Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Steel Partners (IWCO Direct’s parent company) office in Hermosa Beach, California to help with a project. Since this was my first traveling business assignment, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Unfortunately, I ignored all of the “no, trust me, you DON’T want to take a red-eye back” advice given to me.
Walking into the office was an experience in itself. Not only were the people welcoming and the location and weather incredible, the office setting was simply cool. What’s not to love about big windows, lots of cool art (“Is that a Banksy?”), and an open office layout? And while we all have our own idea of what a dream-office consists of, this experience got me thinking about what the Generation Z workforce is looking for as we move into our careers.
Secure Career Opportunities
Gen Z’s main motivators when searching for a job are money and security. Younger generations are known for wanting to make a difference. But being raised during the recession, Gen Z craves safety over purpose. There is also a push for more honesty and transparency, as well as a drive for a competitive environment. According to Forbes, 72% of Gen Z said they feel competitive with others doing the same job and are seeking performance-based advancement opportunities in a company.
In a Robert Half survey, 64% of Gen Z respondents cited the importance of career opportunities in selecting a job. This generation wants individual career paths with unique opportunities to move up the corporate ladder. The Gen Z workforce is also looking for autonomy in jobs: The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that 62% of Gen Z would rather customize their own career plan than have an organization plan it for them, and 56% of would rather write their own job description than be given a generic one.
Solid Company Culture
Regardless of profession, bold, quirky, and unconventional work environments and office designs are attracting millennials and Gen Z. Does your office offer a great workplace environment? Show it off, but know we might not be there from 8 to 5. You’re not wrong if you feel like no one shows up to work anymore—the desire to stay at the office is losing its appeal. Gen Z is following the millennial push for flexible work schedules. More organizations are actively promoting working out of the office, upgrading mobile access, and improving remote work capabilities. Companies that reject this new trend probably won’t be attracting the new generation, who were born into a world where you don’t have to be in the same building to always be connected.
With information at their fingertips, Gen Z is also more skeptical. In today’s chaotic news atmosphere where organizations and leaders are being called into question for unethical practices, Gen Z is looking for complete transparency from their leaders. SHRM found that only 5% of Gen Z said they were motivated by a company’s reputation, so it’s also important to make relationships personal; we want to be mentored through instant, honest feedback in order to develop career tools to go above and beyond.
Your Recruiting Needs an Upgrade to Attract the Gen Z Workforce
It’s time to brush up on your social media skills. According to a Glassdoor survey, 89% of job seekers are using a mobile device during their job search, and according to HR Magazine, 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site. As the 72.8 million individuals that make up Gen Z start searching for career opportunities, you can bet this tech-savvy group will be utilizing these mobile platforms just as frequently.
However, it’s good to note that digital isn’t always the best option when it comes to how the Gen Z workforce wants to communicate. In an interview with SHRM, researchers said that 84% of Gen Z said face-to-face is their preferred mode of communication, so take that into consideration the next time you set up a skype or phone interview for convenience. And most importantly, respond quickly, or at the very least make an effort to respond. Even if you decide not to hire a candidate, tell them about this decision so interested candidates aren’t sitting around waiting for you to get back to them when you never will.
Also, remind yourself that the job search process is a two-way street and interviews are a consultation for both groups. With the amount of knowledge and experience most people have today, it’s getting more competitive for organizations to ensure they’re pulling in the most qualified, hardworking candidates.
Being aware of these trends before Gen Z hits the workforce will significantly enhance your organization’s brand as it searches for new employees. Consider upgrading your recruiting, office environment, or entry level positions before this new group of talent begins the job search.
Ready to start your own job search? Check out the career opportunities currently available at IWCO Direct!
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