The new generational wave about to enter the workplace is fiscally conservative, career-oriented and hoping to be in their dream job within 10 years. These traits bode well for employers of Gen Z marketing talent who can deliver the things that these professionals are looking for in a job, but you’ve got to keep them interested.
As I noted in the post “Gen Z Goes to College,” the oldest members of this cohort — born beginning in 1995 — were in their formative years during the financial crisis of 2008. Many witnessed their parents’ losing jobs, and even homes. They eschew credit card debt and worry about paying their students loans. They want financial stability, so getting a good job is a top priority.
But more important than salary to them is the opportunity for career growth. In a study conducted by Adecco Staffing USA and reported in Fortune (May 22, 2015), 36% ranked career growth most important while only 6% chose highest salary as their No. 1 criteria.
They’re likely to be job hoppers, with 83% saying that three years or less is right for staying in a first job and 27% think it’s less than one year. So what do you do to keep the ones who have star power on board a bit longer?
Make Their Work Meaningful
Gen Zers are used to accessing multiple screens at once to find and integrate information from multiple sources. Putting them into single-focus rote tasks is sure to send them running for the exits.
Give Gen Zers Learning Opportunities
Offer internal training programs focused on your industry. Send them to conferences and seminars outside the company. The value of your investment is less about the content they learn, and more about the confidence you show in them and the self-esteem it builds.
Give Them a Place at the Adult Table
Assign Gen Zers to work groups with senior and middle managers, not as note-takers, but as participants. The chance to work with more experienced professionals is one of the greatest growth opportunities you can provide. It lets them find mentors, and it brings new ideas to seasoned managers.
You can’t expect to keep them forever. But if you make the most of them before they fledge the nest, you’ll reap the benefits of their novel thinking and fresh perspectives.