Gen Z grads —born in 1996 and after, according to CGK (The Center for Generational Kinetics)—are entering the workforce.
Otherwise known as iGen, the generation of digital natives who grew up in the internet age surrounded by social media and smartphones—unlike Millenials who had to adapt to today's digitalised era.
Fun Fact: Most Gen Zers don't even know what dial-up internet is.
To attract, engage and retain Gen Z grads, it is important to have a good understanding of what drives today's youth and how best to welcome them into the workforce.
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The Gen Z Outlook
Every generation has distinct qualities and perspectives that uniquely define them.
So, what defines generation z?
Compared to previous generations, Gen Zers are driven by their passion. Therefore, fresh grads are keen on seeking jobs that are a stepping stone to their long-term career goals.
As a result, they are more likely to quit. Like millennials, Gen Zers jump from job to job before settling and committing to one—kind of like online dating.
Global staffing firm Robert Half found that 75% of employees between the ages of 18 to 34 (millennials and Gen Zers) view job-hopping as a beneficial way to get a leg up in their careers compared to the older age groups (Gen X and baby boomers).
With the world at their fingertips—the internet—they're exposed to more opportunities compared to previous generations.
Instant access to a vast amount of information has also enabled Gen Zers to broaden up their horizons, as well as determine their future aspirations early on in life.
With this insight on the perspective of Gen Z grads, what can the current workforce expect from Gen Zers in the workplace?
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Gen Z Grads in the Workplace: What Future Employers Should Know
As Gen Z grads enter the workplace there are several things you should know about.
These qualities and values are important amongst Gen Z Grads and could give a better insight into what this young generation is all about.
1. Gen Z Grads Want to Grow
According to the Center for Generational Kinetics, one of the strongest qualities about today's youngest generation is their eagerness to hustle and learn.
Such attributes show Gen Zers are career-driven despite the hardships that may arise.
Think of it this way, Gen Z Grads are more likely to stay when they know that they will be given opportunities to climb the corporate ladder. Determined, Gen Z employees value feedback on their performance.
In fact, 66 per cent of Gen Z employees would like regular feedback from their supervisor every few weeks to stay at a job, according to a research done by CGK (Center for Generational Kinetics).
2. Workplace Culture is Important to Gen Z Grads
“They want to be socially connected with everyone. They want to be socially connected with their boss as well.”
-Heather Watson, behavioural designer at The Center for Generational Kinetics
One of the biggest factors Gen Z grads consider when looking for an employer is the company's workplace culture.
Gen Z grads are avid online researchers, especially when it comes to companies that they're considering. Therefore, your company's online reputation matters—significantly!
Websites like Glass Door, an employer review site, is a useful tool for Gen Zers to determine whether a company is a fit for them.
It is incredibly important to build and create a healthy and happy working environment for your current staff. Otherwise, your company won't attract today's fresh graduates.
To ensure that your current workplace has a healthy culture, check in with your employees. Conduct a performance evaluation survey and get feedback from your staff on your performance as their employer.
From your peer review, you will be able to identify your wrongs as an employer, as well as implement changes to improve your overall performance.
Questions like: What are you doing wrong? And What are you doing right? Give you valuable insights that you can utilise to build a positive workplace culture.
3. Company Benefits Are a Determining Factor for Gen Z Grads
Financial stability has a different meaning to Gen Z grads. Right off the bat, they're already thinking about their financial future—a debt-free future.
In a report by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, more than 2,700 Americans ages 18 to 34 were surveyed, only 19 per cent of the respondents equated financial success to being debt-free—according to 60 per cent of the participants.
Future employers must consider these financial views when it comes to retaining Gen Z grads. Monetary incentives are a huge advantage to keep your generation z employees happy.
Job opportunities today have become vast—especially with a job market that is candidate-driven. Therefore, Gen Z employees won't stay at a company if not given the right opportunities.
In a survey ran by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) in 2018, senior research specialist, Karen Wessels, found that organizations increased benefits in the following areas to stay competitive:
- Health-related benefits by 51 per cent
- Wellness by 44 per cent
- Employee programs and services by 39 per cent
- Professional and career development benefits by 32 per cent
- Leave, family-friendly and flexible working benefits by 28 per cent
To retain current and future Gen Z employees, a company must provide a solid benefits package for its employees. From these survey results, you can get a good idea of what benefits are most appealing to Gen Zers aside from the monthly paycheck.
In today's competitive candidate-driven job market, keeping an employee has become harder than ever. However, by considering and understanding what Gen Z grads value the most, career-wise, you will be able to onboard and retain them successfully.
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