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Move over millennials: Gen Z entering the workforce

Published on August 30th, 2018 by Triton Benefits & HR Solutions

In recent years, a main focus of HR teams revolved around millennials. These young professionals were entering the workforce in droves, many with advanced degrees and in-demand skills.

Now, however, HR departments should look to shift their attention to the next batch of up-and-coming young professionals: the so-called Generation Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Those born after 1996 are included in the predecessor generation to millennials, dubbed Generation Z. Gen Z-ers are very savvy and in-touch with technological systems, particularly mobile, as they've basically grown up alongside them. At the same time, as CNBC contributor Chris Morris pointed out, this means they are also less astute when it comes to social interactions.

"There are 61 million Americans included in Gen Z, and this generation is on the lookout for career opportunities."

Overall, there are 61 million Americans included in Gen Z, and as this generation enters their early 20's, many are on the lookout for career opportunities.

"Gen Zers have lived a much different life than their parents and millennials," Morris wrote. "They're a generation that, in many cases, can't remember a life without a smartphone in their hand … The good news for companies is this appears to be a group that wants to work hard and learn. They're also a generation that's thinking about their own financial future."

In this way, it can be in the best interest of the company to craft benefits packages and other perks that will appeal to Gen Z in order to attract, recruit and retain these young workers.

Supporting Gen Z: Financially and through mobile

As noted, two essential factors for connecting with and enabling opportunities for Gen Z workers encompass a focus on financial freedom and mobile flexibility. And it appears that some organizations are already creating benefits around these ideas.

According to Society for Human Resource Management contributor Joanne Sammer, many Gen Z employees seek out employers that can provide them with financial support, particularly for their students loans. Currently, statistics show that 80 percent of young professionals would value employment from a business that supports student loan repayment. However, only 4 percent of companies offer this as part of its benefits package.

"Generation Z" written on a chalkboard, with a lightbulb above it and the words "visual, social, realists, technology, educated," etc. Is your business ready for the needs of Generation Z?

In this way, providing financial guidance on how to consolidate debt and establish savings, payroll deductions for loan repayment or other options for financial support can be especially important for attracting and retaining Gen Z workers. 

"The next generation of young professionals are looking for different things when it comes to their benefits packages," noted Steve Rosenthal, CEO of Triton Benefits & HR Solutions. "Where perks like retirement savings aren't as captivating for Gen Z, elements like student loan assistance and other opportunities for personal and professional development will help organizations attract these workers, and enable internal HR teams to support their needs." 

The next crop of young professionals also expects to be able to leverage online and mobile-accessible platforms to manage professional resources and benefits information. As Sammer noted, mobile apps that enable this type of flexibility "reflect the reality" of usability that Gen Zers are accustomed to.

In this context, providing a competitive employee benefits plan and building a strong corporate culture can be important assets. 

To find out more, connect with the experts at Triton Benefits & HR Solutions today.