Generation Hired: Bringing Gen Z to the Workplace

Becky Chariton
Becky Chariton
Published on 
4.19.2022

Generation Z is the largest generation yet, making up about 30% of the world’s population. Because of their digital upbringing, they bring a whole new set of skills to the table that every company should be on the lookout for. By 2030, Gen Z will make up more than 20% of the workforce, and they are on track to be the most educated generation yet with 57% enrolled in a two year or four year college.

U.S. Department of Labor, US Labor Force Composition by Generation

Besides choreographing Tik Tok dances and creating hip, new trends for everyone to follow, Gen Z continues to prove they are also outspoken, driven, and willing to fight for the things they believe in.

Their creativity and determination will help companies grow and thrive, but Gen Z will only get behind a company if they believe in their ideals and culture. So how are you going to get them to believe in your organization?

I sat down with Kaitlin Manion, the General Manager at Generation Hired, to dive into the mind of Gen Z. Here’s what I learned and what we both think you should know about Gen Z’s wants & needs when entering the job market.

1. Remote Work & Soft Skills

For Gen Zers, the switch to remote life meant missing out on valuable experiences. From informal networking in the office kitchen to quick check-ins with team members, many peoples early careers are marked with these kinds of on-the-fly interactions.

Remote schooling, internships, and jobs are valuable, but don’t always provide the professional development in person experiences do. 

“Gen Z may have a bit of trouble navigating the soft skills part of the career world at the moment,” explains Manion. “They didn’t really have the same access to university centers or get that in person connection where they would gain networking, socializing skills, or even hands on help with resumes.”

Mentorship and professional development can go a long way with this cohort. According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence survey, 40% of Gen Z workers would take a pay cut for a stronger chance to grow in their role. They’re looking to make up for lost time, so make sure you’re offering learning opportunities and room to grow.

2. Strong Values at Work and at Home

Company culture greatly impacts employee experience and Gen Z knows it. Work life and personal life can easily become intertwined and Gen Z won’t settle for less than their own standards.

“I think the thing that's most important to Gen Z when they're applying for jobs is just knowing that the workplace has strong values that intermix with their own personal values.” says Manion, “So I really encourage companies to state outright what your values are right away in a job description. And let them know what you're going to be giving them beyond just a paycheck and a wonderful experience.” 

Who you work for is more than just a job, but a representation of who you are and what you support. If you want Gen Z on your team make sure to be loud and proud about your company values. Focus on inclusion, diversity, and accessibility because Gen Z won’t settle for anything less.

3. Flex for the Future

The future of work is hybrid and Gen Z is on board. Since many young professionals have never had an in-office experience, they are looking for options. 

Kaitlin notes the importance of hybrid work, giving Gen Z the flexibility to socialize with coworkers one day and stay home the next is key. 

“They still want the option to go and interact socially with their coworkers. I think that the biggest pitfall of remote work and hybrid work is not always seeing your coworkers, your boss, or even other people that would be in the same office building as you, just missing out on that connection.”

We know Gen Z is comfortable online and we know they need the opportunity to develop workplace relationships, so why take away either option? Flexibility gives them the chance to meet and interact with coworkers, while allowing them to maintain their independence.

”There's a lot of freedom in being like, I can go into the office on this day if I want to. And I can make sure my work bestie is there and everything like that So Gen Z is really big on that flexibility” says Manion.

Planning for Gen Z

In the midst of the Great Resignation and the rise of burnout, retaining and supporting your employees is more important now than ever.

People are the most valuable asset to any company. Understanding their needs and who they are will go a long way, so make sure your workplace is ready for Gen Z. Spruce up your professional development program, outline your values, and promote flexibility. 

Utilizing platforms like Generation Hired can help connect your company with young professionals around the world. Their career services promote exceptional companies and are helping women identifying and diverse populations find jobs and make connections. 

If you’re looking to solidify your hybrid work strategy, Robin can help. If you are interested in learning more about Gen Z and their thoughts on remote work, stay tuned for our Gen Z report coming soon.