If you’re involved in recruitment, you’ll be seeing a growing number of people who are part of Generation Z entering the workforce. In case you’re not quite clear, Gen Z as they’re often known are typically defined as those born between 1994 and 2015.
So, while the youngest members of this generation are a long way from job hunting, the older members of this cohort are in their early 20s and will be applying for jobs, if not already, then certainly in the near future.
Research conducted by Kronos International took an in-depth look at what those at the top end of this generation look for when it comes to finding employment.
The organisation surveyed 3,400 people from this generation in countries around the world, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, India, Germany, the US and the UK.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most important factor for those in Gen Z when it comes to finding their first job is how much it pays, with 54 per cent of those in this age group stating that it’s the most important consideration. This rises to 57 per cent among those aged 22 to 25, compared to 49 per cent among those under 21.
But while money is a motivation, it’s not the only thing that will keep employees in this age bracket at a business. 51 per cent said that they want to be doing work that they care about or enjoy.
Flexibility is also important to this generation, with 23 per cent stating that they want their employer to be flexible about their work. Just over one-fifth of those surveyed (21 per cent) also said that a consistent and predictable work schedule was important to them.
When it comes to the recruitment process, there are certain things that businesses should avoid if they want to attract workers in this generation. For instance, 44 per cent of those questioned said that a delayed response from a recruiter would put them off working for a company.
Meanwhile, 41 per cent said that they wouldn’t be keen to apply for a job somewhere that had negative employee reviews. Application portals that aren’t mobile friendly and dated offices were among the other things that would make someone from Gen Z reconsider a job opportunity, the research found.
Executive director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos Joyce Maroney said that firms need to understand that members of this generation don’t think about getting a job with one company and staying there for their entire careers.
“Gen Z is just starting out professionally and feel they have much to gain from testing the waters at multiple companies and different industries. Yet, while few today will employ a single worker from hire to retire, organisations can certainly engage Gen Z from hire to re-hire,” she explained.
Ms Maroney added that creating a supportive work culture can encourage good employees to “boomerang” back to them after they’ve gained experience elsewhere.
Training and flexibility are two of the key things that those in Gen Z will look for in a job, the survey found, and it seems that it’s not only the younger generation who are embracing flexibility when it comes to work.
Marketing Donut recently shared the findings of a survey by workingmums.co.uk, which revealed that a growing number of employees in the UK are asking for flexible working – and businesses may not be ready to accommodate these requests.
Some 85 per cent of the employers questioned said that they expect demand for flexible working to grow in the future, with the demand coming from all kinds of employees, not just parents.
Almost one-third (29 per cent) of the employers surveyed revealed that they have seen a growing number of non-parents requesting flexible working, while 20 per cent noticed this trend among older workers too.
It seems that many employers have realised that offering flexible working is a good way to attract a wider range of candidates to roles. Almost two-thirds said that they already mention flexible working in their job adverts, while 72 per cent said they plan to do so.
But not many are tapping into the market of re-hiring that was highlighted in the Kronos research. Just 18 per cent of the employers polled said that they have a returner programme, although 32 per cent are considering setting one up.
Gillian Nissim, founder of workingmums.co.uk, commented: “The world of work is changing very fast and many employers have adapted on an ad hoc basis, which can build up problems for the future. They need help to take a step back and strategise for the future.”
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