Recruitment 2.0 – Welcoming Gen Z into the workplace

By Yash Ganatra, Group Strategist – MBR Group

Accept it or not, fact remains – the world of recruitment has drastically changed in the past couple of years. And that’s not all, it’s likely to turn around even more in the post Covid era. People we cater to will be changed and so should our methods because there’s just so much more on the horizon that organizations can now be anything, but static.

The dynamics have radically shifted towards a candidate-centric job environment. Today’s candidates are neither baby boomers, nor do we have too much of generation X in the workforce. In fact, over 80 million baby boomers will be filing for retirement benefits in the next 20 years. Which means, looking long term – companies need to go beyond even millennials, Gen Y, and focus on investing in Gen Z individuals who are now stepping their feet into the workforce. The entry of Gen Z into the workplace is going to revolutionize the way organizations operate and we need to be ready to welcome it with wide-open arms! And the easiest way to do so is being adaptive and prepping ourselves to understand them.

Being a millennial myself, I know what we’re presumed to be – lazy and entitled, maybe to an extent privileged too. While every generation has its own pros and cons, Gen Y as we’re called, have also led to creating startups holding valuations of 1 billion dollars and beyond, time and again – which does speak loud about calibre. However, I know we too will also be replaced with time, which is why being adaptive and flexible are key skills for anyone in the workforce today. This is not just important for our survival in the current market but more so because of the way the newer generation operates, it is what the world needs right now. Associated with the most human-oriented industry – recruitment, I’ve realized the importance of being dynamic and welcoming.

Being part of a recruitment agency, I know the importance of exceptional talent to an organization. We work day in day out delivering to companies their greatest asset – people, and which is what made me realize the importance of being prepared ahead of time in order to welcome some exceptional pool of talent from this newer generation. But how? What do hiring managers and senior executives need to know about Gen Z and why do they need to already start prepping for their entry into the workplace?

Because the workplace is about to change. We could thank (or blame) over 70 million Gen Z individuals for bringing about this revolution with them along with a whole new set of values and priorities. And here’s what companies need to do in order to roar louder in the long run – revisit their talent acquisition strategies and deploy new approaches to workforce management whilst focusing on adapting the future workforce – Gen Z.

Striking a balance between humans and technology is going to be crucial. Gen Z are presumed to be heavily dependent on technology and less inclined to human connections, but studies prove otherwise. Although they are the first fully digitalized generation, their high tech minds don’t trump human needs. Automation and AI have been overwhelming over the past couple of years where all efforts are being directed towards annexing the human touch. However, when it comes to working with Gen Z, trends show they don’t want to lose human interaction and still want to learn through human interactions as compared to automated bots. So, while you may be thinking of bringing in Gen Z’ers and investing heavily on technology to train and evaluate them – make sure you rethink over it and not let them feel left out at your workplace. Encourage and support human interactions and ensure your organization ups the inclusivity levels while dealing with the newer workforce. Contrary to the belief of Gen Z being all about screens and working independently, they are the ones who want to get involved, want to feel part of the process – the success and the failure and want to actually get their hands dirty.

Gen Z is like the youngest baby of the family. They’ve been overlooked while Gen X had been busy coming to terms with welcoming Gen Y into the workplace with their new ideologies, and now that they’ve settled in, its already time to welcome the next 2.25 billion Gen Z’ers who are all prepped to step in. Hiring managers need to always remember that these young workers are seeking care in the new world they’re stepping into. They need to be shown that they’re being valued and there is always room for growth. From the many interactions we’ve had with the younger lot, we’ve seen the emphasis they have on professional development and feeling secured instead of always being under tremendous pressure of whether or not they’ll be retained in their journey of learning. They are willing to do some great work and contribute in their best capacities, but they always want to make sure their time invested is being propelled towards self-development and makes them feel fulfilled.

Looking at the bigger picture, this newer generation is more entrepreneurial by nature as compared to their any of their predecessors. They want to go beyond what their job descriptions would confine them to and which is why recruiters today need to give them flexibility and room for growth by encouraging them to stay engaged. They don’t want to be the typical 9-5 office goers. They want their work to add value – which is one of the biggest advantages of hiring from this newer generation. Companies should encourage their HR teams and train line managers to welcome this generation and be highly transparent whilst dealing with Gen Z’ers by getting into details of their work answering their whys and hows in order to bring out the best in them.

As a recruitment partner for your organization, this is where our job comes in. We’re not just entitled to close positions for our clients, but ensure that they’ve got the right talent at the right time at par with current market trends. Recruitment agencies on the whole should be uptrend and provide clients with efficient staffing solutions for clients and not just focus on closures. Having the right hiring partner is key in a dynamic human resource industry – to ensure your workforce is not just filled with the right people, but also the role of a strategic consulting partner who works with you through all things HR – from attracting to retaining the talent that goes on to be the key drivers to your organization’s growth.