Last week, attendees at the June Professional Luncheon heard how to hire, retain, and train the latest generation entering the workforce: GenZ. Thomasine Joyce, our local chapter’s President-Elect and Talent Development Lead at Hussman Corporation lead an interactive workshop on what to consider as you attract this generation to your workplace and encourage them to stay.
Constantly wanting to feel connected socially is one of the unique characteristics of this group. They don’t know life without social media and 80% feel distressed when without their mobile device. GenZ can’t help but incorporate this connectedness into their professional workday. Since they are so linked, there isn’t a clear distinction between work and life which requires a lot of flexibility in schedules and where people are physically located.
GenZ wants to have their own workspace so the open work environment of low walls and shared tables might not be appealing to this group. Perhaps offices might look at a configuration that has open space for collaboration and private space for phone calls and deep work time.
Thomasine also shared that recruiting efforts for those just now entering the workforce needs to look more like a marketing campaign than our traditional methods of web postings and career fairs. Employers are competing for GenZ’s time right along with the latest restaurants and Instagram influencers. Online reviews hold a lot of weight with them so maintaining an honest image on sites like Glassdoor are very important.
Organizations may want to re-evaluate their comprehensive benefits packages. For instance, GenZers are starting jobs with high levels of student debt so rather than offering tuition reimbursement, consider paying off loans. Their personal time is important so policies around flextime and paid time off should be reviewed and updated.
Given the flexibility, this cohort is ready to work hard and learn fast. About 77% expect to work harder than previous generations. The majority want to work for mid to large size companies and hope to develop through multiple roles. They are going to bring new energy and creativity into the workforce, and we want them selecting our organizations.