Recruiting Gen Z and retention can feel like venturing into uncharted territory for organizations around the world. Nonetheless, it is important to understand and adapt hiring strategies to satisfy Gen Z’s needs and expectations, especially with job transitions now up by 80% year over year for Gen Z and experts forecasting that Gen Z will constitute at least 30% of the workforce by 2030. But what exactly does this mean for recruitment professionals and the future of work?

Gen Z is becoming a major force in the modern workplace. So far, more than 30% of Gen Z between the ages of 16 and 19 are currently working. Brands are also expected to hire 15% more college graduates this year compared to the previous year. In fact, almost 60% of Gen Z students (ages 18 to 21) attended college in 2018.

However, many hiring managers are finding it hard to sincerely connect and engage with Gen Z employees and help them fit into the existing employee base. It has been reported that over 70% of hiring managers find the Gen Z generation the most difficult to work with. Workplaces have found three major factors that are probably fueling the Gen Z hiring struggle.

One of them is the workplaces changes around the world post COVID. The Great Reshuffle affected Gen Z the most, causing a 79% rise in layoffs and 73% increase in furloughs compared to other generations in 2020 and 2021. Unnecessary tension in the workplace is also a contributing factor to the hiring gap. Research companies and news publications have created negative headlines that stimulated aggressive responses from both employees and employers. So it comes as no surprise that 70% of Gen Z employees are the most likely to renege on their job offer.

A third factor is the differences in career expectations between employees and employers. Currently, 65% of Gen Z talent leave their job within 12 months of employment. Many between the ages of 18 and 34 switch jobs 10 or more times as well.

All of this amounts to high early-career turnover rates that are affecting us more than we know. Positions are left unoccupied for at least a month since it takes 42 days on average for companies to make it to the end of the recruitment process. The cost of early-career turnover is also expensive with each replacement costing as much as $22,000 per employee. With as many as 10,000 people reaching retirement age each year in the U.S., being unable to hire the generation of the future could create worrisome gaps in the workforce.

52% of Gen Z employees are saying their turnover didn’t need to happen if companies had better hiring strategies that engaged the generation. Understanding how to appropriately recruit and retain Gen Z can help us know what’s really shaping the future of work. One of the changes companies can make is establishing clear expectations that Gen Z can focus on and contribute to mental and emotional stability at work. Currently, 98% of Gen Zers think it’s very important to have clear expectations of a role before starting the job, including salary and benefits, daily job expectations, PTO, and ways for employees to grow.

Gen Z employees also want companies to promote genuine transparency as it relieves stress related to the future of the job. Salary transparency is especially important when it comes to job decisions. Transparency can be included in explanations about responsibilities and goals, more one-on-one check-ins with supervisors, and straightforward recognition for hard work.

Workplace respect is very important to Gen Z, especially considering that it improves mental health for a generation that has suffered the most from mental health issues. Workplace respect means having good work-life balance, knowing that their work is being valued, and supporting positive mental health. Gen Z wants companies to encourage meaningful connections with fellow co-workers as well since COVID disturbed personal and professional growth. Gen Z is looking to connect with other members of their team, supervisors, new hires, and closest HR contact both inside and outside of work.

With so much information available to Gen Z, the majority of employees want clear and intentional communications at work. 51% of Gen Zers want clear and concise information while 70% of them want to receive communication from their new employer at least twice a week. With more members of Gen Z entering the workforce, it’s crucial for companies to evolve their hiring strategies so that they appeal to the generation of the future.

What You Need To Recruit And Retain Gen Z
Source: Abode HR