Attracting and Retaining Top Gen Z Talent

While millennials are still the largest section of the global workforce, Generation Z is coming up swiftly behind them. Businesses need to pay attention to this proportion of the population — they have a deep understanding of contemporary life, they are digital natives, and they have a tendency to be forward-thinking. Therefore, as a company leader, you need to understand what attracts the top Gen Z talent, and make changes accordingly.

However, it’s not just about initial hiring potential. For Gen Z workers to make a lasting impact on innovation and longevity, your business also needs to gain an understanding of how to retain these valuable contributors to the workforce. Particularly in a commercial landscape that sees around one million Filipino workers migrating abroad each year, it is imperative that you create a company culture that gives Gen Z a reason to stick around.

As more Gen Zers are moving toward entering the workforce, now is an ideal time to explore the issue. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the key factors that can help you not just gain the attention of the top talent in this generation, but also retain them.

Create Balance

One of the chief priorities for Gen Z workers is how well their careers mesh with their lifestyle. Indeed, a recent survey of 18,378 young Filipino job seekers found that Generation Z tends to prioritize work that can provide flexibility and give them a good work-life balance. This means that, as a business leader, you must gain a better understanding of what this balance looks like to your target demographic of candidates, and implement it into your protocols.

From the perspective of initially attracting Gen Z candidates, you should be implementing a raft of employee benefits that reflect their priorities for a good work-life balance. This can include the standardized provision of remote working options that allow them to operate in comfort, and flexible hours so they can fit work around their home lives.

The inclusion of health and wellness plans that support their ongoing wellbeing is vital, too. Alongside formalizing these benefits in the employee handbook, it can be helpful to summarize them in your job vacancy postings and on the careers section of your company website.

Beyond recruiting Gen Z, as part of retention efforts you need to move past standardized benefits to make balance part of the ongoing company culture.

  • Consistently take an empathetic approach to workers’ needs.
  • Encourage them to talk to you about issues they’re having, and work together to accommodate any additional time off or flexibility they need.

You also need to create an open dialogue between you and your workforce, and seek their input into how you can improve the workplace and its place in their lives.

Lean Into Tech

Generation Z is among the first true digital natives. They haven’t lived in a world that wasn’t filled with the advances of our digital landscape, and as such, they have a unique relationship with these tools. They have a deep understanding of the benefits of technology, and therefore they have a tendency to work for companies that have an enthusiasm for advanced tools. Indeed, a recent report found that 88% of Filipinos have aspirations to work with cutting-edge tech.

In your efforts to attract Gen Z candidates, you must make it clear from the outset how technology forms a central element of both your business and the role they’re applying for. Advertise what new forms of software and hardware you’re currently using, and how online practices are built into everyone’s responsibilities.

Even for entry-level positions, you should be placing emphasis on what is expected from candidates’ use of digital tools, and what additional training they can expect to receive in order to thrive. Use your social media channels, and marketing content to talk about the ongoing role digital practices play in your ongoing success.

From a retention standpoint, you need to make efforts to encourage their enthusiasm and exploration of cutting-edge technology. Seek their input when you’re considering adding new digital elements and processes. Chances are, they have a keen sense of what is new and interesting from a tech perspective in your field, and they will appreciate that you recognize and value their opinions on the matter.

Moreover, it’s important that you accept that the way they utilize online tools is consistent with the changing nature of culture and the workplace. Be open to supporting their building of professional relationships through social media, and even using their own devices for work tasks.

Encourage Growth

One of the things you need to remember about bringing Gen Z into your organization is that they are human, and as such, they want to love where they work, and they want to be nurtured.

When you’re first setting out to gain the attention of candidates, make it clear that it isn’t always strictly necessary that they have formal qualifications, and show that the company provides comprehensive initial training and ongoing support. Use your website to show what courses and qualification opportunities you provide to your employees in order to help them become skilled professionals in their field.

When it comes to retention, your attention needs to be directed toward long-term investment and helping Gen Zers achieve their goals. Put in place a path for professional progression through the organization, and ensure that management and executive leadership provide guidance directly to employees — a recent study showed that 55% of Filipino Gen Zers were drawn to mentorship programs.

Even beyond the interests of the business, it’s important to encourage workers in their own entrepreneurial pursuits; they’ll appreciate your care and consideration, and their businesses in turn may contribute to or collaborate with your own.

Conclusion

Gen Z is not just a rising sector of the workforce, they can also be valuable contributors to your company in a changing climate. In order to both attract and retain them, though, your company needs to create a culture that emphasizes work-life balance. A focus on technology and their ongoing development will both capture their attention, and ensure their commitment to your business and its success.

Jori Hamilton