Today's workforce is on the brink of extinction unless they can figure out how to create companies that match the values of their new hires. Here are three ideas to catch the attention of Generation Z.
by Colleen Batchelder
September 28, 2021
The pandemic has changed a lot, including what new talent is looking for regarding employment.
Ten years ago, Google, Facebook and Amazon ruled the workplace design. Companies worldwide shifted their layouts, carved out time for community events and figured out ways to entertain millions of employees with weekly meditation, cereal bars and motivational speakers.
Monday through Friday offered an endless cycle of experiences and millennials soaked it all up. They were sponges in a world of entertainment and business leaders had the key to manipulate their senses and keep this generation intrigued with extravagant toys and technology.
During the early aughts, workplaces were booming. They were bouncy houses with skinny jeans, soy lattes and endless streams of enjoyment. However, they did nothing to capture the attention of Generation Z. If anything, a lot of millennial preferences were off-putting to the next generation of employees.
When Gen Z donned their cap and gown and entered into the world of business, they weren’t impressed by Google’s open-floor layout or the endless obsession with Harry Potter. They wanted something more –– and it had nothing to do with the pop culture ideology of their millennial siblings.
If you want to attract new talent to your company, you might need to rethink your strategies; especially if you want to catch the attention of Generation Z. Here are three ideas you can use to increase your company’s visibility and get more resumes in your inbox.
Offer remote and hybrid work options
Generation Z doesn’t want to repeat the lifestyle choices of their contemporaries. For years, they witnessed the chaotic lives of millennials and shuddered to think their own work experiences could echo a similar outcome.
Technology during the early aughts was hugely popular. Companies made their bread and butter catering to their employee’s desire to be connected 24/7. However, this constant work/life relationship resulted in increased burnout and a new passion for balance.
When potential employees peruse through Indeed, Glassdoor or Monster, they want more than a corner office with zero social life. They look for jobs that offer a chance to breathe, work from anywhere and experience life outside the company.
Millennials might have settled for their lives to revolve around work. But Gen Z is looking to work for companies that foster healthy people, not just a robust profit.
If you want to attract this next generation and set your company above the rest, you need to present options––specifically, remote and hybrid opportunities.
Foster an inclusive, equitable and diversified workplace
Generation Z is not looking for your company to be their endless spring break. They’re not interested in ping pong tournaments or keg parties. They might indulge in a craft beer or even a wine tasting, but the idea of trudging into work on a Monday to get drunk isn’t what this generation is looking for in their job search.
Younger applicants are still looking for your workplace to be an exciting experience, however. They want more than paid overtime and dental coverage. But to attract these new hires, you need to understand what they value––and what they value is diversity, inclusion and equity.
So, how do you create a space that fosters DEI? If you want your email to be flooded with CVs, then add four things to your company calendar:
- Host a roundtable discussion each month to gain feedback.
- Hold quarterly DEI training for your whole team.
- Keep your anti-discrimination policies updated and posted openly.
- Ask employees to use their pronouns on their email signatures.
Creating an environment that fosters diversity, inclusion and equity happens on purpose. If left to chance, you risk allowing biases to form and prejudice to occur.
If you want to attract new talent, you must ensure your company’s behavior matches its belief. Gen Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in history. They’ll see through hypocrisy. Remember, DEI is more than branding.
Give everyone a chance at the microphone
Get ready to throw out hierarchical leadership. It doesn’t work for this generation.
Generation Z grew up in a world where they could become an overnight sensation with a YouTube account, an iPhone and a limited knowledge of digital editing. They don’t see the need to climb ladders or even go through the proper channels. If anything, this generation fights against the current and views the conventional as an old system that needs remodeling.
Musicians no longer see the need to have a contract from Capitol Records and authors no longer see the purpose of getting a book deal from Penguin House. The same is true for Generation Z and business. Recent graduates don’t understand why they should have to pay their dues or sit on the sidelines.
If you want to attract this new talent, you must get comfortable with their casual style. Generation Z will blurt out their opinions, share their ideas and come to the table uninvited. Nevertheless, when you foster this lateral leadership model, you gain this generation’s trust and loyalty. Gen Z will work for companies that are open to their ideas and perspectives. If you show openness, they’ll show up with everything they have each day to build your business.
Years ago, the workplace drew in recruits with Quidditch tournaments, bean bag chairs and coffee bars. Generation Z wants more than the entertainment package––and they aren’t willing to settle for less. If companies are willing to create safe spaces, honor all voices and present options to their employees, they’ll not only attract new talent; they’ll secure their company’s future success.