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Master the Art of Hiring and Working with Gen Z: Insights from HR Experts

Today’s workforce is constantly evolving, with each generation bringing its unique set of perspectives, values, and expectations to the table. As the first wave of Generation Z employees enters the workforce, HR professionals find themselves facing new challenges and opportunities when it comes to hiring, engaging, and working with tech-savvy and socially conscious Gen Zers.

So what is the most effective and impactful way to hire, engage, and work with Gen Z today? We turned to HR experts to learn how they navigate working with Gen Z.

Here’s what they advise.

Tali Sachs, HiBob

“To recruit and retain Gen Z—expected to account for 27 percent of the global workforce by 2025—modern organizations need to offer a company culture and benefits that resonate with this highly driven and ambitious generation. If we don’t, Gen Z has no qualms with passing companies by at the recruitment stage or quitting if their demands aren’t met.

“The time for companies to rethink their people strategy and tap into the power of Gen Z is now. Their innovation, drive to succeed, and mission to change things for the better is the first step to coming out on top as a business.”

HiBob shares the following top drivers for engaging and working with Gen Z:

  • “Transparency. Be transparent about the state of the company and give them honest feedback on their performance, even if it’s bad news. Gen Z respects honesty and legitimate, open communication.
  • Great Compensation. Offer great pay and benefits packages. Gen Zers are ambitious and have high expectations of themselves and their employers. Knowing they have job security and a path to higher pay is a sure way to keep their attention and loyalty. 
  • Flexible Work Arrangements. Gen Z craves more face-to-face time with mentors and more veteran professionals to increase their industry knowledge and up their game. Lean into hybrid work arrangements. Flexibility means being open to allowing individuals to set their own schedules and being sensitive to people’s personal needs.
  • Mental Health and Wellness. Gen Zers want to know that their employer has their back, even on personal matters. Invest more in empathy and in tangible mental wellness and health benefits. 
  • Professional Development. Gen Z is ambitious. They want to rise up the corporate ladder fast at great companies that support them. Invest in their growth. Openly discuss the L&D programs you have in place at the early stages of recruitment and give them ample opportunity to take advantage of them throughout their tenure with your company.”

Alan Hosking, HR Future Magazine

“Unlike their parent’s generation, who were loyal to a company, Gen Zs feel no loyalty to a company. They’re loyal to a career – their own. So, offer them a career to which they will be loyal, and you will attract, engage and retain them,” states Hosking about working with Gen Z.

“Apart from ensuring a values match, a hiring company has to be very clear on the business, behavioral and technical competencies it is seeking to acquire so that it can match its needs and goals with the successful candidate’s needs, aspirations, and goals.

“It also needs to consider the culture of the company and the type of person that will experience a good culture fit. The hiring company then needs to factor in the purpose and passion that is required to thrive and succeed in the particular position/role they’re offering.

“Having taken a long-term view on employing a person, they need to factor in a development journey that will engage, inspire and challenge the candidate over a number of years. Depending on the size of the company and its footprint (national or international), this could include opportunities to work in other divisions, areas, or countries to gain additional exposure. Mentoring opportunities should also be provided, as well as opportunities to build sought-after skills that will enable the candidate to stay relevant.

“In the case of technical experts who are not necessarily suited to managing people, a career path can be crafted that provides the opportunity for growth, increased status, and increased income in ways that are not restricted to being given people to manage, setting them free to do what they’re really good at.”

Jonathan Kidder, Wizard Sourcer

“Gen Z will want a more personalized career path. In order to attract and retain the most talented individuals from this generation, organizations must adopt a new mindset. Managers should prioritize training and coaching to meet their needs. Employees who commit to long-term stays will be motivated by opportunities for career growth.

“Additionally, future concerns will revolve around sustainability, as Gen Z displays a heightened focus on issues like climate change. A company will need to focus on these types of benefits when engaging with Gen Z around career opportunities,” shares Kidder on developing, engaging, and working with Gen Z.

Dr. Kat Chia, Cangrade

“Broadly speaking, past generations have generally been loyal to their employers in exchange for job stability. Gen Z has an entirely different mindset when it comes to this relationship. They are comfortable “job-hopping” when they are unhappy, a practice which has been amplified and normalized by social media outlets.

“Our research found that 26% of Gen Z is unhappy at work and that 17% of Gen Z highly agreed with the statement ‘I think about quitting my job about 10% more than all other generations.’ Engaging Gen Z in the workforce and prioritizing their happiness is critical to retaining and working with Gen Zers,” advises Dr. Chia.

“There are a few reasons Gen Zers are most likely to quit if they are unhappy with their workplace. They are:

  1. Gen Z sees the employer-employee relationship as more transactional than other generations. Subsequently, they feel empowered to leave when the other party does not seemingly uphold their end of the bargain.
  2. Gen Z employees are younger, so they have less to lose if they make lateral moves across organizations. 
  3. Gen Z employees are very self-confident and constantly seek new learning opportunities in order to advance their careers
  4. Gen Z’s workplace happiness is most highly correlated with the statement, “My work environment brings out the best in me.” Gen Z wants to clock in somewhere that will offer work-life balance and complement and nurture their talents. If they don’t find this, they are happy to leave.”

In Summary

Use these expert tactics to most effectively hire Gen Z at your workplace:

  1. Offer flexible work environments
  2. Showcase company values
  3. Be transparent with communication
  4. Emphasize growth and ownership 

While engaging, retaining, and working with Gen Z in your organization relies on you providing the following:

  1. Upskilling opportunities 
  2. Growth and development 
  3. A strong work culture
  4. Forward-thinking initiatives 
  5. Benefits
  6. Feedback
Download the infographic with 3 experts input on how to engage gen z

Download our infographic with these expert insights today.

To learn more about how you can drive successful hiring and workplace happiness, including working with Gen Z, check out the additional resources below.

Plus, book a demo with our team to learn all the ways you can drive efficiency and engagement throughout the talent lifecycle – pre- and post-hire.