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By EMILY WILSON 1,081 views

What Gen Z and Millennials Look for in Their Job Search

The talent that you employ will greatly affect the way in which your company runs. Its effectiveness, reliability, and productivity are determined by the capacity, capability and dedication of your workforce. However, can one really affect who applies for the position that you’ve just announced as open? The truth is that while you can’t determine the specifics of who applies, what you can do is make some tweaks to your business model in order to make any job in your company more appealing. In order to do this, nonetheless, you first have to figure out what Gen Z and millennials are looking for in their job search. Let’s find out.

1. Making a difference

One of the most unrealistic expectations that millennials have when looking for a job is the fact that they want to make a difference from day one. This is, of course, impossible, due to the fact that they need proper training, that will take months, as well as a niche experience. Moreover, while they’ll definitely make a difference (to a degree) in their current post but this might not be noticeable enough for them. In order for this to take place, they’ll have to move to a better spot. Still, how do you improve your hiring policy by balancing these concepts? The answer is simple, you improve your existing structures and let your employees promote your business.

First, you need to show your appreciation to them. While being appreciated and feeling like you’re making a difference aren’t the same, it’s easy for one to feel this correlation. After all, they’re a valuable member of your team and this has earned them your respect, right? Either way, it’s a nice gesture and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

Second, you can promise them that they’ll start making a difference in as little as six months. The simplest way to do so is to stress out what they’ll learn in their training.  Always stress out where the work that they’re investing makes a difference in the bigger picture.

Finally, you need to give them more autonomy. Stop looking over their shoulder regardless of what they do. Show some trust in their abilities and dedication and this will help them feel like they’re running their own show. Keep in mind that by meddling in their work all the time, you’ll not just show that you don’t trust them but also actively increase the number of distractions in the workplace. In order to avoid this, you just need to let them do their work. If you want to check out their performance in a subtler way, get an employee monitoring software instead of asking direct questions all the time.

2. A tech-savvy workplace

Another thing you need to be aware of is the fact that millennials know more about technology than a lot of their predecessors. Therefore, if they have a choice, they’ll always work for the company that uses high-tech. Therefore, when buying office equipment, going for smart and high-end technology, might drastically boost employee satisfaction, as well as increase your talent hiring and retention efforts. Other than this, having this reliable hardware makes your staff more productive.

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that the trend of BYOD is a great idea, seeing as how the majority of millennials are already used to using their personal devices for business purposes. At the very least, they’re checking their company emails via their personal smartphones. The problem with this method is the fact that, if unsupervised, it can turn into a proper cybersecurity nightmare. So, in order to avoid this scenario, you need to establish some basic security rules.

3. Inspiring workplace

The next thing you need to be aware of is the fact that when looking for employment, millennials and Generation Z are also looking at the office. Needless to say, this is a wise step of precaution, seeing as how this is the place where they’ll spend the majority of their time working. If the first impression of the place is wrong, this could affect their every single working day. Naturally, they start by examining the work area but quickly, their considerations expand to the other areas, as well.

A break area is particularly interesting, seeing as how it affects the quality of their breaks. There are a lot of companies out there that excel in innovative playground-like break areas filled with arcades, pinball machines and table tennis setups. Other than this, the décor of these areas matters, as well. In other words, while you do have full freedom to do whatever you like, it’s still wise to look for inspiration and ideas online.

The next area that you need to do some work on, is a kitchen. Ideally, the workplace would have a cafeteria, however, having a well-organized kitchen should be good enough. There are a lot of appliances here that your potential employees will see as pragmatic and time-saving. Still, none of them will take precedence over the coffee maker. This is why checking out high-end workplace coffee machines and getting one for your enterprise should probably be a top priority.

 4. Flexibility is appreciated

The flexibility in the workplace is probably the thing that your employees are interested in the most. For instance, a lot of these potential hires will take the job that you’re offering because it gives them a chance to work from home once or twice per week. Keep in mind that introverts especially know how to appreciate this option. 

Other than this, you should also consider the advantages of offering them flexible work hours. What this means is that they can choose when and how much they work at a time, for as long as they work for 6-8 hours every day. For instance, they could work from 6 PM until 2 AM in the morning, if they prefer to do so or they could split their workday into four intervals of two hours. Sure, this can be a bit complex when it comes to office management and security, yet, a lot of entrepreneurs find it to be worth their while.

The ability to customize your business model so that it suits your employees is horribly underrated and underrepresented in the present-day workplace, which is why it’s so appreciated by millennials and especially members of the Gen Z. Just keep in mind that each of these scenarios is quite unique and, as such, there are no one-size-fits-all methods.

 5. Chance to learn and grow

In the end, you need to understand that above all else, millennials and Gen Z want to prove themselves as competent and self-reliant. For this to work, they need a chance to learn and grow. There’s a wide-spread misconception that these generations are entitled or expect to be handed things on a silver platter, which is as far from the truth as it gets.

So, how do you provide them with a chance to learn? First of all, you need to ensure that your entry-level positions have a beginner-friendly learning curve. What this means is that they need to be able to start working as soon as possible in order to allow them to start gaining knowledge through experience. Second, you need to start a mentor program, which will allow some of your senior employees to transfer their knowledge onto their junior colleagues. Finally, with so many online courses and learning resources out there, you might want to set up a budget that your employees can use in order to pursue an education in this manner. Also, the concept of microlearning should be strongly encouraged.

The last thing worth mentioning is the fact that millennials dread the idea of staying in a single position for too long. So, if they have doubts about whether they’ll be able to advance in your ranks, they might leave you or avoid finding a job in your company, to begin with. One more thing worth mentioning is that moving vertically isn’t all that they’re interested in. Sure, it’s not a promotion in a traditional sense but it still may feel like one. Having this option available will also make your company more desirable to work for.

In conclusion

As you might have noticed, each of the above-listed ideas does more than just help make your business more interesting to millennials and members of the Gen Z who are looking for work. Instead, it’s actively improving your business structure. By making your employees feel better in the office, you’re actively boosting their productivity. Second, it’s impossible to improve your talent-attracting efforts, without contributing to talent retention, as well. Finally, by giving them a chance to learn and advance, you’re seriously investing in the future growth of your company. All in all, each of the methods described above rewards you in more than one way.

Emily Wilson

Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing are her favourite things to do. Besides that, she loves animals and travelling.