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Gen Z in the workforce: How to attract and retain the newest generation

Is your organization Gen Z ready? With the newest generation (also known as iGen or Zoomers) gradually trickling into the workforce, there are plenty of changes organizations need to make. After all, this was the generation that was born into a world of peak technological innovation, and have different expectations from their older counterparts.

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While it’s important to avoid making sweeping generalizations and caution should be taken when trying to figure out what makes the youngest employees tick, this Pacific Prime article will let you in on the latest workforce trends pertaining to them, so that you understand how to attract and retain Gen Z like a pro.

Meet a Gen Z’er in the workplace

Gen Z are those who are born after 1996, the generation following Millennials, so the oldest Gen Z’er is now 23. They have a unique perspective on careers, including how success is defined. Here are some Gen Z workforce characteristic to take note of- of course, some of them may overlap with Millennials, while others will be vastly different:

  • Technology-centric: Gen Z’ers grew up in the age of the internet and are used to having information at their fingertips. They don’t remember a world without the world wide web and will bring their technological expectations to the workplace.
  • Impact of global financial crisis: Witnessing the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Gen Z’ers aren’t simply motivated by job security, like one might expect. Their core values and characteristics are more nuanced.
  • Salary and job expectations: It is still the most important factor when deciding on a job, but Gen Z’ers tend to value salary less than other generations. They would rather take on a job that is more interesting.
  • Valuing diversity and inclusion: Whether it’s race, gender, identity, orientation, or any other spectrum of differences, diversity and inclusions matter to Gen Z. They want to work for a company that is open minded and accepting.
  • Admiring companies that acknowledge their social responsibility: Gen Z’ers admire companies that highlight their efforts to be global citizens, and are committed to board societal challenges such as sustainability, climate change, hunger crisis, and many more.

Gen Z workforce recruiting strategy in 2021: 5 tips to attract and retain the newest generation

With every passing day, Baby Boomers are retiring and exiting the workforce. At the same time, Gen Z’ers are beginning to enter the world of work and will soon make up a significant proportion of the workforce. For an organization to stay relevant and appeal to this demographic, it’s important to pay attention to Gen Z workforce recruiting strategy.

Here are 5 tips to attract and retain the newest generation:

1. Brand yourself as an employer of choice, focusing on your values and on the ‘employee experience’

Gen Z’ers like to work for companies that align with their personal values, so organizations should demonstrate their values in their branding. This could be through statements on the website, mentioning how the company adheres to those values. For instance, having high school mentoring programs for disadvantaged youths.

Tip: When talking about the organization’s values, it’s important to remain authentic in your messaging, especially if you’re challenging the norm.

What’s more, organizations should also focus on the ‘employee experience’, highlighting what it’s like to actually work in the company. This could be through getting existing employees to share their experience and day-to-day work life. If Gen Z’ers see that current employees are happy, they’ll be more attracted to the organization.

Check out our top 3 non-monetary employee benefits below.

2. Utilize technology in the hiring process

Traditional methods of recruiting aren’t going to bode well with Gen Z. Your HR team should collaborate with your marketing team, as you should utilize social media in your recruitment efforts. In addition to this, try to integrate more digital processes into recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices.

Moreover, organizations should also harness the power of HR tools and applications when administering employee benefits. Gen Z’ers will love them because they have the ability to:

  • Create a tailored experience for employees based on what each of them prefers
  • Provide flexibility to suit the needs of employees at any given time
  • Allow employees to take charge of their own benefits decision, such as virtual healthcare

3. Integrate mobile and apps into the everyday workflow

Similar to the aforementioned point, mobile and apps need to be integrated into employees’ everyday workflow. Not only will Gen Z’ers be more comfortable using them, but they can also increase efficiency and productivity for your organization. There are a world of apps you can look into, such as:

  • Electronic attendance trackers
  • Online tax calculators
  • Project management apps
  • Communication and collaboration tools

4. Provide flexible working options (and change how you view productivity)

Work-life balance is of utmost importance to Gen Z. As such, they prefer organizations that provide flexible working options. This enables them to work on their schedule, and organization to focus on productivity rather than hours clocked. There are many flexible working options that you can offer including staggered start/end times, hybrid working, or even full remote working.

Tying to this, one major HR trend in 2021 is to take the work-life balance of your employees very seriously. This means the rise in more family-friendly benefits, including for a growing number of non-traditional families, such as paid family leave, child care assistance, location support (e.g. private place in the workplace for breastfeeding mothers), and many more.

5. Offer clear-feedback, training, and mentorship for career advancement

Finally, Gen Z’ers don’t just want a job that pays them. They want to take charge of their career and personal development, which means organizations need to offer clear feedback, training, and mentorship opportunities. As a leader or manager, seek to understand and inspire these younger employees.

Moreover, you could offer reverse mentoring schemes. This is the pairing of two members of an organization, from different teams and at different levels. The duo can learn from each other, exchanging skills and expertise. Employees will get exposure to other business areas and diversify their skills, as well as gain an insight into how the organization works. A win-win for all!

Looking to implement employee benefits? Consult Pacific Prime today

Employee benefits for younger generations are important, as they are with other generations in the workforce. If you don’t already have an employee benefits package, you can get in touch with Pacific Prime. As a global health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist, we work with a number of organizations in a range of industries, and we’ve got plenty of things to share with you.

Discover what your employee benefits priorities in 2021 should be, including how to structure your employee benefits offerings for Gen Z. You may find that you have to tailor employee benefits to both the younger and older generation, so it’s worth giving our inaugural Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2020 a read. Here, we talk about the top employee benefits trends and their key drivers – one of which is an increasingly multi-generational workforce.

Our corporate team can also work with your organization, helping you design and implement tailored corporate insurance and employee benefits solutions for your organization. We adopt a technology-driven approach to streamline the entire process, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands. To get started, arrange an initial consultation with a member of our corporate team today!

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral