At a recent recruitment event for students, the guest speaker (a manager from a local company) publicly berated one of the students for texting on her mobile phone whilst he was presenting. “You will need to learn to pay attention if you want a good job’ the speaker said. She responded “What you were saying was so interesting that I was taking notes on my phone”. Just one more mismatch between the norms and expectations of different generations.

Recently we wrote a blog about the expectations of millennials and how employers might need to rethink their approach to recruiting the brightest talent. If there is confusion about what millennials expect, then be prepared for more potential confusion when you’re managing and recruiting Generation Z (18 – 20 years), who didn’t have to learn about new technologies and social media – they were born into it. They have grown up with a constant proliferation of information on a fully mobile internet.

With Generation Z making up an increasingly significant part of the available workforce by 2020 you have to ask yourself are you ready?

In general

We meet a lot of ‘Gen Z’  and our experience of recruiting them indicates that they are Millennials+!

In general, we find them ambitious, dedicated and ready to work. They expect that they will have to work harder than previous generations to have the career they aspire to. Contrary to popular belief that don’t expect to be job hoppers and want stability in jobs they enjoy – but they will not hesitate to move on to find the employer they enjoy working for. They are not impressed by hierarchical management styles and expect to advance on merit, not ‘time served’.

When looking for a job, Generation Z’s biggest priorities tend to be:

  • Growth opportunities
  • Pay
  • Making a positive impact
  • Job security
  • Flexible hours
  • Managers they can learn from

The good news for smaller employers who’ll be recruiting Generation Z is that they like to work in a collaborative small team environment where they can make an impact and (despite digital communication being second nature) they enjoy face to face communication. Whilst they like the perceived financial stability of larger businesses they will often trade pay for interesting and engaging work where there is a greater opportunity to shine and make a difference. Many actively seek employers who have a reputation for making a positive contribution to society.

Don’t expect 24/7 commitment

No matter how much they care, Generation Z won’t devote their lives to your business 24/7. Work-life balance is important to them. They want to know how working at your business will fit into their lives and their personal goals. Be honest about what the job is like, this is a generation that can smell a lack of authenticity a mile away.

The type of managers Generation Z report to is very important to them. They want honest bosses with integrity and who mentor them. With a lifelong access to information, they are accustomed to constant learning and want managers who can coach and teach them.

Recruiting Generation Z

Generation Z employees can bring a lot to employers and the best way we find to recruit them includes;

  • Being highly engaged in the recruitment process
  • Demonstrating personal and corporate integrity
  • Having examples of genuine ties with the community and genuine approach to CSR
  • Showing potential recruits examples of opportunities for advancement and promotion
  • An onboarding process that allows them to hit the ground running

If you already have great Generation Z people on your team remember to keep them engaged and provide opportunities for them to advance. If you don’t, they won’t hesitate to seek new pastures!

If you’d like to know more about recruiting and leading Generation Z, contact us online or call Tricia Hay on 01453 755330

By Tricia Hay and David Tovey