Gen Z – 5 things you need to know about the new tech talent pool

Generation Z is growing up and getting a tech job. The world’s first truly digital native generation— GenZ-ers are born from 1995 to 2010. The most racially and ethnically diverse generation is entrepreneurial, purpose-driven and wants flexibility. It’s time for them to start their careers and they overwhelmingly want to work in tech. That’s why it is so important that employers don’t overlook this generation as it truly is an untackled talent pool.

With increasing competition for workers, employers have to be more strategic than ever to attract the best talent. Gen Z should be on your business radar. Knowing their motivation will affect everything,  from your employer branding to recruitment marketing and ultimately talent acquisition.

How can you attract and retain this unique generation of workers? Here’s how to crack the code on hiring Gen Z workers.

  1. Gen Z are true digital natives

Unlike any cohort before them, this is a truly digital native generation. They are connected from birth basically, never knowing a time without technology at their fingertips, demanding constant seamless connectivity, depending on Siri or Google Maps.

But that leads to the fact Gen-Z is “work ready”. It’s undeniable that they bring valuable new technical skills and creativity into the workplace. And consequently, they expect to work with modern technology.

According to a study of Generation Z in the world of work , over 90% say technology would influence job choices given the same job vacancies. Employers who see the clear benefits of using digital technologies will therefore be more successful in attracting and retaining young people too.

“ Climate protection is GenZ’s greatest concern.”

2. Provide the right type of incentives

This next generation taking the workforce by storm has made it clear that making a personal connection to their job is key. According to Tallo, 69% of Gen Z respondents said it has become more important in the past year to find a job that is personally fulfilling. In that sense, the employer needs to reflect the values they consider important.

Social impact. Gen Z isn’t motivated by money alone. They also want to do work that’s meaningful and exciting. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 60% of Generation Z want jobs that have a social impact. Climate protection is their greatest concern so communicating these values and following up with actions is important for them.

Diversity and inclusion. Generation Z is more diverse than any previous generation. They have been shaped by a society that celebrates diversity and openness. To them that is simply the norm and it is important for them to work in such an environment.

Flexibility. According to Deloitte survey, Gen Z sees flexibility as the most critical employee characteristic for successful business. Alongside that, remote working is in the top list of Gen Zers’ expectations

Work-life balance. Stress is the biggest obstacle to improving performance for Gen Z. They want security and financial stability, but also a lot of free time and thus a clear separation of private life and work. A recent study by GoodHire says generation Z is primarily looking for more paid time off to forfeit their work-life balance.

3. Acknowledge competitiveness and learning as a higher priority

Generation Z is way more independent, goal-oriented, and individualistic at work. They tend to be more focused on their own success and control the end product of their work. Manifesting an individual identity is at their core.

Growing up in an era of global instability has driven Gen Z to value personal resilience, financial conservatism and hard work. They save and are focused on the future, seeing financial success as a way to get ahead, saving now and investing later

Gen Z also understands that there’s a need for constant skill development in order to stay relevant. They are looking for alternative ways to gain the knowledge and skills they want outside of traditional higher education. They want a job that provides career advancement and appreciate chances to add skills and develop themselves personally and professionally.

If Gen Z doesn’t feel secure, or fear their career path has stagnated, they’ll move on.

“It’s not the amount of money they earn, but the satisfaction with their work and the fulfilment of their ambitions compared to the financial valuation they receive.”

4. Nurture performance culture with Gen Z

Defined by its competitiveness, Gen Z wants to work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team. A global survey conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos across 12 countries identified that Gen Zers strongly believe that they are the hardest working generation, followed by millennials.

But expectations at work are value driven and connected with their own morals. It all comes down to your company culture and the values it reflects, as that will help hire talent, even  from all generations. According to the research published by Slovak University of Technology, if Gen Z knows what  the goal is behind the job, they are willing to work a lot, and expect to be acknowledged and rewarded with free time afterwards, such as for traveling.

Primarily, it’s not the amount of money they earn, but the satisfaction with their work and the fulfilment of their ambitions compared to the financial valuation they receive. 

Even though they are highly competent in communicating online, successfully engaging with Generation Z requires striking a balance between conversing directly and engaging online. Both are important, and they need to feel connected in both ways to be fully satisfied.

5. Learn how to give feedback to Gen Z

Gen Z takes a lot of pride in being “more educated” than other generations. As they are hyper connected, and having the biggest social media presence, they are used to voicing their thoughts publicly and receiving immediate feedback. Gen Z wants feedback and they want it fast.

A study of 1400 Gen Z professionals by EY found that 63% of respondents preferred feedback in a timely and constructive manner to stay in their current job. They may even have the perfect mindset for receiving negative feedback, as 80% reported the belief that failure was something to be learned from.

Being used to the habit of calling out disagreeable behavior, in that sense they are very morally attentive. They may expect their ideas to be heard and respected in the workplace. At the same time, that can lead to conflicts. According to Harris Poll survey, only 52% trust HR to field harassment concerns, which reflects on them sticking around.

Make sure to be very clear about your values. Send out consistent and clear messaging about what your organization stands for. Of course that as a leader, you’re encouraging the team to question and challenge the way the organization works. But, simply put, set some norms to avoid settling constant disputes.

What does all of this mean for employees?

Today’s young people differ from yesterday’s, but there are some shared traits across generations. Trying to evaluate a whole generation might be tricky. But understanding the mindset of Gen Z is the first step to unlocking this unique workforce that is set to conquer the job market.

They are a generation still on the move, searching for excitement, and wish to travel the world, but are resilient and resolute. Businesses who share their vision for a better future would do well to encourage those characteristics. It’s important to know what makes them tick.

If you are looking to hire tech talent or you just need advice get in touch with us. We can help recruit the best developers for your company or work with you on your hiring strategy and HR skills.

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