October 12, 2022
Jacki Hart Generation Z. That wonderfully energetic, project-focused generation under the age of 29 are a tricky bunch — if you’re an employer over the age of 45. Statistics show (Gallup) they will change jobs at least three times more often than their older cohorts (Gen X and Baby Boomers). So what does this mean for you? It means you have to adjust your recruiting strategy to reflect this new reality. Job hopping is here to stay.

Careers look different now than ever before. We’ve shifted from Boomers and Gen X learning a trade, graduating college and expecting to have a long career with a single employer — at the end of which we would get the customary gold watch and a pension. The status quo was that companies could count on a steady and long-term workforce and employees would enjoy a lifetime of predictable income and benefits.

In 2022, we find a career driven generation who are ready to take advantage of the job seekers market. They don’t accept the status quo. If you want to attract, hire and retain them, you have to get with the Gen Z Program and meet them where they are. They won’t have it any other way.

In the absence of any handy Canadian statistics on this topic, I looked south of the border to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for context and research. I discovered the median tenure of workers aged 55-64 is
10 years. For the 25-34 age group, it’s 2.8 years.

More than a third of Gen Z workers expects multiple job offers every time they look to switch jobs — which they do whenever they’re looking for meaningful work where they can make an impact, learn new skills and build on their work experience for their next gig (i.e. what’s in it for them if they work for you). They are bold and not afraid to pursue new opportunities.

Why is this a big deal? Gen Z and Millennials make up over 40 per cent of the current workforce. The cost of turnover might be higher than you think. According to labour statistics by the Center for American Progress, the cost of losing an employee can range from 16 per cent of what you pay them annually, to 213 per cent for highly trained positions. This includes costs for other people on your team, who already have other work to do, and to attract, hire, onboard, and train new recruits.

I encourage you to stop and think about this for a moment. If up to 40 per cent of your team are either leaving or onboarding every three years, this can be a huge cost and have very negative impacts on your bottom line — not to mention team morale and customer confidence.

The best way forward is to develop a recruitment team who are focused on developing candidate pipelines and trendy strategies for employee retention. The key is to build long-term strategies that not only respond to job hoppers, but that stay one step ahead of them.

How can you do this? Here are a few tips to help you attract the right candidates, build a strong hiring brand, and be the winning employer when candidates have multiple offers:
  • Create a candidate relationship strategy, to continually foster relationships with candidates throughout their career journey, even if they don’t accept your offer the first time. There are software products out there to help you manage these ongoing relationships. Keep the door open.
  • Promote how candidates will make an impact and enjoy meaningful work. We know Millennials and Gen Z prioritize salary and work-life balance as the most important factors when considering a new job. One big difference is that Gen Z places increased value on job duties or projects, where Millennials look for career growth opportunities. Job ads could include specific timelines and plans with actionable first steps a candidate could take once hired.
  • Slow down to go faster. Taking less time to hire is the end goal, after retention. Reduce costs of attracting, recruiting and onboarding by creating a rinse and repeat process. Make sure you bake in questions that identify potential bad hires early on in the process. There’s a high cost associated with constantly returning to the drawing board on hiring. There are even higher costs of being short staffed/limited in fulfilling your client service obligations.
I realize even the best hiring questions can’t prevent you from losing a great worker who prematurely heads for the exit, but I believe you can proactively minimize the risks. So, as you head into the next season, ask yourself, “What can we do to best ensure our business isn’t caught flat-footed when it’s time to find a quality replacement or make an addition to our growing team?” And, “What can we rinse and repeat in our recruiting process?”

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Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager