The Gen Z Mindset: What Employers Need to Know

As Gen Z moves into the workforce, it’s crucial for employers to create working environments where they can thrive and showcase their talents. How are you bridging the gap with Gen Z?

Thuy Vi Nguyen
Thuy Vi is the Marketing Lead at Puck and has worked in the SaaS industry for nearly a decade. Outside of marketing, she can be found at concerts, trying new restaurants, and journaling.

People born between 1995 to 2015 are slowly claiming their space in society and finding their footing in various workplace sectors, including retail, healthcare, tech, and QSR industries. Almost 30% of the workforce in the next few years will consist of Gen Z. The majority of this age group is between 18 to 25 years, which means they’re embarking on their careers.

One thing every employer must understand about Gen Z is that they’re digital natives. As the world continues to adopt technology and become more digitized, your company cannot leave this group of workers behind. Unlike millennials, who have experienced analog and digital worlds, Gen Z knows no world without technology. This generation is also highly educated, skilled, and motivated.

This generation is not motivated by financial gain but by a sense of connection as well as personal and professional relationships. They’re socially accountable and look forward to working in a sustainable environment. Like millennials, Gen Z also desires frequent feedback on their work and the opportunity to advance their careers.

Generation Z and the Workforce

Generation Z currently makes up 30% of the total population globally. Out of this population, 72% are expected to enter the labor market by 2025. They’re expected to bring a lot of changes to the labor market as employers are looking for ways to attract and retain them.

Having grown up with technology at their disposal, the majority of this generation is aspiring to work in tech industries, so if you’re looking forward to hiring Gen Z tech, you’re on the right track.

Others prefer working in finance, QSR, healthcare, and retail. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Deloitte, IBM, and Microsoft are also receiving many Gen Z job applicants.

According to Glassdoor, software engineering is the most in-demand job for Generation Z, with applicants accounting for up to 19%. The second top job that attracts this generation is software developer, with a total of 2% of applications.

Generation Z Media Consumption

Generation Z was introduced to social media early in their lives and is very conversant with various apps. Data from CivicScience shows that this generation uses social media more than their counterparts, millennials. 90% of Gen Z agree that they use social media, compared to millennials, who account for 80%.

Generation Z uses almost all social media platforms. 51% agree they use YouTube more frequently, followed by TikTok and BeReal. They’re 17% more likely to use TikTok and twice as likely to use BeReal daily.

There’s no doubt that Gen Z has diverse media consumption habits. They use social media daily, which is more likely to influence their habits. Most of them even agree that they’re addicted to their devices and can’t go a day without them. The media consumption habit has a lot to do with Gen Z’s impact on the workforce. Since companies nowadays need a lot of media exposure to thrive, you can use the Gen Z media consumption habit to your advantage. Just posting a TikTok video at work can help make your retail store viral and attract even more customers. Similarly, audio clips are a popular way for companies to go viral and gain brand exposure.

Check out some of the social content we’ve created for our customers below! In addition to audio clips, which typically live on (but aren’t limited to!) job descriptions or career pages, we’ve also created a way for marketers and recruiters to work together to promote roles and their employer branding.

How to Attract Gen Z Workers

If you want to hire Gen Z retail, GSR, healthcare, or any other industry, you must do your part to attract them. Below are some recruiting ideas for Gen Z and get your preferred candidate.

Competitive Salaries

Gen Z values financial security and will appreciate working for a company that offers that. This generation grew up at a time when there was a global financial crisis that led to slow economic growth. The pandemic also came to work and made things even worse.

Gen Z is entering the workforce at a time when the cost of living is extremely high. Companies have to make things better by improving the financial situation of their workers. A competitive salary will likely go a long way toward attracting and retaining a quality candidate.

According to a new report from CFA Institute, healthcare, tech, and finance industries are top choices for Gen Z workers because of the high salaries. Many young professionals are willing to trade off the freedom of working from home in exchange for higher salaries. Of course, the tech, finance, retail, and healthcare industries can offer good pay.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Competitive salaries are not the only motivation for Gen Z in the workplace. Many will still leave if their workplace is too rigid. This generation values social connections a lot and will not get the time to connect if they’re tied down by their work. Work-life balance is important for Gen Z.

Most Gen Zers agree that they won’t choose to work in a place that doesn’t offer a flexible work schedule. They also love the freedom to choose their work location, although they still appreciate meeting up with their colleagues. They will appreciate both remote and hybrid work arrangements.

Industries that offer shift work schedules, such as retail sectors, healthcare, and QSR, are more likely to attract this generation. Gen Zers prefer the flexibility of shift work schedules, which give them the ability to set their schedule to fit their lifestyle. For example, for Gen Zers who are in school, flexible shift work schedules allow for them to schedule classes and work shifts on the same day. Or, for Gen Zers who prefer to work in the evening to accommodate other activities during the day (or vice versa), flexible shift work schedules give them the option to adjust their schedule to their liking.  

Your company should offer flexibility and work-life balance to attract employees in this generation. You can also organize out-of-office events such as team building to help your employees interact freely with each other and socialize. 

Opportunities for Professional Development

Gen Zers are interested in career advancement and professional growth. They don’t want to feel tied to one place and would instead go out and improve themselves. Luckily, they have access to mentorship programs and formal training.

Your company can also consider offering career advancement opportunities and motivating its employees to pursue professional development. To develop Gen Z workers, ensure the employees have time to advance their careers. You can also offer scholarships for those willing to study and promotions for those who advance in their careers.

How to Retain Gen Z Workers

Attracting Gen Zers to your company is one thing; retaining them is another. Many Gen Zers agree they can quit their job if it does not offer the life they want, such as flexibility. So, how do you retain Gen Z workers?

Competitive Compensation and Benefits 

Gen Z will stay in your retail or healthcare company for a long time if you offer competitive salaries and benefits. Remember, their talent is in high demand, and many companies are willing to hire them. Benefits include health insurance, corporate discounts, wellness perks, and paid vacation, among others.

Use Technology

Gen Zs are digital natives and will thrive in companies where technology is embraced and fully utilized. Your business must employ the latest technology to engage this generation and fully utilize their talents. The technology you use in your business should be relevant and up-to-date to streamline your operations and improve collaboration.

For example, you should employ technology when taking patient data in your healthcare industry. All the paperwork can be quite time-consuming and might discourage the younger generation that has grown up in an almost paperless world.

Open Communication

Gen Z will thrive more in an environment of transparency and open communication. They love to collaborate and interact openly with their colleagues and managers. They’ll appreciate honest feedback from their bosses and open space to air their opinions and feedback.

For example, if you’re adopting a new marketing strategy for your retail business, you can try getting their input. After all, they connect more with the current marketing platforms like social media sites and will help identify what works and what might not.

Bridging the Gen Z Gap with Puck

The future of work for Gen Z and their impact on the workplace must not be underestimated. You must create a work environment where Gen Z can thrive and showcase their talent. With this generation making part of your workforce, there are great chances for your company to grow. 

So, what changes are you making to attract this young generation to your company? 

At Puck, we believe that people and their stories should be at the center of your employer brand strategy. Through audio clips that can be shared directly on social media or on your company’s job page, Puck embraces current technology trends that resonate with Gen Z today. 

Puck's use of audio clips makes it easy for Gen Z to digest information from potential employers because the content is short, available on desktop and mobile, and is designed to keep them engaged about the role and company by making it personable. 

Check out how Puck (and others!) use audio clips to enhance their job descriptions below:

Bridge the Gen Z gap with Puck

Want to connect with Gen Z and learn how Puck can elevate your candidate engagement and employer branding? Schedule a call with us today to learn more. Let’s find your people.

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