A new generation is set to make a difference in the workforce. Robert Half recently conducted an in-depth survey on Generation Z (in this survey, Gen Z is considered those born between 1990 and 1999). Generation Z will make up more than 20 percent of the workforce by 2020.
Here’s what we have learned about this generation. As employees they are ambitious, dedicated and ready to work. Fully, 77 percent expect they will have to work harder than previous generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling career. They expect to work at an average of just four places during their careers, so they tend to stay loyal to a company.
Among the skills this generation brings to the table, the report says, Generation Z employees are especially good listeners, with a high level of creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Generation Z in the Workplace
When looking for a job, Generation Z’s biggest priorities are:
- Growth opportunities
- Generous pay
- Making a positive impact
- Job security
- Healthcare benefits
- Flexible hours
- Manager to learn from
Benefits for Small Business Owners
Generation Z is surprisingly agreeable to the type of workplace found in most small businesses. Their preferred work environment is collaborating with a small group in an office setting. Another bonus is that most prefer to communicate in person rather than text or chat. In fact, 74 percent would rather communicate face-to-face with co-workers than any other type of communication.
Now, the bad news: Having lived through the Great Recession, Generation Z tends to be fiscally conservative. As a result, 79 percent want to work for a big corporation or a mid-sized company, where they believe there’s more financial security. However, limited opportunities at large and mid-sized employers can leave Generation Z ripe for the picking by small companies who can offer them more responsibility and opportunity.
No matter how much they care, though, Gen Z won’t devote their lives to your business 24/7. Work-life balance is important to these young adults. 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 because they can smell a lack of authenticity a mile away.
Finally, managers are vitally important to Generation Z. They want honest bosses who show integrity and also have strong mentoring ability. Accustomed to constantly learning, they want managers who can coach and teach them.
How can you attract them to work at your business? The report offers five keys for successfully recruiting Gen Z employees:
- Become highly engaged in the hiring process.
- Highlight examples of personal and corporate integrity in your conversations with job candidates.
- Demonstrate genuine ties to the community and authentic social responsibility on the part of your business.
- Show potential hires there are opportunities for advancement at your company. There must be a clear path to promotions and opportunities. If they feel that they’re stagnating, Generation Z workers won’t hesitate to leave for greener pastures.
- Think about how you’ll retain them while you are recruiting them. Generation Z employees want to hit the ground running, so you’ve got to be prepared from their very first day on the job.
The bottom line is this Gen Z employee will be loyal and hardworking, but will need good coaches and mentors. They will be loyal to the company, but also have a good work life balance. They have a lot to bring to the table and would be an asset to a small business.