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What You Need To Recruit And Retain Gen Z

Navigating the dynamic world of Gen Z recruitment and retention can feel like an uncharted territory for many organizations. With Gen Z forecasted to constitute 30% of the workforce by 2030, an understanding of their shifting expectations and needs is paramount. The era of job hopping is here, and our infographic sheds light on the intricacies of this restless generation's career landscape.

As Gen Z continues to make their mark, companies grapple with unprecedented challenges in attracting and keeping this digitally native generation. With key statistics revealing an 80% increase in job transitions and high turnover rates, it is crucial to decipher Gen Z's language and adapt our strategies accordingly. Buckle up as we dissect the complex world of Gen Z in the workplace and explore what it will take to recruit and retain them successfully.

What You Need To Recruit And Retain Gen Z

Job transitions are up 80% year over year for Gen Z. What does this mean for recruitment professionals, or for that matter, the future of work?

The Current State Of Gen Z Recruitment

This generation will:

  • Make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025 and 30% by 2030
  • Join the workforce earlier: 33% of Gen Z ages 16 to 19 have jobs (up from 26% of Millennials)
  • Meet demand: organizations will hire 14.7% more college grads in 2023 than 2022

But engaging with and maintaining Gen Z employees is difficult for many organizations — today, 1 in 2 hiring managers struggle to connect with early-career employees.

Companies Face Unrivaled Challenges Around Gen Z Recruitment And Retention

Organizations find it hard to integrate Gen Z workers with their existing employee base: 74% of hiring managers say Gen Z is the most difficult generation to deal with in the workplace. There are three major factors fueling the Gen Z hiring gap:

  • Changing workplaces in a post-COVID world. The Great Reshuffle disproportionately pushed younger workers to the side. Gen Z experienced a 79% increase in layoffs and a 73% increase in furloughs compared to other generations between March 2020 and April 2021.
  • Unnecessary friction in the workplace. Negative headlines from research companies and news outlets stimulate aggressive responses on both sides of the equation, so it comes as no surprise that 70% of Gen Z employees are at risk of reneging on their current job offer.
  • Misaligned career expectations between employees and employers. 65% of Gen Z talent quits within 12 months of employment and it's expected that Gen Z will change jobs 10 x or more between the ages of 18 and 34.

It takes companies an average of 42 days to complete the recruitment process, and the total cost to replace an early-career renege is $22,000 per employee. Time and money are of the essence as companies race to recruit and retain top talent. And, when 52% of early-career employees say their turnover could have been prevented, it means it's time to change hiring strategies to engage the generation of the future.

What It’ll Take To Keep Gen Z On Payroll

By understanding how to recruit and retain Gen Z, we deepen our understanding of the forces shaping the future of work. Here’s what we need to do:

  • Establish clear expectations. Clear expectations create a locus of control for Gen Z and contribute to higher levels of mental and emotional stability in the workplace. With 98% of Gen Z agreeing it's important to have clear expectations of a role, this means explaining salary and benefit details, day-to-day job expectations, opportunities for growth, and PTO information.
  • Foster genuine transparency. Transparency relieves stress for Gen Z because it takes away worry for what the future holds. For this group, transparency means laying out clear responsibilities and goals, having more 1:1 check-ins with supervisors, and having straightforward recognition for work. Keep in mind, salary transparency has the #1 influence on job decisions, with 52% of Gen Z saying they wouldn't accept a job without it.
  • Offer workplace respect. Respect in the workplace promotes positive mental health for a generation facing a daunting mental health crisis. For Gen Z, workplace respect means offering work-life balance, showing that their work is valued, and promoting positive mental health.
  • Nurture meaningful connections. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Gen Z's professional and personal growth, creating strong needs for multiple types of workplace connections. Before starting a new job, 59% of Gen Z wants to connect with other members of their team, direct supervisors (24%), and other new hires (11%). Nearly half of Gen Z employees want to know about their new coworker's personalities, interests, and life outside of work.
  • Focus on intentional communication. Gen Z faces an information overload crisis and deserve clear and intention work-related communications. When learning about a job, 51% of Gen Z wants information that is clear and concise and 69% of Gen Z wants to be in communication with their new employer at least 1-2 times per week.

Workplaces don’t just have the ability to engage and retain Gen Z — they have the responsibility to build transparency, foster respect, and facilitate connections inside and outside the workplace.


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