Generation Z is the newest addition to today’s workforce. The oldest of this generation has just recently begun their careers or has just graduated from college. These young adults have enhanced knowledge of technology, likely have a great education and are financially cautious individuals.
Companies have adapted to millennials in the workforce and shouldn’t assume that millennials and Gen Z are closely related in their career expectations. Tailor the recruiting process to the unique values and priorities of Gen Z.
But what are these young adults looking for in a company? It’s crucial to understand all aspects of Generation Z and how you can make your company more appealing to them for work.
Who Is Generation Z?
People born between 1997 to around 2012 are apart of Generation Z. Most people who are members of Generation Z have parents who are a part of Generation X, but some have millennial parents.
Gen Z was born into a world that was already immersed heavily in technology, making them exposed to vastly different experiences than any generation that preceded them. The environment Gen Z has been raised in makes them stand out from millennials, a generation introduced to technology at a young age.
There are three aspects of Gen Z that are unique to this group:
- Tech-native: People may refer to Generation Z as tech-savvy when, in reality, they are tech- or digital-native. Gen Z doesn’t remember a time before the internet and smartphones. The digital revolution was already taking off when they were born, and they have a strong familiarity with technology. Gen Z spends about 74% of their free time online. They constantly connect with others through technology every day.
- Money-conscious: Many members of Gen Z witnessed their parents struggle through the 2008 recession. Gen Z was also set up to receive a strong economy, but recent events may have reshaped this potential. As this generation starts enrolling in college, Gen Z may fear taking on too much student loan debt. Their view of money may affect their school choices and other financial decisions.
- Educated: Gen Z is on the path to become the most educated generation in the U.S. Gen Z has the highest percentage of parents who hold a college degree compared to the generations that come before them, likely contributing to a value in higher education. In 2018, around 57% of 18 to 21 year-olds who are members of Gen Z were enrolled in two-year and four-year colleges. Promising industries for Gen Z include healthcare, technology and engineering, based on their high education rates.
Gen Z is also the most racially diverse generation in the United States. Research shows that almost half of the Gen Z population are from communities of color.
Generation Z’s life experiences and backgrounds are much different than other generations. This group is on the path to transform the workforce.
Generation Z Workplace Expectations
Because of Gen Z’s exposure to education, technology and knowledge of money, they are set to be a powerhouse in the workforce. Their experience will bring a fresh set of ideas to various industries. Companies will witness new behaviors and expectations from these young adults, and they may need to prepare their company culture for a change because of this incoming generation.
Gen Z recently began entering the workforce since their eldest members graduated from college, went to a technical school or found a job after graduating high school. HR managers, hiring managers and other talent recruiters should understand what this generation is looking for in their careers to successfully gain new talent.
Gen Z has shown to be immensely different from millennials. Your company’s current hiring strategies may not attract Gen Z, so what changes should you make to recruit these young professionals?
To get the benefits of Gen Z in your workplace — from technology experience to educational backgrounds — understand what this generation is looking for in a job.
Feeling burnout on the job can affect an employee’s quality of work. Many companies continue to follow the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday, giving employees projects or tasks that may result in overtime or continuing their job on the weekends. Employees who experience burnout are more likely to call out sick or leave their job because they feel restrained from their personal life.
This pattern is something Gen Z definitely wants to avoid in their careers. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a goal for many young employees. It’s time to strip away the guilt that employees might feel when they need to take time off and possibly become more lenient on work-from-home policies. Allowing employees a better work-life harmony can help them appreciate their company more and feel better in their overall health.
Frequent feedback from managers and team members can improve an employee’s performance at work and help increase their likelihood of staying with the company. This quality goes for most individuals, including those apart of Generation Z.
Gen Z expects plenty of constructive feedback from their superiors at work. Companies can adapt to this change with a few adjustments to their feedback policies.
Consider increasing the regularity of feedback employees receive from managers by having reoccurring meetings for projects and tasks. More time spent between employees and managers can make communication stronger. The more feedback your young employees receive, the faster they may improve in their job duties.
Diversity & Inclusion
Creating an inclusive and diverse work environment is highly essential when looking to recruit Gen Z talent to your company. Working with people from diverse backgrounds and learning from others with different experiences is one of the top priorities of young professionals.
A diverse staff can steer projects into successful directions and create a knowledge base so vast that team members learn from each other almost every day.
A company committed to developing a diverse workplace delivers major points to new Gen Z recruits. Companies can consider all aspects of what makes a person diverse, like gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, education level, and more.
Respect for Personal Data
Older generations may have some concerns when it comes to sharing personal information with businesses. These folks may believe their personal information is only for their eyes and companies have no business utilizing that information, but younger generations think differently.
Gen Z is especially familiar with the idea that companies use their personal information to cater to their wants and needs. Personal data is valuable for marketing and recruiting, and young people know companies will take this information through online social platforms, search engine inquiries, and other smart technologies anyway. Gen Z understands they might as well get something good out of sharing their information if a company does it in an appropriate way.
If your company collects and uses personal data in a fitting way, young professionals may be more likely to trust you and consider a career at your company.
Gen Z values an authentic connection with a company and its employees. While Gen Z is known for frequent technology use and being tech-native, companies should prioritize personal connections with their employees to gain this generation’s attention.
Young adults appreciate companies that treat their employees like family and make an effort to learn more about an employee past their professional life. Skip the fake facade and make an effort to be authentic in all aspects of the company.
Similar to wanting a better work-life balance, a flexible schedule is high on the list of things Gen Z considers when looking for a job. More and more companies are starting to offer a more flexible work schedule in terms of when employees work and if they have the opportunity to work remotely.
As the world changes, so do the lives of individuals. Many people can benefit from a flexible work schedule to complete necessary personal tasks, like taking kids to and from school, doctor’s appointments, car troubles and other necessities.
A company that is up-to-date on technology is a must for Gen Z. A main component of their communication is technology. This generation receives their news, talks to friends and family and looks for jobs all online.
To show your company is up on technology trends, have a well-functioning and updated website, be present on multiple social media platforms, and utilize video content. Use modern and efficient technologies on the job, as well.
A benefit that can attract Gen Z, millennials, and employees of all ages is fantastic company culture. Work can become gloomy when it’s the same routine all day, every day. Companies need to scatter some fun throughout the year to attract this incoming generation.
Fun monthly newsletters, a relaxing break room, company potlucks, birthday and other milestone celebrations, and other activities can make employees appreciate the company they work for. It’s critical for a company to make an effort to provide a productive and fun environment when recruiting young professionals.
How Generation Z’s Expectations & Core Values Affect Their Food Choices
The values and priorities Generation Z holds affect various aspects of their lives, including what they eat and how they choose grocery stores, restaurants and meals.
Gen Z food preferences affect companies because most young people have high expectations when it comes to what they consume, determining food choices on:
- Where the food is grown
- Knowledge of how farmers or companies treat animals
- How well companies treat their employees and how well they are paid
- Availability of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options
- Information about what ingredients are in their meals
A big aspect of Gen Z’s dining preferences is transparency. They don’t want to be in the dark when it comes to the sourcing and creation of their food.
Brand loyalty doesn’t necessarily apply to Gen Z in regards to food. Young people in urban and suburban areas have access to an array of food choices. With the help of social media and sharing recipes and restaurants, people are being exposed to food from all cultures, with the option to eat ramen one night and falafel the next.
Gen Z also is ready to spend money on food. Since they are more likely to value the quality of the food and its sourcing, they are willing to spend more money per meal than older generations.
This generation also values trends and fresh changes — they crave unique options and are always looking for the next best thing, which also applies to their food choices. Gen Z wants to experience new meals, preferably aesthetically pleasing ones they might share online.
Using Food Solutions to Create the Optimal Workplace for Generation Z
While companies strategize plans to attract young employees, it’s essential to consider their food preferences. How can your company tailor food and meals to appeal to Generation Z? Meet their food and workplace expectations by implementing new dining solutions for your company. There are some simple ways to make your break room more attractive to young professionals:
- Add technology: You should incorporate technology into every aspect of your company, and bringing it into your break room is a great way to appeal to Gen Z. Whether it be updating your coffee machine, vending machines or water dispensers, having various food and beverage options in your break room can help.
- Sanitize: Keeping spaces in your company clean is crucial. Having touchless pay systems for purchasing food and clean shared spaces is key to implement and share with recruits.
- Provide options: Consider all dietary restrictions and allergies when stocking your break room or providing company lunches. Make sure there are food and beverage options for everyone in your company. Gen Z expects to have multiple food options, and this will stand out to them when considering your company.
Contact American Dining Creations to Upgrade Your Company’s Food Solutions
Gen Z is a highly influential generation. They are in constant communication with each other, sharing their opinions online through social media. When Gen Z sees something they like, they want it and will share the news with everyone they’re connected with online.
When you upgrade your company’s food solutions to appeal to Gen Z, opportunities for more exposure emerge. Perhaps a young employee will share their appreciation for the new coffee machine in the break room or for on-site dining on their social media accounts. That could spark interest in more young professionals as they see the work your company is doing to cater toward them.
To learn more about how you can upgrade your dining options for your company, reach out to American Dining Creations. We are one of the largest foodservice companies in the country while still being family-owned and operated. We strive to provide excellent hospitality service to our customers. Fill out our contact form online or call to learn more about our services.