Pragmatic. Tech-native. Hard-working. Lovers of learning.
These are all character traits that Generation Z has been tagged with, and with the oldest of them entering the workforce, it's time to look at how to attract them and bring them on board. With unemployment at record lows and hiring increasingly competitive, benefit packages need to not only be competitive, but also enticing.
Here's what you can do to catch the eye of Gen Z.
Gen Zers Are Not Just Mini-Millennials
Don't confuse these ultra-young workers with their generational elders, Millennials. They have distinct differences that start with the eras in which they grew up and play out in different ways.
Gen Zers came to age during the Great Recession, which showed them not everyone can come in first. They saw their parents struggle to keep up with fluctuating mortgage ARMs and their older Millennial friends struggle to find good jobs and pay off student loans. You can get their attention by playing into their desire for stable employment and paying attention to where their money goes.
Here’s an opportunity to differentiate your company brand - only 4 percent of employers offered student loan repayment in 2018 (Society for Human Resource Management). Although student loan debt doesn’t appear to be the crisis for Gen Z that it was for Millennials, this group doesn’t like having debt around. By assisting in paying it off, you’re signaling an interest in their life beyond the workplace. This will pay off across the spectrum: eight in 10 workers with student loans say a company that offers it would be more valued as a potential employer (CNBC).
Did you know companies can match employee student loan payments into retirement plans? According to Forbes, a 2018 IRS ruling allows employers to match retirement plan contributions for employees who are paying off student loans rather than contributing to the company retirement plan.
When you offer a casual dress code, your youngest workers don't have to pony up for new clothes, saving money and stress.
From healthy food in the breakroom available at a low price - or better yet, free! - to having health care like flu shots brought in at a discounted price, these onsite money - and time-saving efforts help improve your company culture and brand.
Learning and Personal Development Opportunities
Gen Zers have had the world at their fingertips since childhood, so it's no surprise they like to learn and expect to continue doing so after entering the workforce. Whether it's growing in their profession or on a more personal level, organizations can set themselves apart by offering easy-to-use learning systems and opportunities for community improvement.
Compliance training and safety courses are to be expected, but offering to coach Gen Zers through a formal mentoring program is a coveted opportunity that only 22 percent of employers currently offer (SHRM).
A job rotation program is a mutually beneficial approach that moves employees through a variety of positions in different areas of the company, which lets them broaden their career perspectives and gain new skill set.s
Millennials have been identified as the purpose-over-paycheck generation, and while Gen Zers are more uniformly focused on financial security, they still like to make an impact on the world. A 2018 AwesomenessTV report (it’s a YouTube channel with lots of Gen Z fans, owned by DreamWorks) said it best: “this is a guarded group that is growing up seeing the world for what it is, and because of that, they believe they are the ones who can truly change it for the better.”
It can't be said often enough: In this competitive job market, caring about your employee beyond their day at work will boost your company brand and attract great talent.
With Gen Z being the official tech-native generation (versus the merely tech-savvy Millennials and tech-assimilated Gen Xers), playing into their entrenched love of electronics is a good bet. A Bring-Your-Own-Device policy has its good sides and bad, but overall, people tend to like their own tech (The Balance). If enacted, be sure to stay cyber-safe with employee training.
Lifestyle Spending Accounts are pay-as-you-go programs comparable to Health Savings Accounts but different in that they offer noncash rewards that can be written off as a business expense. They can be used more liberally on items intended as proactive wellness expenses, such as new electronics, education courses, fitness equipment, child/elder/pet care, spa services and more.
For the foreseeable future, you'll be seeing Gen Zers in the applicant pool. To extend your brand and market your organization as friendly to them, make sure your company is offering anytime, anywhere benefits on a cloud-based software like the BirdDogHR Integrated Talent Management System.
The employee experience starts with the recruitment stage - make it easy and keep it quick with BirdDogHR.