, and how businesses can work to reach this upcoming group.
Like Millennials, Gen Z are considered digital natives, aka people who were raised using technology rather than acquiring familiarity at an older age. However, this doesn’t mean Gen Z wants the same thing as Millennials in a career.
Gen Z kids grew up during a time of social progress, and tend to value inclusion for all demographics. Equal marriage rights, electing a black president, and more vocal religious diversity were not historical moments for this generation, but rather a normal part of life.
This is the most diverse generation to date, and they expect to see this reflected in their workplace. A commitment to diversity as well as clearly established company values will draw in this new batch of employees.
Companies should consider providing initiatives like matching charitable donations, paid time off for volunteer days, or even volunteer opportunities directly through work. According to Bazaarvoice, “equality is non-negotiable” for Gen Z.
Employers should ensure their hiring practices bring diverse candidates to the recruitment pool with “blind” screening, no gender pay gaps, and a welcoming workplace that celebrates diverse identities.
And make sure to really stick with and clearly communicate these initiatives and values, because Gen Z will certainly put in the research. Expect your Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and social media pages to be thoroughly analyzed by this tech-savvy generation. Any indiscretion will be noted.
Your employer brand must be consistent across the board to provide honest expectations to a generation wary of hollow advertisements. Including current employee stories in your promotions aids authenticity since this group prefers recommendations from people, not ads.
Once you’ve got Gen Z’s attention with your company values, you have to match their ambition as well.
Gen Z isn’t going to settle for some low pay, crap benefits position. Since a significant portion owes on student loans for education they’ve acquired to work for you, they’ll hope to be fairly compensated with a competitive salary and decent benefits.
This generation grew up with social media influencers and young CEOs rising to fame, so they’re quite independent and motivated. Gen Zers don’t want to feel like part of the machine, they want to make a real impact even at an entry-level position.
Offer chances for autonomy, personal growth, and continued education to appeal to this incredibly motivated group. Gen Z makes up around a quarter of the population, and employers who put in the effort to reach this group will benefit as more Gen Zers enter the workforce.