Hiring Gen Z: How to Attract and Retain Them

attracting and hiring gen z employees
What do Gen Z candidates look for when job-seeking? Read more to find out how you can step-up your game when attracting and hiring Gen Z.

The latest generation, Gen Z (people born between 1997-2012), is the force behind the launch of the TikTok video resume. Hiring Gen Z candidates requires a different approach, unlike the previous generation.

Heavily influenced by technology and creative platforms, what should companies do to attract and retain Gen Z?

Let’s say your company is looking for fresh graduates and hiring for junior roles. In this case, you may need to change your company benefits, diversity in company culture as well as acquisition and retention programmes.

Gen Z employees are expected to make up more than 20% of the global workforce in the next four years. With that being said, you shouldn’t delay or ignore the changes you should make.

Here are some tips on how to attract and retain Gen Z employees:

Match their values by offering an attractive salary

gen z employees prefer attractive salary

Before you argue why you should provide an attractive salary when hiring Gen Z, you need to understand what Gen Z values the most — salary and work-life balance.

But then, what if they’re slacking at work? You know, they’re addicted to their phones!

A study by Kronos Incorporated finds that 36% of Gen Z employees believe they “had it the hardest” when entering the working world compared to all other generations before it.

Contrary to the negative assumptions about hiring Gen Z, the study also finds that 32% of the Gen Z respondents say they are the hardest-working generation ever. Millennials ranked as the second-hardest working generation at 25%.

This generation has seen their family struggle financially and survive Covid-19. Not to mention the constant lifestyle pressure on top of it all. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Gen Z candidates are looking for firms that offer attractive salaries.

Although it’s tough for some companies, salary is a large deciding factor for Gen Z employees to accept a job offer.

Adopt flexible, hybrid work model

Your typical 9 to 5 working hours and permanent contracts may hinder your success in hiring Gen Z. This generation believes they should be measured by their performance rather than how many hours they spend in the office. 

In the working contract, it’s best to replace “X working hours per week” with performance-based conditions. Plus, adopting a hybrid work model will be a plus point for your firm – it allows Gen Z employees to work from wherever they want.

You can also offer various working contracts (i.e. permanent employees, permanent remote employees, contract remote employees).

Promote work-life balance and diverse culture

attracting gen z with work life balance

As we shift to endemic status, employees view work-life balance as something essential for their well-being. However, it’s the 2nd top deciding factor for Gen Z candidates when applying for jobs. 

Suppose your company has some rules/benefits that support work-life balance. In that case, there are no emails/work chats after office hours, providing sleeping pods for employees to rest, therapist coverage and promoting them during the interview or in the job description.

Promoting diversity in your office is a must for Gen Z employees. But, make sure that it’s more than just hiring different races. For example, providing two microwaves for halal and non-halal food, allocating a room for the Muslims to pray and celebrating all religious holidays.

Use a multi-channel approach when recruiting

Gen Z candidates are no strangers to digital communication technologies. But surprisingly, they prefer a more personal communication approach.

According to the Yello Recruiting Study, email ranks first in sharing recruitment marketing materials, scheduling interviews and sending offer letters when hiring Gen Z. They also prefer text messages and video calls.

Other findings that you should also take note of are: 

  • 51% of Gen Z candidates prefer face-to-face communication
  • 17% of them expect to receive the job offer in less than a week after the interview
  • The company or recruiter should update Gen Z candidates frequently throughout the hiring process (no ghosting, please).

Encourage workplace ethics and social awareness

workplace diversity is key to hiring gen z

Did you know that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission collected a record-breaking $4.7 billion in 2020? Unethical behaviour leads to a toxic working environment and it’s a big turn-off for Gen Z employees.

This generation is looking for ethical leaders. They want to feel proud working with a reputable company. It’s fulfilling to know that their hard work gives a positive impact on society. 

Trust, honesty and integrity play a vital role in the success of your organisation — especially when attracting and hiring Gen Z. In fact, you’ll retain your employees regardless of the generation.

Introduce job rotation

Some young workers, especially fresh graduates may not know what they’re good at or passionate about. They may have a Degree in business, but perhaps they’re better at handling the company’s social media. 

Rather than pushing Gen Z employees to job-hop, it’s good to introduce job rotation in the company. For example, someone can work as a marketing executive, a social media team member and a media sales, each for a six-month period. With this method, you’ll save time, resources and reduce your turnover rate.

To wrap up

Before this article comes to an end, I’d like to share some interview questions that you can ask Gen Z candidates:

  • What are some values that you appreciate in a company?
  • On school projects, internship and previous job: What was your role? How did you feel about the project?
  • What motivates and inspires you?
  • What is your long-term career goal?
  • How will this position assist you in filling your career goals?
  • How do you utilise technology to solve work issues?

These are some general tips on how to attract and retain Gen Z employees. 

But, it’s always best to get help from experts if you’d like to take a personal approach for Gen Z candidates.

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