Recruiting and retaining Gen Y and Gen Z

Millennials or Generation Y (Born After 1980)

With Gen Y, full time work is no longer the only source of income, identity nor influence like it was for Boomers. Nor is workplace, the only way to connect with a community. Rather, this generation feels connected with a global community through technology and may get their income through the Gig economy.

Brought up in small nuclear families, sometimes without adult supervision because both parents have to work, Gen Y can be very independent and savvy with technology.

They value ownership and expressions of their creativity and individuality. Explosion of the internet has also given them power such as own social media channels and influencers.

What companies can do

• Career wise, this group is unlikely to be as loyal as Boomers. With a shrinking workforce, they have no problems moving from one organization to another for higher salary and better perks.

•Beyond monetary incentives, Gen Z can be motivated by skills training, mentoring, feedback.

•Gen Z are generally value leadership style that are more feelers than thinkers. Organisational Culture such as collaborative environment, is extremely important for Millennials

•Flexible schedules as rewards, time off to embrace outside interests, and embracing the latest technology to communicate are also important for Gen Y.

•Millennials also thrive with structure, stability, continued learning opportunities, and immediate feedback. Structured path and career planning

• Millennials like to be heard. Factor in one-to-one communication. [Lisa Orrell]

Gen Z (born after 1995)

•Starting to enter the workplace.

•Larger than baby boomers or Millennials. •Motivated by social rewards, mentorship, and constant feedback.

•Want to be do meaningful and be given responsibility.

•Demand flexible schedules.

•Experiential rewards and badges earned in gaming and opportunities for personal growth.

•Expect structure, clear directions, and transparency.

•Majority prefer face-to-face communication.

• They see the world as a connected global marketplace and likely to see short stints overseas as part of their career development and work in a multicultural workplace.

In one workplace survey, research group Millennial Branding found 53 percent of Gen Z respondents prefer face-to-face communication over tech tools like email (16 percent) and messaging (11 percent).

What companies can do

To attract Gen Z, companies need to move beyond traditional recruitment methods and move into gamification, social media, especially with video, pictures and interaction on application process via blogs, Linkedin or Instagram.

Companies may want to provide more information during orientation, internships and job rotation or structured career paths. One company provided clear indications to Gen Z on

  • Where they will start
  • The short-term goals they’re supposed to meet
  • The skills they’ll acquire
  • Where they’ll end up in a year

The company also trains in sound-bites and offers short-term quarterly recognition in terms of rewards, not that different from the bonus points in computer games.

It also provides increased responsibilities half-way through its eight-to-12 month training program, knowing today’s young people will jump to a new employer for a better opportunity.

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An must-have is for leaders to pick up career coaching skills and more face-time with Gen Z to agree on goals and outcomes. While Coaching has become an essential leadership skill, companies can consider Peer coaching. Baby Boomers and Gen X may be roped in to provide mentoring for Gen Z teams. But gone are the days of command and control.

Have a friend at work? And why it matters.

Culture differences in HR

Retaining Gen X at the workplace

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