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Generation Z, individuals born between 1994 and 2010 are entering the workforce and driving some revolutionary changes as they go.

Like every generation before them, Generation Z has unique characteristics, priorities and opinions. Their arrival at businesses across the country runs parallel to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Having grown up in the digital age, Gen Zs are more in tune with the digital world than any generation before them.

And what this means for employers (big and small) is that recruiting and retaining the best talent from this generation will require a new approach. These five hiring tips for Gen Zs are based on insights about these dynamic, future-forward individuals:

Flexibility is the ‘new normal’

Even before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the exponential rise in remote working, Gen Zs were advocating for flexibility in the workplace. As digital natives, Gen Zs have grown accustomed to doing everything online, from shopping and banking to networking and having fun. For Gen Zs, the in-office, 9-to-5, office attire system is archaic. Work is something that should fit into their daily lives, alongside other priorities like travel, hobbies and socialising. A degree of flexibility around workspace, working hours, remuneration packages and benefits is something that Gen Zs value and expect.

The value-driven approach

Where previous generations may have been willing to overlook questionable practices in the workplace or brands that weren’t guided by a strong moral compass, Gen Zs expect their employers to operate according to a set of values that resonate with their own. As one writer suggests, Gen Zs are “woke”, meaning that they are socially conscious and acutely aware of the injustices that occur in society. For future employers, this means investing in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, supporting worthy causes and modelling workplace culture on values like integrity, transparency and inclusivity.

Invest in technology

According to a study conducted by Standard Bank, over 40% of Gen Zs expect their employers to have an active social media presence and strategies. This has major implications for going about recruiting this generation of future employees. There is very little that can stem the tide of digitisation, so becoming a digitally savvy SME owner may be essential to whether you’re able to reach out to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. There are several tech tools that will make your recruitment process more appealing to Gen Zs. These include chatbots, instant messaging, online video content and voicebots.


Focus on culture

Gen Zs care about where they work as well as the conditions they work under, just as much as they care about who they work for. A study by Mazars revealed that culture plays a major role in how Gen Zs choose their place of work. The same value-driven approach that you apply to clients and customers should be the same value system that applies internally. Gen Zs expect the companies of the future to value people and to foster workplace cultures that include diverse groups of people and create safe spaces for self-expression and unique ways of thinking.

Think long-term

Most Generation Zs are tapped into a wider body of knowledge and information than their older counterparts. As such, they have a clear view of the big picture and define very early in their lives what success looks like for them. For this reason, Gen Zs are motivated by their future aspirations and value companies who can illustrate a clear growth trajectory. Another recent study revealed that the top priority for over 60% of Gen Zs in their job search, is the opportunity for career growth. Employers of the future will therefore need a long-term plan for their Gen Z recruits – a plan that can clearly define their career objectives and how to achieve them.

About the Author: Ben Bierman

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Ben Bierman has been our Managing Director since 2015. He joined our company in 1990 and has risen through the ranks occupying various positions ranging from being a management accountant, Head of Information Technology and Chief Financial Officer. Ben is an avid reader, enjoys classical music and being in the outdoors including for hunting trips. He is our go-to-spokesperson for our SME Confidence Index, SME sector policy and trend matters, and business leadership articles.