The latest generation Gen Z or post-millennials, are entering the workforce and bringing their unique goals and aspirations. This digitally savvy generation is different from any other, so attracting and retaining Gen Z in the workplace requires a new approach. By 2030 the Gen Z workforce will have tripled, so creating a conducive workspace to optimise their success at work is essential. This article highlights how this generation differs and suggests steps to attract them to the IT workplace.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z includes young people who were born between 1997 and 2012. They entered a world characterised by mobile phones, tablets, social networks, apps, and all kinds of digital devices. High levels of digital connectivity have shaped their world and influenced their outlook and expectations in life. Google and Apple internships are among the top-ranking training pathways for Gen Z and Data Science and IT specialisms are among their top ten most popular career choices.
Archer IT Recruitment in Malta has a range of recent IT positions which may appeal to young IT professionals and the island’s stunning location and vibrant IT community are worth checking out. In the next section, we’ll consider the features that set Gen Z apart from other generations.
What are the common characteristics of Gen Z?
While this generation is made up of individuals, they tend to share the following features:
- The most ethnically diverse generation
- They value diversity and are socially conscious
- Their communication skills are excellent
- Unlike their parents, they expect alternative gender options and descriptions
- They are well-educated and value education
- Views tend to be liberal
- They adapt well to new situations
What do Gen Z expect from the workplace?
Since Gen Z will be highly active in the workplace over the next five years and beyond, it is time to consider their career aspirations. Here are some of the priorities in the professional lives of Gen Z:
This generation experienced first-hand how remote and flexible working patterns were completely viable during the pandemic. Gen Z demands the opportunity to work remotely with a degree of flexibility within their schedule.
Company culture is huge for Gen Z. They care a lot about being part of a team and want to work within a company whose values align with their own. Gen Z will research a company and look closely at its core values before committing to work there.
Gen Z wants to make a difference in the world. They expect their work to be purposeful and meet goals beyond making a profit. They want to work within companies that contribute towards solving societal problems like climate change, gender and racial inequality, poverty and hunger.
Gen Z is health conscious and focuses on mental health and wellness. They expect companies to promote good health and safety and care about staff well-being.
Some of this generation witnessed their parents coping with the recession in 2008. They were aware of job losses and businesses collapsing during the pandemic and are now living through high inflation and the current cost of living crisis. While Gen Z prize brands and enjoy spending money, they are also more likely to save and invest money than millennials. They do expect good levels of compensation and financial incentives at work.
Gen Z values transparency. They expect clarity in the workplace and appreciate logical explanations. They like clear goals to be set.
In a rapidly evolving digital world, Gen Z expects to be constantly learning and upskilling to stay abreast of new developments. They expect to experience learning opportunities and clear career pathways in the workplace.
How can employers attract Gen Z to the IT workplace?
With Gen Z’s high expectations from the business world, attracting and retaining them might seem overwhelming. Luckily over 50% of Gen Z want to work in IT and there are steps you can take to reach the newest workforce members when advertising your job. Consider the steps below to attract the newest members of our workforce:
Start using social media to build your brand and reach Gen Z. Research the most popular channel for the group. Advertising and recruiting on social media sites will expand your reach and attract a diverse pool of candidates. Adapt content for specific channels. Gen Z does not favour text-heavy content, so videos and visual content are worth using.
Find out which platforms and sites attract young IT professionals and post listings there. Aim to attract diverse applicants and target niche social media pages and websites.
Highlight your company culture. Appealing video content and photos can be a great way of showcasing your company’s cultural highlights. If the company organises social work events, let candidates know.
Include examples of meaningful projects your company supports in your company description. Emphasise any sustainable practices and social issues the company cares about.
Post clear job listings
Present your job advertisement clearly. Select clear job titles that are optimised to appear in searches and can be shared easily on social media. Use inclusive language to attract diverse candidates.
Focus on skills
Entry-level jobs should not require years of experience. Many candidates today will offer valuable and transferable skills and are prepared to learn on the job.
Emphasise career pathways and professional development options
Let them know about mentorship programmes within your organisation. Highlight training courses your company provides.
Gen Z doesn’t expect to wait too long to hear if their application has been successful, so get back to them quickly. A lengthy recruitment process will lose its appeal quickly. Candidates are building a picture of you as an employer with every communication, so keep all interactions positive.
Get the onboarding process right. Onboarding is hugely important for Gen Z, especially if you want to retain them. Coordinate onboarding carefully and issue very clear guidelines. Introduce the company gradually to new staff members. Consider a mentorship program at this stage. Focus on the essential details, tell them where bathrooms are, who to approach to get advice, where they can get coffee etc. Providing a welcome pack can show new recruits that you’re glad to have them onboard.
Provide up-to-date technology. A digitally literate group, Gen Z expects state-of-the-art equipment for smooth and seamless digital experiences.
Introduce a referral program
Gen Z is in a great position to inform other young job seekers of positions as they arise. Offer an incentive for them to share job openings. Make it easy to do this online or through social media.
Although Gen Z like face-to-face communication best, they favour email communication for important information. They are also much more likely to communicate via messenger or WhatsApp than by making a phone call. Adapt and use their preferred mode of communication.
If you’re interested in a career in IT, look at our IT jobs in Malta. For more information on current IT salaries in Malta, feel free to download our latest IT Salary Survey.