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Hiring Gen Z: Getting ready for the next generation
Hiring Gen Z: Getting ready for the next generation

For years, everyone from advertisers to hiring managers has been asking what, exactly, millennials want. With this populous generation coming into its own as employees and consumers, the question became inescapable. Now, it's practically outdated. Millennials aren't on their way - they're here. It's incumbent upon organizational leaders to come up with strategies to deal with the next round of youthful employees and consumers: Generation Z.
 
Your company should probably be considering how it will hone its appeal for the young candidates who will begin applying for jobs within the next few years. Just as millennial habits and preferences differ from Gen X, the next group of applicants will likely have its own unique quirks. Making plans now rather than waiting a few years could put your talent pipeline ahead of the curve.
 
Tracking the generation gap
Millennials' preferences confounded employers for years. To avoid making that mistake with Generation Z, it's time to survey these young individuals' likes and dislikes. HR Dive recently tackled this topic, consulting polling and expert opinions to paint a picture of what Gen Z job seekers want. JazzHR Director of Human Resources Corey Berkey told the news source that young candidates tend to have fairly measured expectations of what employers will be able to offer, though they do tend to be unwilling to settle for situations that aren't up to their standards.
 
One of the cornerstones of the Generation Z experience is easy access to technology. These young people have grown up in a world of IT-based conveniences that significantly outstrip what was available to millennials. This means tech-based recruiting could have a new importance for your company as you compete for the brightest minds of the rising generation.
 
HR Dive's panel of industry experts recommended that outreach methods can include everything from social media engagement to text messaging and beyond. While millennials grew up in a world of desktop PCs, Gen Z candidates are naturally familiar with smart devices and mobile tech. Beyond the medium your organization picks, you'll have to tailor a message that suits candidates' desires and expectations. This could entail transparency, authenticity and commitment to causes.
 
Will they stay?
Once you successfully recruit Generation Z employees, you'll need to offer an office experience that suits their preferences, or else you risk losing your top performers. The Association for Talent Development explained that workplace needs are significantly different between millennials and their younger counterparts. For instance, each generation following Gen X has seen reduced confidence in face-to-face communication and brainstorming. The ATD suggested workplaces should go out of their way to make in-person idea sharing easier, as there is an unmet need for this kind of collaboration.
 
Another need that has only become more acute over the years is the call for operational flexibility. Workers today are less willing to compromise their personal lives in favor of work. Adjusting this balance and allowing professionals to create a customized schedule that works for them can set a company apart from its more rigid contemporaries. Movement in this direction should have begun as millennials aged into the workforce. If not, it may be time to catch up.
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