Managing Gen Z Employees

Gen Z is the latest generation to impact the business world. They are the most technically savvy generation yet. They also have a unique set of expectations that they bring with them to the workplace. They expect hyper-customizability, instant access to their boss and peers, and quick career advancement. Here are some specific items that recruiters should consider when hiring Gen Z candidates:

1.       Digital Recruiting:

a.       It’s not enough to just conduct interviews via Skype or Zoom. These new employees expect the line between physical and external barriers to be eliminated.

b.       Young employees expect quick and interactive software that allow them to communicate during the recruitment process.

c.       The company website should be consistently updated. Gen Z will notice if your stock photos and website look like it’s from 15 years ago.

d.       Some Gen Z are interested in submitting a video resume versus the more traditional resume format.

e.       Gen Z expects to be able to apply via apps and not the more common job boards.

2.       Hybrid/Remote Work:

a.       Gen Z now expects a large amount of flexibility in the workplace. The pandemic has validated that remote workers are also productive workers. Many young employees are demanding remote/hybrid work opportunities. This could include a variety of options from working in the office a couple days a week to 100% remote work.

b.       VPN is a requirement for employees working from home. The ability to securely work from home is a must have. Companies need to invest in cyber security and encryption software to allow employees to conduct safe and efficient work from home.

c.       Slack, Zoom, and other digital tools are essential. These tools allow for consistent communication regardless if the employee is in the office or not. Communicating via Zoom may not be the same as meeting in person, but it’s far more interactive than email and other alternative communication pathways.

3.       Communication:

a.       Gen Z may have a harder time focusing on the job because they are so used to being on their phones 24/7 versus previous generations. Fear of missing out (aka FOMO) is a reality for this generation. They generally are afraid of missing out on something going on in the world. I advise most managers to be more lenient on the phone usage policy with their younger employees. Allowing Gen Z employees to stay plugged into their phones may become a productivity issue, but not allowing them on during the workday could be a huge retention issue.  

b.       Gen Z are efficient task twitchers. Gen Z maintains a frantic pace of staying on top of so many apps and social media outlets. Many Boomers and Gen Z employers assume they are good multi-taskers. No generation is good at multi-tasking – that is a fallacy we tell ourselves. Gen Z excels at task switching, where they can go from one task to the another seamlessly and frequently.

c.       Gen Z employees are used to monitoring multiple avenues of communication. From WhatsApp, to Slack, to email there are multiple ways to communicate with your Gen Z employees. Be sure to select one or two modalities and advise people to focus their messages on those two. For example, maybe tell your employees if it’s something urgent or complex send an email or call, whereas if it’s a simple question maybe Slack is a more appropriate tool.

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