Get ready to attract and retain employees of the future by building a Gen Z-proof HR strategy today. Read on to make sure your company brand and HR are ready to receive graduate hires and turn these first positions into a long-term career with your organization.
Time flies when you are having fun at the office. It seems like it was only yesterday when we figured out how to manage the great expectations of Millennial employees. Having just learnt how to deal with Millennials, there are now new challenges on the HR agenda in the shape of Gen Z's - digital natives with a flare for technology and a whole new outlook on life and career.
Adopt a "humans first" approach to your human resources and learn how to meet, greet and onboard your future Gen Z graduate and intern hires. Getting your generational stereotypes straight helps you predict the future workplace trends. We looked over the Internet fluff surrounding Gen Z representation and collected all the best bits so you don't have to.
The Gen Z generation includes people born from mid-1990s to early 2000s, coming directly after, you guessed it, Millennials. Don't ask us what the next generation will be called, since it sounds like we have ran out of letters. We have no idea either, OKAY? Submit your suggestions below if you do.
When preparing to welcome and onboard your Gen Z incoming class of 2017, it is important to set the standard of immediate employee tasks high and keep on raising it. According to Fast Company, Gen Z's are painfully aware of the negative stereotypes surrounding Millennials in the workplace. As a generation of digital gurus, Gen Z's work hard to prove themselves both online and IRL (that stands for "in real life" if you don't know their lingo).
According to the 2015 High School Study, 72% of high school students and 64% of college students aimed to start a business someday. 61% of high school students said they would rather be an entrepreneur instead of an employee. Now these keen business minds are coming to fill graduate and intern positions at your company, so be ready to embrace their innovation spirit by involving them in high-responsibility activities from the get-go.
Gen Z-proofing your HR Tech is basically like testing it together with your most demanding customer. 35% of Gen Z'ers admit to spending 6 to 10 hours daily on their mobile devices. With HR Tech solving the issues of mobile UX in workplace technology, the urgency for adapting your HR systems to the mobile world are clear. While Millennials might have been early tech adapters, members of the Gen Z generation were born into it. Their expectations for clean, simple and usable interfaces go beyond preferences - they are more likely to stop using a malfunctioning website or a slow service altogether within 8 seconds (see: Picky Information Consumers below), for there is always a better and faster alternative on the market and they know it.
Research shows that Gen Z's have developed what one may call an attention deficit disorder, and others have dubbed an 8-second filter necessary to survive in the information-saturated world. The theory goes as follows: Gen Z's are so good at combing through the clutter of online noise that they have grown to limit the time spent on a new resouce to the 8 first seconds. Whether they would come back to a website or continue reading at all, fully depends on the first impression, and developing a steady reputation relies more on being recommended by teen influencers than on the traditional image of your company brand.
What does it mean for your company's HR? Winning Gen Z's attention would only be possible through genuine and truly beneficial offers and experiences, as you would no longer be able to rely on announcing everything and anything over brand communication channels and thinking the announcements had reached their recipients. Probably they haven't. Focusing on creating a two-way dialogue, aimed at engaging employees, will not only yield a higher open rate for your corporate emails but augment a more responsive and transparent company culture long-term.
Expecting instant Wifi access, high levels of connectivity and an iPhone in their hands at all times of day, Gen Z's are particularly adept at remote and flexible work. In fact, if it makes them more productive, they prefer it to a rigid office-centred company culture. Companies employing Gen Z's already, attest to their ability to concentrate regardless of their surroundings, showing that Gen Z's are as happy to work from a camper van as a plush cubicle.
Providing a flexible work environment for Gen Z's will likely yield approval amongst your existing employees, promoting a trusting and modern work environment, as well as taking your best IT systems through an On The Road test run.
An article titled "Gen Zs hate you but they love your videos" pretty much sums up the new generation's content preferences. From Facebook Live to Instastories, to the rise and fall of Snapchat - Gen Z's preferences for eye-catching, temporary and unedited content go far beyond Millennials' aestethization of online visuals with the use of miltiple Instagram filters at once.
Jeff Corbin, CEO of APPrise Mobile, suggested: "You need to think about the nature of the content you are creating and distributing. Think picture and video, think short; and think about how the content and messages you want to get across to your employees will be rendered on a small screen."
Many have called Gen Z's full-time brand managers. Since an early age they had been aware of reprecussions of having an online reputation, they produce and publish their own content daily and they dedicate an astonishing amount of time to carefully curating their own digital brands. Positive use of social media options & crowdsourcing examples, have led the Internet to believe that Gen Z's have grown to be more bold and adventurous, using social media for networking, funding their projects and reaching out directly to their mentors and potential employers.
Setting high demands on your company brand and culture, the incoming class of content professionals shines a positive light on the future potential of employee brand ambassadors. Creative social media incentives, genuine communication and a carefully curated company image online will bring you not only dedicated employees but a myriad of new marketing opportunities.
Remember the old graduate job adage, that one "needs the experience to get the experience"? Well, Gen Z's definitely do and they mean to do something about it. According to entrepreneur.com, the new generation is not only aware of the Millennial employment crisis but they have learnt from their mistakes too.
As an organization, you can take the lead in creating your pool of prospective candidates and nurture them earlier on. For example, Deloitte LLP has created partnerships with high schools to help students in their career selection process, in hopes that more students will want to work for the company eventually. Gen Z's had more opportunities to connect and intern for bigger organizations growing up, so their CV might as well be longer than yours.
Done with their final exams and fine-tuning their Instagram for business profile, your newest Gen Z employee is probably out there checking out your employeer brand right now. Is your team ready to meet them? Download our Newbie Manual to make sure you are aware of new employee demands and learn how the requirements may differ depending on new hires' profiles and age.