The Workplace that Gen Z Looks for

‘Gen Z’ roughly refers to those born between the mid-nineties until the mid-2010s. The oldest component of Generation Z is now approaching their mid-twenties, while most have not yet entered the workforce. The next wave of entry-level employees and graduates will more than likely be members of this generation, so it’s essential we know how to get the best out of them.

As a result of being raised in an increasingly digital environment, Gen Z’s workplace desires are markedly different from the current cohort of the workforce. While data on Gen Z is still relatively limited, some clear patterns are emerging. Use these patterns to help your business attract and retain talented workers from this new group of fresh employees.

A Desire for Frequent Face-to-Face Interaction

We all spend a little too much time on our handheld devices. Gen Z takes this to the next level – referred to as the ‘screen-obsessed’ generation for a reason. Over 95% of this generation has a smartphone, with a worrying 31% of them reporting discomfort if they are without their phone for 30 minutes or less. Knowing this, it seems reasonable to assume that they would prefer emailing, texting and other chat-based communication methods in the workplace. However, research by Robert Half shows us that the young workforce actually wants almost as much face-to-face interaction as everyone else.

Why? They have a strong desire to prove themselves and refute the unfair stereotypes placed upon them. Gen Z doesn’t want to be viewed as ‘immature youngsters’ by their peers – instead, wanting to appear strong, mature and capable. To eliminate incidences of miscommunication, Gen Z has a strong need for face-to-face interaction in the professional environment. Embrace their digital prowess and don’t write them off too soon!

Higher Emphasis and Expectations on the Brand

Gen Z is more concerned about their impact on the world and their job’s alignment with their personal goals than previous generations. They will research what your company stands for, using technology and previous employee reviews to help their research. Similar to a thorough purchase decision, Gen Z will run the numbers over your company’s branding, purpose and values.

A Desire for More Regular Feedback

Just like their older Millennial counterparts, Gen Z also craves high-frequency feedback from their managers. A study from Randstad found that:

  • Almost half of the respondents thought mentoring and regular feedback was the primary role managers should play to get the best work out of them.
  • Over a quarter wanted feedback after every task completed.
  • One-fifth expected daily feedback from their manager.
  • Only 1% thought an annual performance review was sufficient.

Now that we know the primary needs requested by Gen Z, what are the best ways to recruit and retain Gen Z employees?

Use Technology and Online Branding

Reaching Gen Z candidates requires a slightly different marketing approach to make your company stand out from the rest. As this employee cohort spends a great time online, companies should prioritise their online brand to best appeal to their next wave of workers. Some ways you can do this include:

  • Improve and monitor online reviews from employer-review websites such as Glassdoor
  • Make sure your social media branding reflects your company in a positive light
  • Promote your company’s vision and purpose across all digital touchpoints – social media, job adverts and news releases to name a few
  • In addition to LinkedIn, make use of YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!

Offer and Promote Job Security

Although younger workers have developed a reputation for jumping ship more than their predecessors, they are actually extremely sensitive to job security and other benefits. Remember, many of them experienced the Global Financial Crisis, as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Recruiters can give candidates job security assurance by communicating your company’s commitment to staff, such as providing continuous feedback, learning and professional development opportunities and ensuring a healthy, happy, and supportive culture.

Make Professional Development Fun!

Almost two-thirds of Gen Z say gaming is their main hobby – they clearly enjoy it! Tailor your training and internal learning opportunities to meet their desire for digital, interactive, collaborative and stimulating tasks. Applying the concept of gamification to learning creates a significant opportunity to provide fresh and effective ways of training in the workplace. It certainly helps keep their attention and offers another way to improve employee engagement.

Switch Roles, Not Jobs

Due to their desire for job security and future career planning, Gen Z are less likely to jump companies than Millennials. Nonetheless, they like the idea of changing roles within the same company when possible. Over 70% of Gen Z’s said they would consider a situation where they would have multiple roles within one employer – most Graduate programs are designed to facilitate this. Gen Z is more likely to shift roles within a business than leave for another one – decreasing turnover costs associated with hiring new staff when someone leaves.

Take Care of Their Financial Wellbeing

Gen Z is highly financially aware and concerned about their future. Interestingly, over a third of Gen Z’s are already actively saving for their retirement in their 20’s, and have been planning to do so since their teenage years. The financial aptitude of this employee cohort should not be overlooked – it’s an opportunity for you to show you care about their financial future and wellbeing.

Many global employers are now offering Earned Wage Access, also known as salary or wage advance, to their workforce as an additional way to help them take control of their pay frequency and provide flexibility to their financial situation. Apps like Paytime allow your employees to access their earned wages before payday, costing them less than the price of a cup of coffee to do so. This helps them meet their bills or other unexpected expenses outside the timing of their regular paycheck, and they will appreciate you for it.

Pay frequency plays a significant role in your employee’s level of financial wellbeing. If your company wants to empower your employees and improve their financial wellbeing by enabling flexible on-demand access to their earned wages, contact Paytime today!