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Nearly three-quarters of 16-20 year olds say employers are not doing enough to attract them, despite 28% of businesses claiming they proactively recruit workers from the age group.

According to a study by Capita Resourcing, there has been a huge shift in power from employers to candidates, with the large majority (62%) of Generation Z believing that an interview is as much about interviewing a prospective employer as it is about the employer interviewing them.

The study also found that 59% of employers think Gen Z workers will leave very quickly if their organisations don’t adequately accommodate and support Gen Z individuals who are starting their first job. However many employers aren’t anticipating this generation’s need to feel wanted, or just how long they plan to stay in an organisation for. In fact, over half (54%) of Gen Z stated they only expect to stay in their first job for under two years. This translates into an average expectancy of just 500 working days for a Gen Z employee in their first role.

Nicola McQueen, managing director at Capita, said: “To maximise the potential of Generation Z, organisations need to better understand the needs, ambitions and expectations of this cohort in the workplace. Particularly in terms of their unwillingness to stay in a company for longer than the 500 day window highlighted in our research. Treating candidates as you would a consumer can help you to stand out amongst competitors and ensure that potential recruits, especially in this younger age bracket, feel appreciated, valued and ready to invest their career in your company.

“It’s all about building a brand ethos and story that resonates not only with Generation Z, but the entire workforce. Establishing and communicating the opportunity for career progression, professional reward and personalised company benefits from the first point of engagement will help to draw employees in. The trick is to understand what each age group needs and making the necessary investments into these areas to benefit the entire organisation.”

What Gen Z wants

It's not enough just to know that your business should be doing more to attract the brightest young talent. It also needs to understand what Gen Z is looking for.

  • 93% want stability in their role
  • 93% want good opportunities for progression
  • 93% want the opportunity to develop as a person
  • 82% want to work for a well-known company
  • 80% want to be challenged
  • 79% want to make a difference or have a social impact
  • 72% want clear direction from their managers
  • 67% want transparency from their managers
  • 66% want their managers to trust them
  • 54% want to work face-to-face in a small team
  • 47% want time off to study
  • 45% want a mentor or coach
  • 32% want to work remotely