The younger generations have been entering the labour market for several years now. They bring with them new values and an innovative view of the world – not only of recruitment. They are also a challenge for recruiters, HR professionals and managers. This is due to different needs and generation Z work expectations.
There are many myths and rumours, both positive and negative, surrounding this group. What do they relate to? What are generation Z professionals really like? What kind of employees are they? Get to know gen Z in the workplace!
What does gen Z want in the workplace?
To begin with, a brief definition – who actually represents Generation Z (Post-Millenials)? Averaging data from multiple sources, it is assumed that these are people born between 1997 and 2010, in addition to the equally common 1995-2012 option. This is the generation following the Millenials.
Gen Z is mostly just entering the job market and starting to build a career. While approximately 37% of people employed in many companies and corporations are Millenials, who are now, in many cases, quite established in their development, position, or have managed to change their employer, position or reorganize 1-2 times. It is predicted that Generation Z will soon make up 27% of employees in corporations.
Despite the small age difference between these generations, the candidates representing them differ significantly. This is particularly evident in their values and in their choice of work, communication style, expectations for their career development and working conditions.
Generation Z people have grown up in the presence of widespread access to the Internet, electronic devices, making them very proficient (“tech savvy”) in the digital world. So, what are Generation Z work expectations? Flexibility about the form of work is important to them, and the most preferred is the possibility of working completely remotely or at least in a hybrid form. Similarly, mobility. Less important is the appearance of the office. Many people are also positive when it comes to hybrid work, which does not impose on them a rigid presence in the office just for formality, but which is supposed to be a form of natural integration with other co-workers, which they also care a lot about.
Generation Z and work. What motivates gen Z in the workplace?
Generation Z’s work expectations from their employer are trust, transparency and opportunities for growth. They simply want to work efficiently and effectively – preferably without wasting time commuting. When it comes to interest in benefits, simple solutions work best.
Both Millenials and Gen Z will not be attracted by the offer of Fruit Tuesdays. Instead, their eyes will be attracted by the offer of an organization that supports and adheres to ideas and values that are in line with theirs, a company that strongly and actively supports environmental initiatives, diversity, inclusiveness, equal opportunities in education, support for people with disabilities, sustainable development, is more likely to attract the attention of candidates from these generations.
For this reason, the most frequently cited attractive benefits are additional days off, the opportunity to take part in volunteer work, workation, good medical care and the possibility of psychological consultation. In addition, a wide range of interesting training courses, subsidies for external training, helping, for example, to obtain certificates that are significant on the labor market. What’s more, instead of a wide variety of benefits, the biggest motivator to work for Gen Z is simply good pay – which they are not afraid to negotiate during recruitment interviews.
“I want it all” mindset and FOMO – issues facing Gen Z candidates
Generation Z candidates are hungry for knowledge and practice. They often have a very complex plan for their development, which they want to implement as soon as possible. The information surrounding them from everywhere, new trends in the markets (for example, the phenomenon of the growth of the UX industry), the development of technology and just the general “mentality” of this generation make many people eager to engage in activities in different directions, whether in addition to their current job, internship, earn some sort of extra income or learn new skills. They take up more and more courses, and are also eager to learn on their own, using the benefits of the Internet – they get their knowledge from Youtube, github, courses on Udemy, etc. They are also open to, for example, rotating tasks among the teams they work in to learn as much as possible.
On the other hand, this also has the other side of the coin – Gen Z often, in their plethora of side hustles and various activities, forgets that sometimes they just need to slow down, that their own pace of career development should not be aligned with that of others. Sometimes “less” is better – if only for work-life fit.
The phenomenon of FOMO (fear of missing out on something, such as an event), which a large part of this generation struggles with, in various fields, is related to the desire to do everything and take on so much. Gen Z wants to always be up to date and never miss a thing, which, in addition to the positives, can sometimes cause frustration. Why? For example, in situations where one discovers that they “don’t feel” this new skill or niche they happen to be delving into, even though it is currently quite desirable. On the other hand, thanks to this plasticity of motivation to learn something new when the old no longer brings such satisfaction, this generation simply has the ease of adapting to change. Gen Z respects their time and is less likely to last by force in places and positions that no longer give them satisfaction and new opportunities.
Generation Z people appreciate fast and rather informal communication. Instant messaging and corporate communications such as MS Teams, Slack, etc. work best and most efficiently for them. Similarly, text messages, or short but substantive phone calls (e.g., in the recruitment process: candidates are more likely to have their phone handy than an email opened on a laptop). If the information provided by email, then only short and specific, clear. Online meetings, especially when working remotely from time to time, will also be seen as valuable, as long as it is not a meeting jokingly referred to as “a meeting that could be an email”. “The Zetas” believe that some issues can be handled in other ways far more quickly than an hour-long conversation.
Recruiting the Gen Z generation
Generation Z candidates will pay the most attention to ads that contain the substance of the most necessary information. That is, one in which the role is well described and the requirements are clearly defined. They’re also willing to talk about the recruiter’s direct offer to them, as long as it’s actually tailored to their interests and you can see that the recruiter really wanted to spend time with that person.
Since this generation is well-versed in all social media, using Facebook, Twitter, and Discord will be valuable in recruiting Gen Z candidates. Even Instagram and Tik Tok will also come in handy – especially the latter platform is already being used quite extensively in shaping EB and recruitment strategies geared toward this generation.
In terms of Candidate Experience, specific, good but regular communication, a clear explanation of the process (not consisting of 7 stages) and the duration of the recruitment process are indicated as most important for this generation. Feedback is also important, and young people treat it as a valuable signpost for the future.