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The Great Resignation may be losing steam, but the number of Americans leaving their jobs, as well as total job openings, remains at historic highs, making the recruitment of Gen Z workers by employers more important than ever.

“By the end of 2022, Gen Z is predicted to make up 36 percent of the modern workforce,” according to a Hireology white paper. “There are a lot of moving parts in the current labor force as Baby Boomers make a mass exit while retiring and Gen Z, those 25 and younger, continue to join the hiring market.”

Why Workers Just Won’t Stop Quitting

Employers were hopeful that The Great Resignation would be a distant memory by now, but the quits keep on coming as the BBC reported in August, 2022.

“When people first began leaving their jobs en masse in early 2021, experts generally believed that the “Great Resignation” was a direct side effect of pandemic chaos and uncertainty,” Kate Morgan reported for the BBC. “Many workers quit due to Covid-19 safety concerns or because their companies didn’t provide adequate remote-work support. Millions more left for more autonomy or meaning in their work; many of these shifts linked to lockdown reflection. And others quit for more money elsewhere, as the labor market tightened.”

And while this so-called Great Resignation lost some steam in July, with the number of seasonally adjusted quits declining for the fourth consecutive month, Statista reports that the number of Americans leaving their jobs (4.18 million) and the number of job openings (11 million+) remain at historic high levels.

“The number of quits has now exceeded the pre-pandemic high for 17 straight months, as more than 4 million Americans left their jobs in 15 of the past 17 months. Meanwhile employers, especially in low-wage sectors, are still struggling to fill open positions,” wrote Statista.

Looking at those numbers, Morgan wrote: “But something unexpected is happening now. Even with Covid restrictions mostly lifted and the pandemic waning in many countries, the resignation letters are still piling up. Despite widespread predictions of a slowdown, data shows not only are people still leaving positions in spades, but many workers who haven’t resigned yet plan to do so in coming months.”

Ready or Not: Businesses Must Meet Gen Z Needs

Recruiting, and retaining, proper staffing levels in this job environment means that businesses must focus on the newest generation in the workforce: Gen Z.

“Between the red hot economy, the Baby Boomer’s mass exodus from the workforce as they retire, and the saturation of gig economy opportunities, there are around two vacant positions for every current job seeker,” says the Hireology white paper. “Gen Z will soon take over as the most densely populated generation in the workforce, especially as the Baby Boomers we mentioned earlier ease out. Whether businesses are ready for it or not, this means that there will be an even greater need to cater to the melting pot of workers in the labor force in order to capture their share of top talent.”

The bottom line is that different approaches to attract Gen Z applicants and convert them to new hires, including benefits and perks that they covet, will be necessary for companies to remain competitive.

“It’s important to keep these findings in mind since Gen Z is the future of the workplace; in a short time, they will make up the bulk of the labor force,” says Hirelology. “In this sense, getting ahead of the curb by adjusting your hiring approach now can alleviate future strains

Gen Z Work Expectations and Job Search Differs From Other Generations

The 2022 Hireology Applicant Study, “Gen Z: Definers of the New Workplace”, says that Gen Z’s expectations for work and job search differ from previous generations.

The study found the following key takeaways:

  • Gen Z is 10 percent less interested in flexibility to offset competitive pay than other age groups.
  • Gen Z still prize benefits and perks but to really entice them you need to pay close detail to your company culture and growth opportunities.
  • Gen Z is the least likely of all age groups to find their roles on job boards with 11 percent using Google to find a job and 21 percent referred by a friend.
  • More than 1 in 4 Gen Z job applicants admitted to “ghosting” a company during the interview process.
  • More than half of Gen Z applicants apply for job openings on their smartphones.

Here is a close look at 5 of those key differences:

  1. Mobile-friendly applications are a must: 40 percent of Gen Z applicants did not finish applying for a job because it was too difficult to complete on their phone. Approximately half of Gen Z job seekers will only apply for jobs on mobile devices – more than any other age group.
  2. Growth and company culture hold more weight: Pay and flexibility are still important to this age group, but overall company culture and potential career growth hold sway. Gen Z applicants were a third more likely to apply for a position with growth potential vs. other age groups. Company culture clues are taken by applicants from the interview process, company career site and other research they conduct online.
  3. They are less interested in flexibility than other generations: Gen Z is less willing to trade pay for flexibility than other generations. When asked if they would take a pay cut for more flexibility, 41 percent of Gen Z said yes compared to 49 percent for millennials and Gen X and 50 percent Baby Boomers.
  4. Gen Z is more likely to find roles through Google and friends than any other age group: SEO is more important than ever with 11 percent finding their new job via Google. Company referrals are also key with 21 percent getting hired through a friend. Traditional job boards, on the other hand, are not utilized by Gen Z like older generations.
  5. They are more likely to ghost: 26 percent of Gen Z job applicants admitted to ghosting – ending communication without any contact or notification — a company during the interview process. About half received another job offer during the interview process. Hireology says that if your hiring process takes longer than two weeks from initial application to job offer, you could lose up to 50 percent of Gen Z hires.


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