[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

[Webinar On-Demand] The Ticking Talent Clock: Is Time Running Out to Address the Skills Crisis?

With the rapid advancement of AI, accelerated digitalisation and the greening of the economy, businesses are grappling with the changing nature of work—how we work and the types of jobs we do. In fact, a new research report from PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra, The Skills Crisis Countdown, reveals that nine in 10 HR leaders believe that up to half of their workforce will need new skills to perform their jobs in the next five years. Yet, only less than one in 10 say they are actively investing in reskilling programs.

Are HR leaders running out of time?

Join PeopleScout’s Global Head of Talent Consulting Simon Wright and Spotted Zebra’s Chief Customer Officer Nick Shaw as they delve into the key findings from the research, lay bare the skills crisis and show why the clock is ticking for HR leaders.

In the webinar, Simon and Nick cover:

  • How organisations are addressing the mismatch in skills demand and supply
  • The current state of skills utilisation, skills-based hiring and the need to expand talent pools
  • Strategies for improving talent mobility (including case studies and success stories)
  • Practical steps you can take to transition to a skills-focused model
  • And more!

 

Attracting Older Workers to Retail and Hospitality Jobs

According to a global study by Bain & Company, workers aged 55 and older make up over 25% of the workforce in G7 countries by 2031, making older workers one of the most in-demand talent pools for employers today. In the UK, the government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work or to seek a career change. This scheme involves three programs that help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing workers with a clear roadmap back into the workplace and encouraging organisations to hire them. In Western Australia, the Job Reconnect program provides grants to both employers and employees to cover costs related to licences, upskilling, and even work clothing, transport and childcare.

It’s crucial for retail and hospitality employers to know how to entice older workers back to work and to make the most of their valuable talent. Known as the ‘sandwich generation’—defined by caring for their elderly parents and also dependent children or grandchildren—older works have a strong work ethic. Customer facing and front of house roles enable them to fit work around caring for family and other responsibilities.

Keep reading for key insights from our panel discussion and get the latest research to understand exactly what older workers want and what retail and hospitality organisations can do attract this in-demand demographic.

What Do Older Workers Want?

What do over 50s want and need from an employer? Does your organisation know how to attract and engage this older workforce and how to hire and retain them?

Flexibility

Unsurprisingly, monetary concerns are coaxing older workers back into the workplace due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, when it comes to choosing an employer, flexibility takes precedence over money.

Hospitality roles typically attract a younger demographic of workers. However, the flexibility offered by these jobs also appeals to the older working generation. Given that the over 50s are the largest age group with caring roles, flexible and part-time work is a powerful motivator for them to fit a job into their routine.  

As well as permanent roles, seasonal and flexible roles are available within the hospitality and retail industries, which can be more attractive to the older working community. Working harder in those seasonal months creates work-life balance, allowing older workers to take time off during quieter periods to recover and be with their friends and family.

Sense of Belonging

Workers in this age rage are still searching for rewarding work. Older workers wish to find a place where they can feel a part of their local community and give back. Over 50s enjoy creating social connections that a customer-facing job in a restaurant or supermarket can provide.

Customer-facing roles in hospitality and retail give individuals the chance to serve and connect with their community. For older customers, seeing employees in shops and restaurants that represent them can boost the customer experience. 

Myths About Older Workers

There are plenty of misconceptions out there from employers and colleagues about hiring and working with older workers. Consider these myths busted.

Myth 1: Older Workers are Resistant to Technology

Certain words can be viewed as a turn off for an over 50s audience, including “tech-savvy”, which some see as a way to ward off older candidates. There are older people who will feel excluded because others wrongly perceive that they’re less capable with technology, when in fact they are part of a generation that has seen huge advancements in technology. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in his late 60s, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is in his early 60s.

Recognise that all colleagues work differently with technology, so you must be thoughtful in your use of training. In hospitality and retail, workers are likely to be using tills and sales computer systems. Regardless of whether a person struggles with technology, an organisation should have a strong program in place to support workers as they learn how to use these tools. For example, consider implementing a buddy system of workers and leaders who will happily help new employees in their first few weeks as they learn point-of-sale systems.

Myth 2: Absences are Higher Because of Health Issues

As people get older, their health can decline. However, this doesn’t mean that absenteeism is higher amongst older workers. In fact, older workers are more likely to have higher everyday attendance rates due to their strong work ethic. When you do see sickness or absence, it is typically in the form of long-term leave, rather than the odd day here and there.

Myth 3: Older Workers are Less Productive Than Younger Workers

A study demonstrated that there was no different between younger and older workers in terms of productivity. This study found that with their years of experience and memories, older people perhaps dismiss new information when they process things and instead use past information. It’s therefore important to acknowledge that older workers aren’t doing things worse, they just do these things differently through their years of experience.

What Can Organisations Do to Attract Older Workers?

So, how can retail and hospitality organisation tap into this hard-working talent pool? Here are four questions to ask to ensure your talent acquisition program is over-50s friendly.

Are Your Candidate Attraction Materials Inclusive for Everyone?

To attract older workers, you must think more creatively and broadly.  Use community-based websites to engage with people who live close to your locations. Show how the job will fit into their lifestyle and what it would be like for an older person to work there, rather than a generic message. Create testimonials from your current employees to support this.

Make sure that your imagery is diverse, featuring people of all ages. Look at your marketing materials and ensure that it reflects the community so that over 50s can see that jobs in hospitality are here for them. Take advantage of local community-boards in village halls and supermarkets.

How is Your Candidate Experience?

Retention and attraction are very different. Employers can encourage people to apply for jobs through their advertisements, yet ultimately, it is down to the experience the candidate has during the recruitment process, induction and beyond. The candidate experience is what will make them accept the position and stay at the company. 

When younger workers leave education, they’re taught how to answer competency-based interview questions and how to write a CV. The older generation of workers likely won’t have a CV and may not have experience with this kind of interview. Is your interview process age inclusive and relevant to them?

Are You Giving Them What They Want?

Now that we’ve shared what older workers want, is your organisation serious about flexible shift patterns? Over 40% of the part-time workforce is aged over 50. Not only does this part-time schedule work in hospitality, but also in retail, in which the holiday season creates a huge demand for workers.

Different shift patterns in retail can support individuals in their family commitments and lifestyle. Look at your employees’ caring responsibilities, for partners, for children, for elderly parents, and take this into account when creating your shift offerings.

But what else does this generation want from you? Everyone responds well to positive feedback. Both the retail and hospitality industries are great at celebrating successes, shown through brilliant behaviour and examples across organisations.

Finally, show that your organisation values them by offering benefit packages. Health is a priority for everyone as we get older, and health benefits can help to attract them to your organisation.

Does Your Anti-Bias Training Include Age?

Ageism usually gets the least amount of focus across the D&I plan. Train your leaders and hiring managers on unconscious bias particularly as it relates to age. Ensure there are no biases lurking in the recruitment process to open up talent pools instead of closing them down.

FUTURE OF WORK

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

The Multigenerational Workforce: Keeping Millennials Motivated

In this article, the third in our Multigenerational Workforce series, we’ll be focusing on millennials in the workplace, including what matters to them and how best to engage them.

By 2025, millennials will make up over half of the workforce, essentially replacing retiring Baby Boomers. They’ve already made a huge impact on the way we work, including leveraging technology to revolutionise productivity. As the older millennials enter their 40s, they’re moving into leadership roles and will have even more influence on how organizations operate into the future. So, how can employers harness the power of millennials to drive their businesses forward?

Who are Millennials?

Millennials, less commonly known as Generation Y, follow Gen X and precede Gen Z. Millennials were approximately born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s during the rise of technology, making them a tech-savvy generation. They’re the first generation to come of age in the new millennium, hence the name millennials. They are also known to put time and effort into their own personal beliefs and values.

Workers from this generation are bound together through their shared experience of financial challenges, including the 2008 Great Recession, which caused a 19% unemployment rate and massive student loan debt amongst millennials. As a result, members of the generation are more likely to find themselves underemployed or self-employed.

Perceptions and Misperceptions

This generation have been characterised as lazy and narcissistic, labelled as “Generation Me”. Other common perceptions for this demographic include being easily bored and hopping from job to job rather than staying with one employer. This could be, however, due to the anxiety caused from the global financial crash.

Despite these stereotypes, millennials have been described as self-sufficient, solving their own issues and teaching themselves through the internet rather than relying on others for help. They are also known to be confident, curious and open-minded.

What Matters to Millennials in the Workplace?

Digital & Tech Skills

Having been the first generation to grow up in a digital world, millennials have widespread experience of the development of technology, being both the “pioneers and the guinea pigs”.

This has affected the way that they communicate, with 41% of millennials choosing to communicate electronically instead of face-to-face according to a study by PwC. However, they’re also the last generation to have grown up in a world without the internet in every household.

When considering a job, 59% of millennials claim that technology in the workplace is an important factor. Employers are responding to this by encouraging professional use of social media at work and introducing smartphones as an employee benefit.

Mission and Purpose

Millennials thrive in a workplace that is mission-driven, keeping them motivated and inspired. In our recent report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose were the second most important factor for millennials when considering a new job. Those who work for companies with this as a priority feel more accomplished. Millennials want to share their employer’s goals and values in order to feel they are contributing to the world.

Collaboration

The move to a more collaborative working environment has been driven by millennials through the use of technology as it’s become more sophisticated. A collaborative environment allows workers to speak their ideas freely and feel a sense of belonging as part of a team. One way that employers are emphasizing collaboration is through mentorship programs, which have been proven to increase the happiness of workers and their productivity.

How Do You Engage Millennials at Work?

As millennials slowly take over as the majority of the workforce, employers must learn strategies to keep them motivated and feeling valued.

Be Open and Transparent

Millennials want openness and transparency from their leaders, ensuring their confidence with factual information that can be validated.

Keep millennials productive by creating clear targets are regular opportunities for feedback and praise. In fact, according to the same PwC study, 51% of this demographic believe that frequent or continuous feedback is a must on the job, making up a huge part of what keeps them motivated and engaged in their work.

Embrace Teamwork

To manage a multigenerational workforce, leaders must recognise that each generation may need different methods of management. Amongst millennials, 74% expressed that they are as happy working alongside other generations as with their own. So, it’s unsurprising to find millennials now managing older workers.

However, 34% of millennials felt that their personal drive could be perceived as intimidating to other generations. Effective programs that encourage interactions between different generations are necessary to overcome these misperceptions. For example, millennials thrive in opportunities such as “reverse mentoring,” in which they are able to learn from and teach skills to older workers.

Invest in Employee Development

Millennials look at their work as a means to learn and develop, which may be the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations. Indeed, a whopping 87% of millennials say that growth and development opportunities are important to them in a job, compared to just 69% of non-millennials. Offering opportunities to develop technology skills and interpersonal skills will not only help you retain millennial employees, it will help you ensure this important segment of your workforce is ready to step into leadership roles.

Trust Them

While millennials want to be supported through feedback and praise, they also want the freedom to “be their own boss”. Flexibility is important to millennials in the workplace. They’ll happily put in the long hours if they believe their work has a purpose, but those hours may not be during the traditional 9-to-5.

That said, many millennials believe that success should be evaluated through productivity, rather than the number of hours they are seen in an office. If they meet the deadlines you set, don’t be concerned about the hours they clock in and out. Focus on creating a flexible work culture to maximise millennial engagement, allowing employees to have more control over their working hours and location.

Lead with Your Values

Millennials are searching for more than “just a job” and want to achieve something worthwhile. Akin to Gen Z, millennials believe that companies and their leadership should be contributing positively to society. Strong corporate ethics will encourage loyalty among millennials.

A report from Deloitte found that 54% of millennials research a brand’s environmental impact and polices before accepting a job offer. To keep up with today’s candidates, it’s vital that organisations have updated employer value propositions (EVP) showcase the companies intentions to address social and environmental concerns.

In our multigenerational workplace, each generation will shape the world of work in their own way, and each will need different things from their working lives. Millennials bring commitment and collaboration to the workplace. In return, they want opportunities to grow and collaborate. Organisations that can effectively empower millennials to provide ethical leadership hold key to keeping them engaged.

To the workplace, millennials bring commitment and collaboration. What will the next generation of workers bring? Find out our top 10 predictions for what we think the working world will look like in 2030 and the best practices to prepare for the future in our Destination 2030 report.

FUTURE OF WORK

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

The Tech and Digital Workforce: Decoding the Demand for Skills of the Future [Infographic]

The tech and digital workforce is dynamic and continues to evolve at an astonishing rate. Recent advancements in AI and automation as well as the evolution of the metaverse are birthing the need for new skills. These advancements aren’t just affecting job roles; they’re reshaping entire industries and economies, propelling us into a future that many organisations aren’t prepared for.  

Talent acquisition leaders across sectors are at the forefront of this revolution, facing the challenges and seizing the opportunities that come with it. Whether grappling with the rise of remote work, the ethical considerations of AI or how to develop the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy of tomorrow, organisations must keep their finger on the pulse of tech and digital skills to stay competitive.

CHECK OUT THIS INFOGRAPHIC FOR INSIGHT TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE EVER-CHANGING TECH & DIGITAL TALENT MARKET.

For more tech and digital talent insights, download our Recruitment Handbook for Tech & Digital Talent

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The energy and utilities industry is undergoing a massive transition as providers move to green and renewable energy sources and adjust to changing energy use patterns across the globe.

This means the sector is facing a unique set of talent challenges. In many areas of the globe, energy job growth is outpacing the rest of the economy. At the same time, the workforce is aging, creating a massive talent gap. In fact, according to McKinsey, the massive growth in solar and wind projects expected by 2030 will make it almost impossible to staff these projects with qualified development and construction employees as well as operations and maintenance workers.

Now, talent leaders need to think big—not just to attract more and younger workers, but to reskill workers in the shrinking fossil fuels industry and plan for the future.

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for energy and utilities talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your energy and utilities hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

The Recruitment Handbook for Travel and Hospitality

The Recruitment Handbook for Travel and Hospitality

5 Strategies for Recruiting the Best Travel and Hospitality Talent Now and into the Future

Through the job market volatility that has defined the hiring market for the past three years, the travel and hospitality industry saw some of the biggest impacts worldwide, and the reverberations and recovery are still shaping the industry years later.

While many industries have recovered the jobs lost in 2020, hospitality lags behind. While people are travelling again, the industry faces a new set of talent challenges, from a talent exodus to shifting traveller expectations. Now, employers have the opportunity to reshape their talent programs for the world of travel.

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for travel and hospitality talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your travel and hospitality hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

Tech & Digital Skills: 5 Recruitment Strategies for Closing the Skills Gap

There are a host of new and emerging tech disciplines—the metaverse, blockchain, generative AI, cybersecurity and more—that are changing the way we work and the kind of work we do. Many jobs that were previously done by humans are now done by machines. Many new jobs are emerging that require new and changing skill sets and organisations are struggling to find the talent they need to keep up as tech and digital skills gap grows.  

According to World Economic Forum, it is estimated that by 2030, “approximately 85 million jobs could go unfilled globally because of a lack of applicants with the skills to take them, which could result in $8.5 trillion (USD) in unrealised annual revenues.” 

Skills Shortage: Digital Age or Digital Deficiency? 

Salesforce’s 2022 Global Digital Skills Index surveyed 23,000+ workers across 19 countries and found the global digital skills readiness score is just 33 out of 100. No wonder that 64% of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. Furthermore, 70% of employees say they haven’t even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today. Plus, a third (36%) of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need. 

As organisations try to reinvent their business models to keep up with change, employers of all stripes—regardless of sector—must prepare their workforce for digital-first employment. By taking a skills-based approach to your talent acquisition strategy, you can move beyond your tired methods to find people with the right skills and competencies regardless of their degree or job history.  

Recruitment Handbook

Recruitment Handbook for Hiring Tech & Digital Talent

Measuring the Tech & Digital Skills Gap 

As an HR or TA leader, you’re probably asking, “Which digital and tech skills should I prioritise?” 

Well, it depends. 

To plan for the skills of the future, you must know where you are today. Conduct a skills inventory of current employees, regardless of department. Then, run a technology skills gap analysis, looking at what’s available now and what you’ll need in the future based on your organisational strategy.  

This, combined with external labour market data on the availability of tech and digital skills, you’ll be able to understand which critical skills gaps are in place today, what skills are available in the market and what skills you’ll have to develop internally. 

Only one in four talent analytics teams currently use external market data 

5 Skills-Based Talent Acquisition Strategies for Tech and Digital Talent 

Here are five strategies for closing the skills gap for your tech and digital roles. 

1. Assess for Adjacent Skills 

A crucial part of your skill inventory must be identifying skills adjacent to your critical skills which can be developed to bridge the gap. With the right capability and skills taxonomy in place—both for internal mobility and external hiring—you can tap talent with related skills to fill talent gaps through recruitment and upskilling.  

PeopleScout recently facilitated a reskilling project for a leading bank in the UK. We supported an evaluation of their customer service employees in call centres and bank branches to identify hidden skills. We evaluated hundreds of employees, surfacing many with complementary skills who are now involved in a development program to supply software engineering talent in the future.  

2. Don’t Overlook Candidates with Non-Traditional Backgrounds 

Identifying these complementary skill sets has the additional benefit of helping you surface non-traditional internal and external talent pools. These are candidates who possess the skills necessary to perform a role’s duties but may never have held a position with a tech or digital specific title. By taking a skill-based approach to tech and digital talent acquisition, you don’t limit yourself to a small talent pool with hard-to-find experience. This could also mean relaxing requirements around university degrees. Plus, it’s a great way to achieve diversity and social-mobility goals. 

tech & digital skills

3. Develop Upskilling Opportunities 

Once you’ve found talent with adjacent skills, you’ll need an upskilling program to get them up-to-speed on their target role and for ongoing development of skills as new technology emerges. Learning and development programs are a great way to support cross-functional talent mobility. Plus, it can act as a big draw for recruitment, as more and more candidates say they value growth opportunities when considering a new job. According to the LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting report, Advancement and Skills Development are in the top five most important priorities for candidates.  

4. Embrace Global Expansion  

With the explosion of remote work, organisations can widen their talent search beyond their office locations. By shifting your focus to talent location and skill set, rather than your business footprint, you benefit from a more diverse talent pool. Leverage labour market data to find emerging tech hubs where demand is still low. For example, several cities in Latin America have a growing supply of digital skills with moderate salary expectations. 

5. Look Outside the IT Department 

Technology advancement means departments across the organisation—and across sectors—have become breeding grounds for addressing the IT skills shortage. In fact, according to Gartner, almost 40% of job postings for talent with digital skills come from outside of IT departments. The explosion of FinTech, MarTech and even HRIS means that there’s a plethora of digital talent in finance teams, marketing teams and HR teams. So, instead of looking for a data scientist, why not try tapping a financial analyst to get those much-needed analytical skills? 

How an RPO Partner Can Help You Secure Tech and Digital Skills 

Employers looking to grow their tech and digital workforce can benefit from the services of a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider. Your RPO partner can help you adapt your attraction strategy to resonate with candidates with tech and digital skills, ensuring that you are sourcing talent with the required skills and identifying new ways to target candidates who fit these personas. Plus, an experienced RPO provider can assist you in building your talent pool from within your own organisation, by consulting to develop an internal reskilling program. 

Get five proven strategies to attract, engage and hire the best tech professionals. Download our Recruitment Handbook for Hiring Tech & Digital Talent. 

The Recruitment Handbook for Hiring Tech & Digital Talent

The Recruitment Handbook for Hiring Tech & Digital Talent

5 Strategies for Recruiting the Best Tech Talent Now and into the Future 

Today, every company is a tech company as organisations across sectors create digital customer experiences, embrace automation and AI, and analyse the data created through these platforms. In fact, 6 out of 10 of the most indemand skills are tech-related.

However, according to Gartner, a third (36%) of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need. So, how can talent acquisition leaders keep up with the demand for tech and digital talent?

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for tech talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your tech hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

 

The Multigenerational Workforce: Gen Z in the Workplace

To continue our series, The Multigeneration Workforce, this article explores the challenges and opportunities of Gen Z in the workplace. For the first time in modern history, four generations are working side-by-side: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. The ratios will change over the coming years—and so will each group’s level of influence.  

Gen Z is overtaking Baby Boomers as the largest generation history, boasting an incredible two billion people globally, and is set to become the largest demographic in the workplace by the end of the decade. Leaders must not underestimate the impact this generation’s ideas and perspective will have on the world and the workplace. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can attract, engage and hire the best Gen Z talent to propel your workforce into the future. 

Who is Gen Z? 

While sources vary, Gen Z is generally defined as the generation born approximately between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media and have come of age in a time marked by 9/11, polarised politics, economic fluctuations and climate woes. They watched their parents lose jobs during the Great Recession. Then, they experienced the biggest educational and workplace disruption in modern history as COVID-19 lockdowns led to their classes moving online, a surge in unemployment and psychological distress.  

As voracious consumers and creators of digital media, they focus on curating their online presence and have developed an “unapologetically me” ideology. As a result, they are generally socially progressive and value diversity.  

Perhaps ironically, growing up in this hyperconnected online world has also fuelled feelings of isolation and loneliness among many Gen Z-ers. Seeing friends posting content and having fun (cue the #FOMO), alongside the pressure to keep on top of social trends, can make the feelings of disconnection even more acute, leading to increases in depression and anxiety.

Gen Z in the workplace

What Matters to Gen Z in the Workplace? 

Gen Z-ers have different expectations and priorities than previous generations of workers. They’ve expressed less loyalty than past cohorts and are more pragmatic. They don’t assume they’ll have a social safety net upon retirement since seeing layoffs and pensions shrinking.  

Here are some more characteristics to look out for when hiring Gen Z candidates. 

Fighting for Social Change  

After witnessing the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements as well as the increased frequency of natural disasters due to climate change, Gen Z is seeking employment that matches their personal values. They believe in their ability to make a difference individually and are also demanding that employers do their part to help build a better future.  

LinkedIn released a global study of nearly 10,000 professionals which found that 68% of workers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland consider it important to work for companies that are aligned with their values. In the U.S., it’s higher at 87%. Gen Z is driving this shift, with nearly 90% in Europe saying they would leave a job to work somewhere that better matches their values.  

Digitally Native but Digitally Unsure 

Growing up with access to the internet and mobile devices has led to a widespread presumption that Gen Z-ers are innately good with tech. However, new research shows this may not be the case at work.  

One in five of the 18-to-29-year-olds polled in HP’s Hybrid Work: Are We There Yet? report said they felt judged when experiencing technical issues in the workplace. Furthermore, this “tech shame” leads 25% of young professionals to actively avoid participating in a meeting if they think it will expose their tech shortcomings.  

Generation Disenchanted? 

Much has been said about the number of older workers taking early retirement, but the biggest rise in inactivity since the pandemic has not been among Baby Boomers, but workers aged between 18 and 24. In the UK, the share of workers in this age group classed as economically inactive—meaning they’re not actively working or looking for a job—stood at a record high of 32% in the second quarter of 2022. Plus, of those who are students or currently unemployed, 1 in 10 said they never intend to start working.  

In a rejection of the “girlboss” and “hustle culture”, the hashtag #IDontDreamOfLabor has taken off as a platform for Gen Z to speak candidly about their rejection of work as the basis for identity, framing it instead as a financial necessity for paying the bills. In the shadow of the Great Resignation, Gen Z is vocal about the role of work in their lives—sometimes to viral acclaim. Some have taken to TikTok to coach their peers on how to negotiate salaries, which red flags to look out for in the interview process and how to stick up for what they want at work.  

The formative experience of the Great Recession combined with entering the workforce during the pandemic has taught young people that hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee stability. They want better than what their parents had and aren’t shy about demanding more from their employers. Organisations who can navigate these expectations will win the hearts of Generation Z. 

Gen Z at work

Strategies for Engaging Gen Z at Work

To help Gen Z workers become as productive and successful as possible, employers need to showcase their values and offer a combination of ongoing wellbeing support and robust skills training.  

1. Evaluate Your Employer Brand for Gen Z 

As most young people seeking employment with a company they can believe in, it’s important to build an employer brand that resonates with Gen Z values. In the recent global study, Inside the Candidate Experience, PeopleScout found that the top things Gen Z job seekers look for when evaluating a job are: 

  1. Mission and purpose 
  1. Flexible working and work/life balance 
  1. DE&I; Company culture (tied) 

With mission and purpose as the top factor for Gen Z job seekers, it’s surprising how few organisations include this information on their career websites. On the sites we examined, we found an organisation’s mission and purpose less than half (48%) of the time. This means that half of companies are passing up an opportunity to engage emotionally with their young talent audiences and assist prospects in understanding how the job they have applied for fits into that goal. Candidates won’t look at your open roles if they can’t identify your mission on your careers site. 

2. Embrace Social Media  

Despite concern over how much Gen Z-ers use and consume social media, it is their main way of staying connected, so it is imperative for employers to have a strong presence on social. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not posting career related content (above and beyond job listings) to their social channels at least once a week.  

Favourite social platforms for Gen Z include TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—so consider creating video content to engage talent from this generation. “Day in the life” videos are a great way to provide a realistic job preview and show early careers talent what it’s like to work at your organisation. 

3. Showcase Your DE&I Efforts 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a top consideration for Gen Z candidates when looking for a job, and they’ll be scrutinising any employer to separate lip service from authentic DE&I action. When candidates from underrepresented groups are searching for jobs, the right job title might be enough to get them to click on a posting—but whether they actually apply is influenced by what they read and hear about how an organisation treats its people.  

Representation matters, and employers who showcase employees across a range of demographics show candidates that people from diverse backgrounds can flourish at their organisation. Ensure your recruitment communications include voices and stories from underrepresented groups at all levels of the organisation.  

Employers should also strive for transparency with their diversity recruitment data and share any plans they have in place to shift the dial around representation. Then, when candidates from underrepresented groups encounter similar voices throughout the recruitment process, they’ll realise that not only are they welcome at the organisation, but they’ll also have the opportunity to thrive and progress.  

4. Offer Employee Mental Wellness Benefits 

Growing up entirely in the digital age has undeniably had an impact on how this generation interacts with others. With fewer in-person exchanges, some 37% of Gen Z feels worried that technology weakens their ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships and develop people skills. Living in a world of non-stop communication through apps and social media also contributes to mental health conditions like anxiety. The strain of modern living on mental health has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdown life. 

Gen Z-ers are proud advocates for mental health, sharing their experiences and removing the stigma around depression and anxiety. According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey of almost 12,000 workers around the world, 91% of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed. And they’re looking for support from their employer. A whopping 92% of university students say employers should offer mental well-being benefits, and more than a third (36%) are prioritising those who do as they start their careers. 

Employee assistance programs, employee resource groups and workplace mental health training are all ways employers are creating a culture that promotes mental health and wellbeing. Gen Z will be drawn to employers who are joining the conversation around mental health and creating a safe space to raise and address these issues. 

5. Highlight Growth Opportunities for Gen Z

Worryingly, 37% of young people say their education did not adequately prepare them with the technology skills they need for their career. This digital native generation is lacking in the digital literacy most organisations need to fuel future innovation.  

Gen Z is prioritising employers who demonstrate investment in developing their employees’ skills and career paths. Employers who highlight training, mentoring and professional development programs in their recruitment materials will satisfy Gen Z’s ambition and desire to grow.  

Training for new Gen Z joiners should centre around soft skills like resilience, relationship building and empathy, enabling people from this cohort to manage their own stress levels effectively and to understand when and how they should ask for help. Face-to-face support and mentoring programs are a core elements of training for Gen Z in the workplace. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are being widely embraced by organisations across industries, enabling more senior employees to share their experience with the younger generation to counteract skills gaps, while also tapping into the knowledge and insights of Gen Z in the areas of social trends and digital media.  

Gen Z in the Workplace: Embracing Positive Change 

As organisations plan for the future of work, they must work harder to appeal to the savvy Generation Z-ers entering the workforce. While most employers understand the importance of inclusivity and ethical decision-making, this generation will hold them accountable to putting those principles into action. Employers must embrace these values and the positive changes brought by Gen Z in the workplace. Talent acquisition leaders should keep their finger on the pulse of how these young workers will shape how we hire and develop talent in the coming decades. 

Check out our report to learn more about the future of work:

Future of Work

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

What Candidates Want: Key Research Findings [Infographic]

At PeopleScout, we hear a lot of talk about the candidate experience. Most organisations understand the importance of improving how they engage with job seekers. Yet, our latest research shows that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their recent recruitment experience as excellent.

We audited the candidate journeys of over 215 organisations around the world, assigning each a Candidate Experience Quotient (CandidateXQ) score based on 40 key experience indicators, 15 of which are critical to the candidate experience. Then, we analysed these scores alongside data gathered from surveying over 2,400 job seekers globally. The results revealed a clear disparity between candidate expectations and their reality.

Check out this infographic to explore the key findings from the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Candidate experience infographic

For more global candidate experience insights, download the full Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.