How to Attract Generation Z

Candidly

D&I AND BELONGING

July 7, 2022

 

The number of Gen Z employees worldwide is expected to triple by 2030, meaning that those born after 1995 will soon make up roughly 30 per cent of the global workforce.

This cohort will bring their own ideas and expectations on what constitutes the fabric of a successful workplace - and it is inevitable that they will play a pivotal role in shaping the future world of work.

Data from LinkedIn shows that Gen Zers are changing jobs at more than double the rate of millennials. Three-quarters of these fledgling workers attribute this to a “career awakening”, primarily brought about by the pandemic. Feelings of wanting a better work-life balance, a lack of alignment with personal beliefs and values, and boredom at work were given as the most common reasons for changing jobs.

This leaves companies with the challenge of attracting and retaining this younger generation in a fiercely competitive labour market.

Expecting Flexibility

The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly transitioned “flexibility at work” from a benefit to an expectation. With Gen Z the most likely to have left a job because their employer didn’t offer a flexible work policy (72%), compared to 69% of millennials.

This does not mean that Gen Z want to work remote full time. Candidly research suggests that the majority (70%) want access to an office, preferring either a mix of remote and office working, or being in the office full-time, compared to being completely remote.

For hiring teams, the main takeaway here is the importance of flexible working arrangements.

That means acknowledging the realities of people’s personal situations, including that they may not have an appropriate set-up to work from home full-time. 

 

Offering greater workplace flexibility also represents a huge opportunity to make workplaces fairer, more inclusive, and more equitable.

For example, workplace flexibility could help give new employment opportunities to 1.3 million people in the UK with disabilities, caring responsibilities, and those located in more rural areas.

Cultures of Continuous Learning

As well as pushing for greater flexibility, Gen Z is also placing more importance on career development than previous generations. Our recent survey found that 78%of Gen Z employees saw training and development as key to a successful career. Our data also suggests that nearly half would take a 5% pay cut for a role that offered better career growth.

To attract the Gen Z demographic, companies need to adopt a culture of continuous learning and detail the opportunities they’ll provide for career growth. Whether that’s facilitating mentorships or providing access to learning and development programmes, all of these steps will go a long way to attracting and retaining the workforce of tomorrow.

The "Experience Inflation" Barrier

If companies want to boost applications from their Gen Z candidates, they need to start advertising entry-level jobs appropriately. Many companies recruit for entry-level positions with job postings that are not reflective of the level of experience career starters will have under their belt.

Nearly a third of Gen Z job seekers said the biggest hindrance they faced when job hunting was not knowing where to start. This is partly because organisations advertise positions requiring three-plus years of experience as entry-level.

This is known as “experience inflation” and is responsible for stopping talented young people from applying for roles that they perceive themselves as underqualified for.

For example, LinkedIn analysis found that nearly 4 million jobs posted between December 2017 and August 2021 required a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in 35% of their entry-level postings.

While it might seem advantageous to have experienced employees coming in at entry-level, companies also end up losing out on top talent in the long term.

 

It’s more important than ever that hiring teams are well-versed in their organisation’s purpose, culture and values because Gen Z candidates are more selective about the roles they apply for.

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Job postings not only need to reflect entry-level skills and company values, but they also need to take a skills-based approach to ensure potential candidates aren’t being blocked off from these opportunities.

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