Many Generation Zers have graduated from college, and even more, have already graduated from high school. That means an entirely new generation is beginning to enter the workforce. And with the Baby Boomer generation retiring in record numbers and plenty of Millennials switching careers or leaving the workforce entirely – a phenomenon commonly dubbed The Great Resignation – employers in Atlanta can’t afford to miss out on the coming wave.
When it comes to Gen Z and workplace culture, things are a little different than many employers might be used to. While members of Gen Z and members of the Millennial generation certainly have some things in common, there are plenty of key differences, too. Since Gen Z will soon be the most populous generation on the planet – and also the most diverse in history – it’s something that employers simply can’t ignore.
What does all this mean for hiring in the coming years? Let’s take a closer look at Generation Z and what makes it tick. We’ll also compare Gen Z and Millennials and discuss what these individuals are looking for out of their jobs and careers. Finally, we’ll learn how Atlanta employers can attract and hire members of Gen Z successfully.
What Is Generation Z?
In order to understand Gen Z in the workplace, it’s helpful to define what Gen Z is. Generally speaking, Gen Z members are those people born between about 1996 and 2010 or so. The oldest members of Gen Z are in their mid-twenties and already in the workforce, while the youngest members aren’t even teenagers yet.
One of the biggest things to understand about Gen Z is that they’ve grown up with technology as a part of their daily lives. This generation never knew life without the internet or, for many, without smartphones. It’s safe to say that this has a big impact on the way that members of Gen Z approach the workplace. They’re not just tech-savvy; it’s simply part of who they are.
In a broader sense, Gen Z’s worldview has been shaped by a few key events in their formative years. While they were too young to remember 9/11 (like many Millennials) they were growing up in the middle of the Great Recession, in which many of their parents lost jobs. Only a decade later came the pandemic, just as many Gen Z members were starting to graduate and enter the workforce. All of these things contribute to the way these individuals look at their jobs and careers, and that can help inform Atlanta employers’ understanding of this generation’s needs.
Millennials vs. Generation Z
Millennials are probably the most analyzed generation in history. (It remains to be seen if Gen Z will change that.) And over the coming years when more and more members of Gen Z enter the workforce, the vast majority of all employees will be members of these two generations. So, what do they have in common? How are they different?
Perhaps the biggest similarity between these two generations involves technology. Millennials and Gen Zers both grew up in the digital age. Millennials witnessed the rise of technology firsthand and even played a big role in developing it. Gen Z had access to it from their earliest years. Still, both generations are extremely comfortable with technology and have been using it in the workplace for many years.
Another similarity that may surprise Atlanta employers is that both generations actually prefer human connection and face-to-face communication over digital communication only. Millennial employees tend to ask questions, solicit feedback, and embrace teamwork in their jobs. Gen Zers may be slightly more entrepreneurial, but initial findings indicate that they also value teamwork in their job settings.
Millennials went to college in order to bolster their career prospects, but many were met with a less-than-desirable job market and heavy student loan debt. Gen Zers witnessed this, and many decided to go for careers that would allow them to be more financially secure – and some avoided the college route entirely. So, while both generations are motivated by financial incentives, Gen Zers tend to care more about career advancement and job stability than money alone. Millennials, on the other hand, tend to list salary, benefits, and company name recognition among their top employment values.
What Gen Z is Looking For In a Potential Employer in Atlanta?
We’ve learned what makes a Gen Zer a Gen Zer, and how they compare to the Millennials. But what are they looking for out of their jobs and careers, exactly? What should employers know about Gen Z at work and, even more importantly, hiring Gen Z employees?
Here are a few of the big things that Gen Z is looking for out of their employers:
According to a survey from Deloitte, nearly half of Gen Zers say they have made career choices based on an organization’s values and ethics. Whether it’s because of the events they’ve experienced during their formative years or the multiple crises their generation is set to inherit – environmental, economic, and otherwise – Gen Zers care about the ethics of what they do. If they feel that the company they’re working for doesn’t align with their values and morals, they aren’t likely to continue working there. This generation wants to know that the work they do is making a positive impact in one way or another.
What does this mean for employers in Atlanta faced with hiring Gen Z employees? Make your mission, vision, and values clear and transparent from the start. Include it in your hiring process; put it on your website; post about it on your social media channels. That way, every candidate that comes to your organization will be aware of where you stand up front.
Another area where Gen Zers tend to align fairly closely with Millennials is in demanding flexibility in their schedules. And the pandemic has only hammered this point home. The 9-to-5 in-office work week is not very appealing to most in this generation – they want the flexibility of remote work, hybrid scheduling, and other arrangements. With that being said, there is some evidence that Gen Z expects to spend more time in an office setting once we’re well past the pandemic, and even that some look forward to it. This could be explained by many in this generation spending their final college semesters in virtual settings.
It remains to be seen exactly what Gen Z at work looks like, but it’s a safe bet we’ll see a mix of in-office and remote work in many industries. For employers, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the trend and offer some form of flexibility in scheduling to appeal to the modern workforce.
Remember: Many Gen Zers saw the struggles their older Millennial siblings or family members went through with student loans and underpaying jobs. Today’s graduates are looking for benefits that go beyond the basics of healthcare and retirement. Some employers have found success by helping their younger employees be fiscally secure through emergency saving fund options, providing financial planners, or even assisting with student loans directly.
Lifestyle benefits are also popular, especially in the COVID era. Whether it’s gym memberships or access to meditation apps, thinking outside the box and offering something that allows employees to recharge and experience positive mental wellness is very important.
How Can Atlanta Employers Attract Gen Z?
So, what should Atlanta employers be doing to attract and recruit Gen Z? Let’s summarize some key ideas:
- Make your company’s purpose clear. And it should go far beyond making a profit. Gen Z employees want to be part of something that makes a difference, so be transparent about your company’s mission and values.
- Offer opportunities for advancement. Gen Zers are, generally speaking, entrepreneurial-minded and want to know they can grow with your company. Give them room to grow.
- Be flexible with scheduling. While it’s possible that some Gen Zers will be open to on-site work and even desire it, flexible and remote work is the norm for the foreseeable future. Offer flexible scheduling in multiple ways to attract and retain Gen Z.
- Go above and beyond with benefits. In addition to the standard benefits package, Gen Z might be looking for things like wellness benefits and perks that help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Are You Ready To Hire Gen Z?
Partner With A Top Staffing Company in Atlanta
Is your company struggling to appeal to members of Generation Z? Turn to the Atlanta recruiters who make it their business to appeal to every generation in today’s workforce. BOS Staffing is the Atlanta staffing company that can provide you with the top-tier candidates you’ve been looking for.
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