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Aug 2016

Why your company needs to get over Millennials—and get ready for Gen Z

A new generation is about to overtake the workforce. Employers need to prepare—yesterday.

By Seth Matheson, Director of Talent Fusion by Monster, and Matt Anchin, SVP of Global Communications & Content at Monster

Across the board, Millennials continue to be the focus of conversations about the future of the workforce. But while companies are reactively trying to adjust their recruiting strategies for these 20- and 30-somethings, they’re missing the opportunity to be proactive about the true future workforce: Gen Z.

At Monster we recognize that employers may not yet be thinking about the “Gen Z workforce,” as 77% of those surveyed are still students. But we don’t underestimate this cohort’s potential to take the working world by storm—and we want to help our customers be ready for what’s next. This is why we conducted the inaugural Monster Multi-Generational Survey: Our partners at global research firm TNS surveyed more than 2,000 working and non-working people across the Boomer, X, Y and Z generations to find out how they differ in their perspectives on work. A key portion of this was looking at Gen Z—the oldest of whom are just entering the workforce now, and the crux of whom will join in the next five years.

Gen Z are true “digital natives,” the first-ever generation to have ubiquitous Internet technology at their fingertips since birth. They’ve grown up in a world where startups like Facebook and Snapchat went from college-dorm inventions to multi-billion-dollar tech giants nearly overnight. And they also experienced the financial crisis before they were even teens. Most important, Monster’s survey revealed that this group is very different than its Millennial predecessors—and will therefore require a unique recruitment strategy.

Fortunately, the maturing of Gen Z is coinciding with advancements in recruiting technologies, which should allow companies to build new, targeted strategies. But this will only work if hiring stakeholders embrace them strategically and immediately. Based on the Monster findings, here are some ways we recommend employers prepare for hiring Gen Z.

Realize you’re doing employer branding wrong—and fix it

An employer brand that effectively communicates the organization’s mission will be critical to hiring Gen Z—74% of whom believe that work should have a greater purpose. Employers need to make sure jobs reach and resonate with Gen Z by crafting creative job descriptions that illustrate how candidates can be successful in the role and how it ties into the company’s overall goals. A company might, for example, create video vignettes of employees talking about their organizational journey. And make sure to share these across digital channels, from your online job postings and company career page to Snapchat.

Of course, positive brand associations would ideally come about organically through word-of-mouth and review sites like kununu. But this isn’t the world we live in—yet—so it’s important to start investing in critical employer branding tools now.

“Listen” to seeker behaviors—and react

A whopping 54% of Gen Z anticipates finding their first job through their digital connections, according to the Monster survey; and they will expect employers to make this possible. But the good news is that there is now an endless supply of data about job seekers’ search behaviors and career paths. Predictive analytics can enable employers to look at job seekers like consumers, and tailor recruiting approaches to their behaviors. Having grown up with predictive programs like Pandora, Gen Z will expect to see the same level of personalization in their job search. Tools like Monster’s Jobr, or the “Tinder for jobs” (think: swipe left, swipe right), are already breaking ground in this area.

Give in to what candidates want—it’s a win-win

Employers looking to attract Gen Z workers have to give something in return. Some 58% of Gen Z is willing to work nights and weekends for higher pay. Connected tools will enable them to put in that hard work for an organization—39% of Gen Z respondents in the survey said a smartphone will be “essential” to their jobs; and 37% say the same about laptops. Benefits like flexibility and remote work options will be even more crucial in trying to lure passive candidates in high-demand fields. Those employers who are using tools like TalentBin by Monster, a technical talent search engine that scours over 100 million public profiles aggregated across relevant websites to find top talent who aren’t necessarily looking, will definitely want to pay attention. These benefits will not only be critical to building their future workforce—they will also enable Gen Z to be more responsive and productive workers.

It’s time for employers to proactively invest in organizational changes that address the rapidly evolving workforce. Combined with new recruiting technologies we’re developing here at Monster, employers can leverage the “great Millennial learning experience” to attract valuable Gen Z talent—hopefully before they’ve taken over the working world. 

Read Monster's full report on Gen Z

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