Generation Z is knocking at the door of the IT industry.
Composed of those born between 1995 and 2010, this mobile-minded generation will soon become your employees, your customers, and your competition.
Whilst millennials are considered to be digitally savvy, Gen Z is the first generation to be born into a world of smartphones and social media. They are far beyond digital natives.
Look at the rate of change in the tech industry made by previous generations, who grew up before the internet, without the education and leaders we have in place today. Now imagine the impact of a generation of people who were using computers before they could even walk.
It’s no wonder organisations are investing time, effort and money to make sure their workplaces are attractive to talented youngsters. But what can your business do to harness the power of Generation Z?
Position yourself as a tech-based organisation
“These digital natives are looking to get ahead in the workplace by leveraging technology and collaboration strategies. This is evidenced by Google, Amazon, and Apple being three of the top six most desirable employers and 75 percent of high school students having indicated interest in STEM fields according to the National Society of High School Scholars.”
Being a technology-based business doesn’t mean selling technology anymore. Netflix provides video content but its legendary algorithms attract some of the best development talent in the world, the success of the Starbucks app has resulted in a surge of applications from developers and emerging technologies are changing the insurance industry and bringing in top IT resources.
If your IT department is working on something different, speak up about it.
Offer them more than money
Over the last decade, workplace benefits and office culture have become the focus when recruiting millennials, but the next generation will take this to a whole nother level.
Whilst 42% of millennials said that money would ‘motivate them to work harder and stay with their employer longer,’ only 28% of Gen Z agreed.
If you want to attract young talent, you should be thinking about your company’s ecosystem, work-life balance and its values. Hakim Group, number one on the Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies 2018 list, uses WhatsApp and Basecamp to allow employees to contact directors 24/7, and over 20% of the organisation’s employees undertake charitable activities during business hours without incurring financial loss.
Rethink your educational requirements
You may need to rethink your educational requirements for entry-level IT positions.
The cost of university education in the UK is at an all-time high, and the annual fees are now some of the highest in the world.
Growing up during the Great Recession taught this post-millennial generation to be frugal, and higher-education could be offering them less and less value.
Combined with their preference for experiential learning, rather than more traditional classroom methods, young people are looking for apprenticeships and low-barrier internships to make their first step on the career ladder.
Spread your net when recruiting
If you offer a competitive salary with a positive work-life balance, be confident that your vacancy can be attractive to young talent even if they don’t live close by. 83% of Gen Z graduates are willing to relocate to another city or region for the right job offer.
Skip the long emails
Generation Z may have a fully symbiotic relationship with technology, but they have learnt from the failings of millennials to build on their interpersonal skills. This means that they’re more likely to prefer in-person communications over instant messaging or emails. Tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts and Snapchat, which use full sight, sound and motion, are commonly used by Gen Z in everyday life. Like many millennials, Generation Z has a serious TL;DR culture – so keep your communications short and to the point.
At Jumar, we’ve been using video interviews for a number of years. Since video calling is a form of communication that Gen Z is comfortable with, they’re able to communicate their skills confidently and effectively, meaning we’re more able to match them with our clients’ requirements.
Engage and develop
Want long-term employees? Gen Z graduates are three times more likely to stay with their first employer for five or more years if they feel their skills are fully utilised.
Your future IT recruits are interested in challenging, meaningful work. They want to know the end result of the projects they’re working on and the real-life impacts their contributions are making.
Professional development plans, which allow these young IT professionals to expand their skills in an engaging manner, are becoming increasingly important. 88% of Generation Z graduates will expect their first employer to provide some sort of formal training.
Pass them the mic
Gen Z hates to waste time and is full of creative ideas. Businesses are ensuring that these young people have a platform to speak, and be heard. They’re able to tap into Generation Z’s entrepreneurial spirit, and benefit from innovative solutions to improve productivity in the workplace.
It’s this kind of environment that will help organisations attract, and retain, talented Gen Z employees.
At Jumar, we’re excited about the impact this next generation will have, not only on ourselves but, on our clients. We’re working with a number of organisations across the UK to engage Gen Z as they begin to enter the IT industry.
If you’d like to discuss how we could help your business build recruitment strategies to attract the best IT talent, please contact us here.