Time moves quickly. Not too long ago, the business blogosphere hemorrhaged stories about how to deal with Millennial workers. Old news now. It’s time to prepare for Gen Z.
Generation Z is generally defined as people born from roughly 1995 until around 2015. As with any generation, that includes a wide age range, with the youngest part of the group still getting ready to enter kindergarten. But, on the older end of the scale, Gen Z is wrapping up college or already entering the workforce.
While they remain largely school-aged for now, Gen Z will become an increasingly important part of the labor pool as time marches on.
Embrace the Wave
They’re coming. It might seem like a trickle at this point, but with Boomer workers dwindling quickly and the Millennials moving into mid-career, you’ll soon find Gen Z making up a sizable part of your entry-level labor pool. And, as with any trend, you’re better off getting ready early than waiting until the market has passed you by.
With any generational shift, there will be changes in attitudes and priorities. Be ready to respond to these attributes. Listen to what Gen Z applicants say about your company and your hiring process. Use this feedback to refine the way you do things.
Prepare for Change
It’s also important to realize that generational traits will evolve. Early in their careers, Gen Z workers will represent your youngest employees. As such, some of the traits they exhibit will come as a result of youth, and not signal a real generational preference.
As the years progress, though, their priorities are likely to change. Things like families and retirement savings will become more important to them. All this is to say: don’t lock in any prejudices. Stay flexible and continually calibrate your understanding of changing circumstances.
As Gen Z workers join your company, don’t just think of them as labor. Think of them as a resource. After all, as your youngest team members, they will be closest to their school experience. They will have training that probably wasn’t available when some of your older team members went to school.
By empowering your Gen Z workers to contribute early in their careers, you open the door for new ideas and improved processes. You also set the stage for significant development for the new generation, who, after all, represent the future leadership of your company.
Craft Appropriate Training Procedures
Training and onboarding represent your company’s introduction to your incoming employees. As you hire more Gen Z workers, you should craft your procedures with them in mind.
Create training procedures that match the expectations of your incoming employees. This means involving some of your current Gen Z workers in the process of creating the materials and procedures. This will allow you to build a closer relationship with your team over time.
Don’t end the process of integration and education with a brief training process. Make them ongoing goals. Create mentoring opportunities where your newer Gen Z hires can learn from older workers.
The process will allow you to cement institutional knowledge, by letting previous generations share some of their hard-earned experience with the younger cohort. Meanwhile, it will give your more-established workers a chance to learn from your incoming employees.
Companies thrive when they have a workforce that encompasses ideas and experience from multiple generations. Teaming with a top-ranked recruiting partner, like SmartTalent, grants you access to the highly-skilled workers you need to build a diverse and productive team.
Contact SmartTalent today to tap into the deepest talent pool in the industry.