by Sandra Zakka // Marketing & Research Intern
If you are a hiring manager, recruiter, or employer stubborn for fresh-out-of-college talent, you are in the right place and time. The eldest of Generation Z (“Gen Z”), our newest and fiercest generation of talent, have just graduated from college – and many are on the job hunt. While this may either be good news or bad news for your company, depending on your history with understanding Millennials (the youngest generation before Gen Z), my goal – as a younger Millennial/older Gen Z – is to conjure up 5 tips and tricks to help you and your company attract some of the most valuable members of Gen Z.
TIP & TRICK 1 Freedom & non-commitment will go a long way with Gen Z.
Members of Gen Z will not hesitate to quit if they are feeling ‘stuck’ at work. They were born into a much faster-paced environment than their predecessors and are not afraid of abrupt change. It is therefore essential to incorporate freedom and non-commitment at work if you are to keep a Gen Z motivated – or keep a Gen Z at all. For instance, you can give your Gen Z employee the freedom she/he needs by creating a schedule with flexible work hours. Re-evaluate the traditional Monday through Friday 9 to 5 work hours, and suggest late morning Mondays or early finish Fridays, or even taking a day per week to work from home or a coffee shop! But also keep in mind that Gen Z strongly values face-to-face work relationships and on-site learning, training, and development.
TIP & TRICK 2 Show them the road to their success is in your company.
Gen Z will not last long doing routine work for an extended period. Bigger opportunities, promotions and leadership roles are all on most of their radars and they will not rest until they get it. In other words, you will need to prove to your Gen Z employee that their aspirations, goals, and dreams can be discovered in your company. You can do this by either explicitly stating a progression path in their job descriptions, presenting to them examples of internal employees that have made it big in your company, or even granting them ownership of a project. And more importantly, you will need to help them get there. Give them immediate feedback after a work-related task and make an effort to develop a strong relationship with them. Gen Z thrives on close work relationships with their mentors and bosses. But they also respond best to a strong leader who gives them well-structured tasks. Maintain proper balance!
TIP & TRICK 3 Learning sessions with Gen Z’s are best kept informal.
The oldest members of Gen Z have just spent their last four years attending hour-long college lectures. Now, they’re looking for something different. Keep it informal – have a conversation! Conversational learning may also allow you to look more approachable, especially because this cohort of workers is going to request continuous guidance from you when it comes to matters such as customer services, appropriate personal work behaviors and forming professional interpersonal relationships. However, in the face of conflict, this generation – born into technology – are more likely to manage conflict at work via digital methods (e.g., text messages). In such cases, Gen Z employees may need a wake-up call and it is on you to ensure that more formal one-on-one, face-to-face conversations happen when discussing serious issues.
TIP & TRICK 4 #YES to social media. But beware the different platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr are all social media platforms (or Gen Z’s second homes). At this point, almost anyone can recognize that. It won’t come as a surprise to you then when I say that your company is more likely to capture Gen Z’s attention if you have a strong online presence and some 1,000 followers on social media. The trick, however, is that you need to show them that you understand the distinct purpose each platform serves. For instance, you should probably rethink posting your latest news updates on Snapchat. But don’t panic! As an overall guideline: Facebook is for general news updates, because a lot is going on here and all at the same time; Instagram is for capturing moments and sharing them (don’t forget your #filters!); Snapchat is for live updates and whereabouts; Twitter for latest news updates; and Tumblr for blogging. You are going to need to master how to use social media, or else it’s going to be an awkward connection!
TIP & TRICK 5 Reinforce Gen Z with immediate rewards.
This final tip can be a great boost for your Gen Z employees’ self-worth. Combine their desire for immediate feedback and their strong presence on different social media platforms. You can, for instance, share positive work-related feedback on a larger digital platform (e.g., LinkedIn) or welcome a new employee by posting about them on your Facebook page. Either way, receiving positive reinforcement on social media is significantly and positively correlated with an individual’s self-worth and self-esteem, which is indirectly related to better job performance and interpersonal relationships at work.
While the above list is certainly not an exhaustive list of ways your company can attract Gen Z employees, they are crucial and worthy tips and tricks that can increase your chances at attracting and retaining the newest and youngest talent out there. Nonetheless, it is important to note that there is much less research dedicated to Gen Z in the workplace compared to other generations. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation that can be used for attracting them.
About The Author
Sandra Zakka // Marketing/Research Intern
Sandra Zakka was born in Los Angeles, CA. At age 5, she moved to Beirut, Lebanon until she earned a Master’s degree in Psychology and developed a love for writing and blogging. Today, Sandra is 22 and working as a Marketing/Research Intern at Pinnacle Search Partners, LLC, an executive search firm in Atlanta, GA. Sandra aspires to become an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist in a management consulting firm where she will address issues of the workplace, such as recruitment, selection and placement, and talent management. Out of the office, Sandra is most likely spending time with her Pomeranian, trying new restaurants, and struggling to get by yet another cycling class.
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