Millennials remain the largest generation in the workforce and are now filling management and executive roles in droves (you may be among them). But don’t discount Generation Z, the youngest adult generation whose oldest cohorts are already reaching 25 years old.
What do we know about attracting, hiring, and retaining Gen Z? In short: They’re not carbon copies of Millennials. Like each generation before, Gen Z’s motivations, priorities and work ethics are shaped by unique experiences and circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at what the latest research tells us:
Good Compensation Is Back On The Table
A RippleMatch survey found that 77% of college seniors say compensation will be a top priority when evaluating job offers, a more than 35% increase from 2019. Pew Research Center explains: By March 2020, at the start of the COVID outbreak, half of the oldest Gen Zers (ages 18 to 23) reported that they or someone in their household had already lost a job or taken a cut in pay. This was significantly higher than the shares of Millennials (40%), Gen Xers (36%), and Baby Boomers (25%) who said the same.
Millennials experienced the Great Recession in their formative years, which shaped their financial priorities on compensation, benefits, and more. They’re famously the first modern generation expected to earn less than their parents. Gen Z, on the other hand, grew up in a strong economy…until COVID hit. “Instead of looking ahead to a world of opportunities, Gen Z now peers into an uncertain future,” Pew researchers point out. That shift suddenly made compensation a top priority for Gen Zers as it has always been for Millennials.
They’re Cautiously Ready To Be In The Office
Hubble research shows that Gen Z is the most “pro-office” age group post-pandemic. Deloitte puts numbers to that assertion, reporting that only 22% of Gen Zers (less than any other group) want to get back in the office “a little to a lot less often” than before. RippleMatch found similar results, with only 5% of Gen Zers looking exclusively for remote jobs and internships.
However, we want to point out a separate finding that could inform your back-to-work plan. Deloitte found that a majority (56%) of Gen Zers have a strong sense of personal adherence to COVID-19 guidelines like masking and vaccination. What’s more, 28% won’t be bashful about regularly challenging the noncompliant. So even if mask and vaccine mandates are now questionably legal in Texas, some reassurance on safety protocols and guidelines that you have in place for those who work onsite could go a long way when it comes to recruitment and retention.
Nearly half (49%) of Gen-Zers surveyed by Deloitte said that their personal ethics—led by their environmental concerns about climate change and protecting the environment—have played a role in their career choices. Many brands are taking note and changing their messaging more than their missions, which many are calling “greenwashing.” It’s a practice that Gen Zers can see right through.
“‘Greenwashing’ is very real and appears to be growing every day. [Gen Z] has made it clear that protecting the environment and combating climate change are a priority for them, not only as consumers but also as employees and even as shareholders and voters,” says Jason Dorsey, who runs the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm based in Austin. But some companies, he adds, say they’re sustainable or “green” but don’t have the track record to back it up. For Gen Zers, who also emphasize respectful communication and trust, false assertions that can be easily debunked will undoubtedly backfire.
What have you learned about hiring Gen Z, and what mysteries do you still need to uncover? Our recruiters can help.
The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.