What does it take to successfully attract Gen Z in the workplace?

At Claro Partners, we’ve been travelling around the globe to understand the needs and aspirations of Gen Z in the workplace. In this first blogpost, we share some characteristics we believe employers should keep in mind when attracting this new source of talent.

Top talent is an incredible resource for organisations. According to a recent study[1], high performers are four times more productive than average performers. However, 30 percent of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant managerial challenge [2] — top talent has become an increasingly scarce resource.

With 61 million members in the US alone, Gen Z is expected to make up 11 percent of the global workforce by 2025 and double this number by 2030[3]. Employers cannot ignore this is now their supply of almost all new talent. To truly reap the unique benefits of Gen Z, it’s critical to understand what characterises this next generation of candidates. They are not just mini-Millennials, but a new breed of workers with significant differences in values, motivations and expectations.  

The first step towards finding talent is exposing your organisation to it and, as in any new encounter, making a good impression is fundamental to set the foundation for a potentially long-lasting relationship.

 

But, how can organisations best impress this young talent? What should they know to ultimately design effective and attractive outreach strategies?

 

We believe there are three key things for organisations to remember.

Be relevant – Aware that their job will occupy a significant part of their time, Gen Z looks for relevance and purpose in the workplace. They want employment that can help them get closer to their goals.This is whyemployers should not treat them as simple resources to be exploited to reach organisational goals but rather as valuable members of an organisation – that employer and employee will each help the other grow and reach their aspirations.

Appreciate their uniqueness – Young candidates are attracted to those who appreciate their and others´ individuality. They look for situations where people are willing to look between the lines, recognise their value and bet on their potential, no matter how uncommon their path taken so far may have been. At the same time, they appreciate interacting with genuine individuals who are authentic in their conversation, not corporate drones following a script. Employers should consider how to best identify talent and future potential beyond standard selection criteria.

Speak their language – Gen Z undoubtedly prefers when communication is straight to the point and delivered from a position of equalityas this strikes them as efficient, honest and pragmatic. This means that employers have higher chances of success when they dispense with unnecessary formalities and avoid projecting the voice of authority.

Today, making a good impression is ultimately about seriously speaking and listening to your candidates – about their needs, aspirations and challenges – and portraying yourself as a valuable companion in the achievement of their life goals. Simply put, with four generations simultaneously in the workforce, the era of the one-size-fits-all approach to attract and retain talent won´t work anymore.

 

If this topic is important for your company, or you would like to know more about our insights and perspective on the tail-end of the current Millennial generation and the emergence of their Gen Z counterparts, please contact us at: hello@claropartners.com

Jan 17, 2019

[1] Herman Aguinis and Ernest O’Boyle Jr., “The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality in individual performance,” Personal Psychology, Volume 65, Issue 1, Spring 2012, pp. 79–119, onlinelibrary.wiley.com.
[2] Scott Keller and Mary Meaney, “Attracting and retaining the right talent”, McKinsey & Company, November 2017.
[3] US Department of Labor 2014.