Think My Generation is Tough To Recruit?

Here's how to do it—from a Gen Z

By Julianna Rauf

While Generation Z gets a bad rap in today’s work environment, the truth is that we have a lot to offer and—perhaps more importantly—companies need us if they want to survive.  This is especially true when it comes to the LBM or trade industries, but we are often met with the assumption that we have a lack of work ethic or are unwilling to start from the bottom. 

It may be hard for some to believe but Generation Z wants to work just as hard as the generations before us.  The only contrast is we want to do things a bit differently. So, if you are like many other employers in struggling to recruit this emerging workforce, take a moment to review these tips to reach us—and help make your company a desirable one for the next generation.

Invest in your online presence, especially the aesthetic of your website.

With enhanced technology causing unprecedented levels of brand awareness, competition is at a high between rival companies. One significant way to make yourself stand out to not only clients but job searchers is your company’s online aesthetic; how you look on social media channels, job listings, and, most importantly, your website. It may seem silly but looking “pretty” and being easy to navigate shows that you care to connect with people and stay up to date with the latest technological and social trends. Let us know we won’t be glorified interns.

When listing job responsibilities, list what matters to the job at hand. Gen Z doesn’t want to enter a first job that consists of coffee runs and mundane administrative tasks. We want to have projects that matter, get us involved, and directly lead to a greater impact. Make us feel like we’re a member of a team—an important piece to the puzzle—and that our role will be just as unique and important as the next.

Promote a healthy lifestyle and work environment.

Research shows people are more productive and produce quality work when they’re healthy—mentally and physically. Gen-Z is very engaged with their mental and physical well-being, so we want to know that the environment we’re going to be working in supports that. If you have a break room, show us! If you believe in social time, tell us! If you allow for flexible schedules or provide great benefits, push that to us! And if you can, don’t make the rules too rigid. I do my best work in an environment I’m comfortable in, so let me have plants, a yoga ball instead of a chair, or a ping pong table to retreat to if I need to brainstorm (yes, it really does work). And don’t forget, events and teambuilders provide a needed break to reduce stress and step away from the desk while remaining relevant to the job and forming a stronger internal bond.

Be vocal about the opportunity for advancement.

Today we have it harder regarding finances and making ends meet. College degrees have less value than they used to while those without them or trade experience are still at a disadvantage. We need to know that what we’re signing up for will be worth it in the long run, and that positions aren’t just about seniority but experience, work ethic, willingness to learn, individual achievements, and adaptability. It’s not that Gen-Z wants it easy; we just want it fairly.

There are plenty of ways to recruit Gen-Z into your industry. Following some of these tips will ensure you’re on the right path to making your business known and attractive. However, make sure following these tips isn’t the only thing you do. Gen-Z gets a lot of backlash for our “way of life.” It’s important to realize we have a lot to offer, such as our experience with technology and diversity. Most of all, it’s important to forget your pre-conceived notions of us. Understand that wanting to work differently from previous generations isn’t better or worse; it’s just different.