Don’t sleep on Gen Zers!

While companies are still figuring out how to best attract millennial talent, this younger generation is already entering the workforce. According to HR Executive, Gen Zers will comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.

But do we have a viable strategy in place to recruit these rising stars?

Understanding the workplace motivations and preferences of an entire generation is always a difficult task. After all, we’re talking about generalizations for a group of 65 million people in the U.S. alone.

However, early surveys can give us some insight into what Gen Zers are looking for in an employer.

Top Features Gen Zers Look for in a Company

#1: Positive work environment.

The most common phrase used in the “pros” section of Glassdoor reviews by Gen Z employees was something related to the work environment. This is sort of a wild card – pros related to work environment can range everywhere from “fun work environment” to “quiet, peaceful work environment.” Regardless, the takeaway is that you want to keep things fun, relaxed, and positive for employees.

#2: Flexible hours.

The more employees get a taste of flexible hours, the more people want to see them from an employer. Popular among millennials, Gen Z is also wising up to the benefits of being able to work when and where they want. Having grown up with the Internet, they’re keenly aware of how much work can be easily completed remotely. This choice was second in Glassdoor’s review and crops up in a lot of other surveys as well.

#3: Good pay.

Low pay was the most common complaint from Gen Zers on Glassdoor, and was the third most common term in the pros section. There’s really not much to unpack here – people like money. Go figure.

Are We More Interested in Attracting Gen Z Talent…Or Retaining Them?

Everyone’s talking about attracting Gen Zers…but are we keeping our eyes on the prize? Think about it. Why are we ultimately interested in attracting Gen Zers? Because we want great talent at our company, right?

I point this out because talent attraction is only the beginning. All the effort we put in attracting talent is wasted if we’re not retaining employees. And if we’re retaining employees well enough, attraction becomes a whole lot less important.

Sure, the above perks help us out when we’re talking to candidates. But find time and time again we see that culture, quality leadership, and opportunities for advancement are far more important to retain talent. Furthermore, leading organizations are using behavioral assessments to help their employees find their purpose with their ideal role.

Attracting Gen Zers with flashy perks is great. But if we go a step further to make sure our employees (of all generations) are happy for the long haul, we can retain talent for years or decades. And that’s the real win.