Millennials and Gen Z make up the largest part of the US workforce. And by 2030, they will make up over 75% of it.
So if you haven’t considered what millennial and Gen Z employees want in a job, you could be missing out on valuable talent.
In this article, we’ll go over who millennials and Gen Zers are, what they look for in a job, and how to attract and retain them for the long term.
Let’s get started!
Who Are Millennials & Gen Z?
Millennials (aka Generation Y) are those born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 26 to 41 in 2022). As of 2020, there were about 77 million millennials in the US.
Gen Z is the next generation born between 1997 and 2012 (ages 10 to 25 in 2022). As of 2020, there were about 67 million Gen Zers.
Most born in these two generations experienced both the 2008 financial crisis and the recent COVID-19 economic downturn. This means they tend to be worried about financial security.
But that’s not the only thing that makes Millennials and Gen Z different. They’re also more concerned about company culture, social and environmental issues, and mental health.
What Millennials & Gen Z Want in a Job
Millennials and Gen Zers are perhaps the pickiest of any generation when it comes to jobs. Here’s a list of what they look for:
- Company values that align with theirs. Millennials and Gen Zers are big on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. And they want to work at a company that shares those same values.
- Career development opportunities. They also want opportunities to learn and develop their careers. So they prefer companies that invest in their growth and personal development.
- Flexible work policies. Millennials and Gen Zers are more transient, and COVID-19 has made them more accustomed to remote work. So they prefer flexible remote or hybrid work policies.
- Work-life balance. Of course, any employee wants a good work-life balance. But millennials and Gen Zers are even more intent on this. They value paid leave, maternity and paternity leave, and other benefits.
- Continuous feedback. The internet, social media, and personal messaging have made continual, instant feedback a new norm. And millennials and Gen Zers want the same at work.
- No micromanaging. Millennials and Gen Zers also don’t want to be micromanaged. Many have multiple jobs or side hustles and prefer to work more independently.
How to Attract the Millennial & Gen Z Workforce
So how do you attract millennials and Gen Zers as an employer? Well, it’s not always an easy task, but here are 7 things that will help:
- Stress social impact. Make public all the charitable causes you are involved in, offer paid time-off for volunteer work, and match employee donations to charities. You might even allow employees to help choose which causes the company supports.
- Support diversity and inclusion. Actively support diversity programs that promote inclusion. You can also have internal support groups to help employees from minority groups. Then encourage prospective employees to check out your efforts on social media.
- Emphasize growth opportunities. Show that employees tend to work their way up in the company, and emphasize any training or tuition reimbursement programs you offer. Make sure you also have a robust learning and development program in place.
- Improve internal communication channels. Make sure your business communicates with real-time messaging that’s available via mobile. Go digital with everything. This is how the younger generations communicate.
- Provide competitive salaries. No matter what benefits and perks a job has, the salary is still the #1 decision factor for most job candidates. So make sure you offer a competitive one.
- Offer wellness programs. Many millennials and Gen Zers are big on health and fitness. So offer free yoga classes, gym memberships, or meditation app subscriptions.
- Give family benefits. Sometimes family benefits can be the deciding factor. Offer caregiver benefits, paid maternity and paternity leave, and flexible schedules, so employees can better take care of their families.
How to Retain the Millennials & Gen Z Workforce
Once you’ve hired millennial and Gen Z employees, you don’t want them to quit as soon as another job comes along. So here’s what you can do to retain them:
Focus on your company culture and try to continually improve it. If it doesn’t foster diversity and inclusion, you’re doing something wrong.
Also, stay up to date on best digital practices. Technology changes everyday. You need to be on the forefront to keep employees satisfied.
And finally, ask employees what’s important to them. Tastes and preferences change, and the easiest way to find out what your employees want is to ask them. Do this during regular one-on-one interviews.
Adding it all up
At the end of the day, millennials and Gen Zers are a diverse and dynamic group, yet most want the benefits listed above in a job.
So do your best to implement them, and you’ll make your company much more attractive.
And if you need to add to your software development workforce, consider partnering with DEV.co. Our programmers can make your next project come to life. Whether you need to create or redesign an app, website, API, or project management software, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation!
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