Pam was very irritated with her staff. At 69 years old, Pam thought her life would be better. Her department has turned over significantly with the retirement of several faithful employees. Now, she was left with an unmanageable situation. She was now left with young, inexperienced employees who were never happy with their situation. They complained about the pay and the long hours. She kept explaining that customers were very important. Older customers were furious when young employees would ignore them because young employees were busy texting on their smartphones. Yet, across the street, she saw her competitors getting more out of their young employees. Pam wondered how!
Are you concerned about the lack of qualified workers for your business? Do you feel that you need a new recruitment strategy that goes beyond posting ‘Help Wanted’ signs outside of your establishment? Today’s small businesses are not exempt from a severe employment shortage sweeping the nation. Yet, the matter may get worse.
According to a Korn Ferry study, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people in 2030, resulting in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. As businesses seek to recover from the pandemic of 2020, businesses will find many processes more difficult to operate effectively without quality workers. With clearly a shortage of workers, employers must rethink their hiring processes as it pertains to recruitment. This article examines how small businesses must learn new strategies to attract younger employees in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Recruiting younger employees will be difficult with the current recruitment practices. Today’s workforce is different. During the pandemic, employees quit their jobs in record numbers. The Great Resignation happened as workers sought out higher pay, greater fulfillment, and work balance. According to Forbes, 47.8 million people left their jobs for other positions by the end of 2021, as compared to 37.7 million people who quit in 2017. Right now, there is a huge demand for talented workers.
For the first time in human history, five generations co-exist in the same workplace. Generational differences are real. These generational employees include The Greatest Generation (born: before 1945), Baby Boomer (born:1946-1964), Generation X (born:1965-1980), Millennial (1981-1995), and Generation Z (born: after 1996). This multigenerational workforce is a huge advantage and liability for employers. Each generation brings its own unique set of traits that influence work culture. Conflicts are eventually because each generation brings its own bias. Given these generations, businesses must understand the generational differences in the workplace. Most managers are ill-equip to handle generational issues.
Caption: Students like Grady, Kaelyn, and Trey get to work with professionals like Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt to make a significant difference in their career readiness.
GENERATION Z EMPLOYEES
Enter Generation Z. Today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs must understand how to tap into this younger population effectively. Therefore, employers need to be better prepared for working with Generation Z. Who are the young adults that make up Generation Z? They are an age cohort characterized by the most global, diverse, and technological generation ever. GEN Z individuals have never known a world without smartphones and social media. They have also been called Digital Natives, Post-Millennials, Nextars, and iGenerations. In general, they were born in 1995 and after. This generation makes up about 26% of the U.S. population. GEN Z workers tend to have an entrepreneurial spirit that connects well with many small businesses.
Unlike previous generations, Gen Z employees have different expectations. According to a 2019 Glassdoor study, Gen Z employees desire flexible hours and more understanding bosses. According to a CloudBees survey of 1,000 18-to-24-years in the U.S./U.K., three out of 10 job seekers stated the job was the most important factor in their job acceptance. Furthermore, 35% of survey respondents named salary and benefits the most important factor during their job search; 14% cited location. Additionally, the ability to work remotely was important to 10% of respondents. Another study revealed that Generation Z is driven differently. Job seekers selected technology as the second-most popular industry (76.5% of respondents), which was only behind arts, entertainment, and recreation (78%).
Caption: If you can’t connect with today’s students in an authentic fashion, you will not be a success. Dr. Green connects at a professional conference with students from Dilliard University (Louisiana).
Businesses need a new model to attract younger workers. Regardless of the factors that are driving this situation, most small businesses will need to retool if they want to attract younger employees. Unfortunately, many managers are not equipped to deal with attractive, fresh talent.
Caption: Through micro internships, Dr. Green is able to connect business students with business partners to solve client problems while building intimate relationships with the next generation of employees.
Contrary to popular belief, money is not the only motivator for employees. In fact, money is not the only incentive that attracts younger employees. Given this reality, small businesses should consider the following creative ways to recruit more GEN Z employees:
Are you prepared to recruit younger employees in a more effective fashion. Businesses are analyzing how to leverage market advantages in a world of super competitiveness and uncertainty. Human capital strategies are essential, especially in a worker shortage. Therefore, today’s small businesses must implement effective recruitment strategies for a multigenerational workforce.
Generation Z employees can be game changers because they are the most technology savvy, most diverse, and most entrepreneurial of any generation. With that said, recruiting them will not be easy using the standard operating procedure for recruitment. The pandemic has created a New Normal for recruitment. This article showed how small businesses could implement new strategies to attract younger employees in the aftermath of the pandemic. Pray that it is not too late.
© 2023 by D. D. Green