The Millennials’ younger siblings are coming! The first “Gen Z” graduates and interns are appearing this year and, though they are a smaller cohort than their older Millennial counterparts, they will have an important impact on recruitment and retention in the workplace. Their internal culture is different. Each year, Beloit College publishes a “Mindset List” of what its entering freshmen assume “has always been that way.” This year’s list, for the graduating class of 2020, gives us insight into the Gen Z world view.
Gen Zers have grown up in a world that has always been at war. They have never had to watch or listen to a television program on a schedule. They are anxious about paying off hefty student loans and getting that first big job, but they are also confident and knowledgeable about their goals and career paths. Oh–and if you want to reach them, send a text! Email is often ignored. One of the List authors, Tom McBride, says that this newest cohort is an “impatient generation learning how to be patient.”
So as an employer, how do we recruit and retain these creative and confident young adults?
First, Gen Zers are interested in success, but also in building a better world. When recruiting, demonstrate how your company’s work benefits society in this country or around the world.
This generation thinks in shorter time frames. When recruiting, don’t spend a lot of time touting your retirement benefits. Focus on student loan repayment plans, parental leave or other benefits that may apply to them in the next few years.
Give them a chance to develop a customized career path. Even more than Millennials, Gen Z is accustomed to their own playlists, customized areas of study and personal growth. In fact, in a recent survey, job growth was a number one priority. Tout your internal promotions and show them how they can grow and make a difference in your organization.
Finally, the Gen Zers are more likely to value developing skills and building a career in one place, instead of hopping around for the next big promotion. Your investment in their interests and aspirations now will pay big dividends for you and for your Gen Z employees in the future.