What I Wish I Knew Before Hiring Gen Z Employees

With Generation Z entering the workforce, companies are becoming increasingly nervous for one simple reason: Gen Z has high workplace expectations and will not settle for less!  

This sentiment is underscored by the staggering fact that 70% of Gen Zers and millennials are seriously considering leaving their current jobs in 20231

In response to this challenge, I've developed a guide that will help you understand what it takes to win the loyalty of these bold graduates. These strategies have proven to boost Gen Z job retention to nearly 70%. Let’s dive right in!

Strategy #1: Provide A Realistic Job Preview 

With Gen Z, transparency has become the currency of trust. 

Catering to the expectations and aspirations of Generation Z employees has become essential for businesses aiming to thrive. However, it’s also important to manage those expectations.

The likelihood of Gen Z employees staying at a company is low when they are greeted with exaggerated promises and pipe dreams. Sure, they might sign the contract initially, but will most likely search for honest work environments soon after. 

Conversely, when businesses are transparent about their expectations and rewards, Gen Z sees this as a positive sign. This is because it enables them to mentally prepare for any challenges that might arise and evaluate the opportunity for a long-term commitment. 

Here is a short but effective checklist you can use to address Gen Z's queries and concerns before they even ask them.

1. What Are The Job Responsibilities?

Be straightforward with your expectations. The best thing you can do as a hiring manager is to set clear expectations and outline responsibilities upfront. As a result, you not only build a strong foundation for a positive working relationship but also create a more productive workplace. 

2. Expectations For Hours Worked, Travel, And Working Conditions

As an employer, it is also important to display full transparency regarding various aspects of the position, including the weekly hours (including overtime), travel commitments and general working conditions. This will help you manage expectations effectively, for the long haul.

3. Top Positive And Negative Aspects Associated With Performing The Job

It's best to be honest about what it's really like to work at that job. Highlight what the job position has to offer and areas that may need improvement.

4. Top Positive And Negative Aspects Of Working For The Organization

The same is true for any organization. Giving Gen Z hires an idea of what they may face beforehand prepares them for it and enables them to contribute to a more positive future. 

5. Top Positive And Negative Aspects Of Working For The Manager

When deciding on a job, it helps to understand your immediate superior. In my experience, once these doubts are clarified, job conversion and retention improve rapidly.

6. Culture, Growth, And Career Trajectory

There’s more to a job than a paycheck. Gen Zers expect growth and a positive career trajectory from their workplaces, so providing and championing the resources to achieve their personal goals encourages loyalty and trust between management and employees.

Strategy #2: Streamlined Onboarding

Building Bridges to Success

We've all been there – that universal feeling of being adrift and uncertain when embarking on a new job opportunity. 

While many of us stumbled and struggled through our initial job experiences, companies aiming to retain top talent and diminish turnover among Gen Z should prioritize extending a helping hand to new recruits, especially during the onboarding process.

1. Provide A Checklist

While Gen Z employees may exhibit confidence and initiative, a staggering 87% of Gen Zers say they lack the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively carry out their job responsibilities.2

It is a good idea to outline the goals and responsibilities expected of your new hire within the first few days of work.

Additionally, highlighting the resources available improves employee productivity by empowering them with confidence. 

2. Facilitate Communication

It is also important to facilitate communication to help your new hires adjust to their work environment.

In my experience, orientation and paid-training programs typically produce positive results and facilitate socialization among employees.

Furthermore, management can introduce company information and facilitate internal communication through communication and media tools such as Slack and videos.

Lastly, regular Q&A sessions with relevant executives, HR and key personnel help in resolving basic queries, fostering connections or aligning employees with company objectives.

3. Provide a Sense Of Purpose

“I don't get paid enough to care”

Unfortunately, in today’s work environment many employees feel unheard.  

It is important to assure all employees, whether they're newcomers or long-serving members, of the significance of their role and the value they bring to the organization. This recognition makes them feel appreciated, resulting in a more productive and responsible workforce.

A good way to reinforce a positive company culture is to highlight and convey success stories to new employees and the possibility that they may someday be a part of it. 

4. Develop Channels For Feedback

Companies should take a proactive approach when providing feedback to Gen Z employees to foster a culture of growth and development.

By encouraging open communication and promoting feedback and questions, employers create a symbiotic relationship in which employee growth directly contributes to company advancement.

Moreover, it encourages a "no question is too small" mindset within your business, thereby offering support to new and flustered employees.

What’s Next?

With a significant portion of Gen Zers and millennials contemplating job changes, it's clear that the conventional approach to talent retention needs a recalibration.

By providing realistic job previews, streamlined onboarding, purpose-driven environments, and open feedback channels, you lay the groundwork for a workplace that fosters growth, loyalty, and mutual understanding.

As you embrace these strategies, remember that every step you take towards accommodating and empowering Gen Z employees is an investment in your organization's future. 

By aligning your practices with their aspirations, you're not just adapting to change – you're shaping it. 


1 Amy Legate-Wolfe • “Almost 70% of US workers plan to leave their jobs in 2023” • Yahoo! Finance • 2023

2 E. O’Boyle and J. Harter • “35 Organizations Lead the World in Creating Cultures ofEngagement” • Gallup • April 13, 2016

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