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Understanding Gen-Z: A Guide to Recruiting and Retaining the Next Workforce

The financial services industry is undergoing a significant transformation, and the recruitment of Generation Z (Gen Z) is becoming increasingly vital. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the latest generation to enter the workforce and is expected to constitute 27% of the workforce by 2025 according to mccrindle. Their unique perspectives, digital proficiency, and desire for meaningful work position them as a key driver of innovation and fresh ideas in the banking sector.


Without a robust pipeline of Gen Z talent choosing to take up banking roles at the entry or early-career level, the sustainability of the global banking system could be at risk, predicted in an article report by EY. Bringing in Gen Z employees can inject a breath of fresh air into your organisation, bringing new ideas and helping you keep up with the changing market and tech advances.


Corporate social responsibility is now a vital concern influenced by social media. However, there’s scepticism regarding performative gestures, commonly known as virtue signalling, without real systemic change. This scepticism is exacerbated by cancel culture, where even minor missteps on social media can lead to severe repercussions. Unlike the past, where companies might have faced scrutiny through traditional forms of media such as TV or print, where you had a lot more time to respond to accusations, the pervasive nature of social media means that even minor missteps or misled information can be easily spread or ‘go viral’, leading to significant reputational damage before you even have the chance to respond.


Understanding Gen Z’s expectations.


Gen Z’s workplace expectations are shaped by their unique experiences and values. Unlike previous generations, they seek more than just a good salary; they desire a sense of purpose in their work and are attracted to organisations that align with their values and contribute positively to society.


Gen Z is also the most digitally savvy generation, being brought into the world where the internet, social media and online communities were being solidified as a way of communicating. Growing up in an era of smartphones and rapid technological advancement, makes them more adaptable and comfortable with various digital tools and platforms – this ultimately relates into their work.


Work-life integration also plays a massive part, some might say more than any previous generation. They understand the potential for remote work and flexible hours to enhance productivity and foster a better work-life balance.


Attracting Gen Z to Your Organisation:


To attract Gen Z talent, you need to align your recruitment strategies with the expectations and values of this generation. Here are some strategies that can help:


Promote Purpose and Impact: Clearly articulate your organisation’s mission and values. Emphasise corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical business practices. By demonstrating how the work contributes to a higher purpose, such as supporting sustainable development goals or promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you can effectively engage with Gen Z candidates.


Offer Flexibility: Embrace flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible hours. Flexible working arrangements have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason – flexible working has been shown to increase productivity, offer better work-life balance and improve employee retention… But as we all know this doesn’t work for all companies, with more and more businesses over the last 2 years starting to implement ‘return to office’ policies; According to a report from Resume Builder, 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024. On the contrary, in a study done by Deloitte, flexibility was one of the most important factors For Gen Z when considering a job – 77% of Gen Z respondents said they would consider looking for a new role if their employer asked them to go into the office full-time.

Despite the growing trend of companies reverting to in-office policies, the importance of embracing flexibility cannot be overlooked. Balancing the benefits of remote work and flexible hours with the preferences of the Gen Z workforce is crucial for fostering a dynamic and engaged work environment. It’s essential for businesses to adapt to these changing dynamics to ensure lasting success.


Provide Personalised Career Development: Gen Z values personalisation in their career journey and offering career development opportunities specific to their career aspirations and supporting their desire for continuous learning and growth goes a long way. Gen Z employees, who have clear agendas when it comes to job hunting, place great importance on opportunities for career advancement and skill development. In fact, according to a LinkedIn article, a majority of Gen Z respondents expressed a desire for more opportunities to move up or increase responsibilities (61%) and more opportunities to learn or practice new skills (76%).


Communication: According to a study by Edison Mail, Gen Z’s three core communication channels are SMS (69%), email (31%), and social media (29%). Generation Z prefers quick exchanges of information rather than lengthy phone calls or email threads. They value immediacy and efficiency when it comes to communication and expect rapid responses from whoever they’re sending a message.


Here are a few things you can do to improve communication:


  • Establish a social media presence. Gen Z is highly active on social media platforms, and companies should leverage this by creating a strong social media communication strategy. This could include posting short-form video content on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram or even posting jobs and relevant company content on social media to entice candidate engagement.


  • Apply AI tools to the screening process. AI tools such as ChatGPT can analyse CVs using their natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, this can help recruiters save time by sifting through CVs a lot quicker. Maybe even consider using pre-recorded interview platforms such as Willo to ask candidates initial screening questions.


Also, ever thought about integrating automations? Automation can help you communicate with your candidates more effectively, with the implementation of automated notifications, emails, texts or even just simple reminders, candidates can stay informed about the status of their applications, interviews, and other relevant updates in ‘real-time’ – This not only aligns with the fast-paced world Gen Z lives in, where services are available at the touch of a button and the desire for quick results is paramount, but also offers an engaging and efficient experience that is tailored to their preferences.


This creates a more engaging and informative candidate journey, increasing the likelihood of a positive experience with the company or recruitment agency.


That’s why we in Stellar Select do it, we have not only enhanced the efficiency of our operations but have also established a reputation for providing an unparalleled candidate experience.


By understanding Gen Z’s expectations and aligning your recruitment strategies accordingly, you can attract and retain this vital talent pool. This will not only ensure the sustainability of your organisation but also drive innovation and growth in the overall financial services industry.


Give us a call to see how our team can guide you in your recruitment process, helping you make informed decisions for your recruitment strategy.

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