Generation Z, broadly defined as anyone born between 1997 and 2012, represents one of the largest and most influential demographics around the world today. As Gen Z continues to enter the professional workforce, recruiters must adapt their strategies in order to better appeal to the unique perspective of this generation of workers.
An essential characteristic of Gen Z for employers to understand is their communication style. This manifests in two aspects of recruitment: attraction and retention. To attract Gen Z employees, employers may find they must deviate from methods with which they are familiar and tune in to where Gen Z can be found.
Using Social Media
Cultivating a social media presence for a brand may have seemed like a waste of time and effort in the past, but now it represents an avenue in addition to the traditional application and interview processes through which Gen Z can evaluate your company and decide if it would be a suitable fit for them. Essential decisions include which social media channels to create profiles on and the type of content to post. An understanding of why Gen Z uses social media and what they are looking for when they view a company’s profile will make these decisions easier. Social media is not the only way to communicate with Gen Z, however; they understand professional communication through email, and are also open to text messaging. While some may prefer text messaging, others may perceive it as a break of the work/life balance boundary.
TIP: See our first article about attracting Gen Z to your workplace.
Gen Z and the Pandemic
In terms of retention, understanding Gen Z communication remains important. Managers have observed a slower development of interpersonal skills in some Gen Z employees that affects their engagement with coworkers and supervisors in the workplace and their overall integration in office culture. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly represents a major factor in this slowed development. Older Gen Z missed out on formative internship experiences and interactions with university professors in the advanced classes that occurred online, while younger Gen Z has missed essential development with their teachers and peers in their primary and intermediate schooling. These challenges can become apparent in the workplace, and some experts suggest that companies provide training in these soft skills in order to set up Gen Z for success in their company.
TIP: Are you experiencing burnout in the workplace? Find tips here.
Values of Gen Z
If a potential Gen Z applicant feels that they will not be supported in the environment of your company, they are highly unlikely to apply. Gen Z is extremely value-oriented. Employers should openly and authentically promote their corporate social responsibility and ethics in order to recruit and retain Gen Z employees. Above all, openness in communication is an essential way to connect with Gen Z employees. Accessibility of not only the ethical values of the company and how they are implemented day to day, but also transparency in salary, how to progress in their career, and the importance of their individual contributions will allow for Gen Z to feel effectively engaged at work.
Overall, Generation Z represents a powerful demographic that will soon become a majority in the workplace. Gen Z cultivates specific values and ideals, especially open communication, that employers must understand in order to successfully recruit and retain Gen Z employees.