How to Recruit and Train Gen Z

How can recruitment professionals effectively manage and retain Gen Z employees?  This is a question that companies are asking around the country as Gen Z enters the workforce and brings its unique challenges.  

Currently, Gen Z is having a major impact on the workforce.  It is joining the workforce earlier than past generations, with 33% of Gen Z ages 16 to 19 participating in the workforce.  Gen Z is also meeting demand, as brands will hire 14.7% more college grads in 2023 than 2022, and 57% of Gen Z students attended college in 2018. 

Despite Gen Z’s significance in the workforce, many hiring managers do not know how to deal with employees of this generation.  In fact, one in two hiring managers struggle connecting with new Gen Z employees.  

There is a large Gen Z hiring gap, and three main factors contribute to this.  The Great Reshuffle–changes to the workplace following COVID–disproportionately impacted young workers; Gen Z experienced a 73% increase in furloughs compared to other generations.  The second factor is unnecessary conflict in the workplace.  Negative headlines in the news tend to fuel these conflicts, putting people of all backgrounds and ages on edge.  Finally, many employees and employers have misaligned career expectations, resulting in high rates of Gen Z employees quitting their jobs within a year of employment. 

Luckily, there are ways to address and overcome these challenges.  Hiring managers can establish clear expectations, which addresses the challenges of misaligned expectations.  Building and maintaining transparency is also key, and can foster a respectful workplace where employees can build meaningful connections.  Communication is another important step; many Gen Z employees face an information overload when starting a new job, so intentional and concise information can make a huge difference. 

Taking generational differences into account can address some of the challenges that have arisen with the influx of Gen Z employees.  Understanding Gen Z perspectives and skill sets will be important in the years to come.

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