Recruiting Gen Z: Meeting Job Seeker Expectations in the Public Sector

Not long ago, a flood of millennials joined the workforce. With a host of new expectations from a younger generation, public sector organizations had to redefine their goals and work culture.

Now, Gen Z’ers, who grew up with advanced technology, are entering the workplace too. Organizations are once again adjusting to meet the expectations of this generation.

This generation is always looking for a new challenge and is willing and able to learn new things. However, they also expect certain standards in the workplace.

If you can understand and meet their expectations, you can recruit Gen Z in the public sector. This tech-savvy generation can be an asset to your public sector organization. Plus, they're likely to push toward further digital transformation.

Understanding Gen Z Job Seekers

This new generation of workers is willing to learn new things, especially when it comes to technology. With an inclusive mindset, Gen Zers are more accepting of different cultures and lifestyles. Gen Z job seekers expect organizations to embrace change and technology and meet them where they are.

According to a Citrix Systems survey, 83% of Gen Zers and millennials prioritize autonomy or working in a high-trust environment. They also want their performance recognized and compensation that reflects and rewards it.

However, their higher expectations mean they are also more demanding and expect to work in positions that use modern technology, are flexible and promote a better work-life balance. Keep these factors in mind when trying to attract and retain the brightest talent from younger generations.

Organizations and governments can harness their desire to do good if they invest in the right technology that focuses on connectivity and enables fast, flexible and effective responses.

You’ll also need to reset expectations, open up opportunities, and navigate any potential barriers to ensure the success of Gen Zers and future generations.

Showcasing the Impact of Public Sector Work

One thing that will draw Gen Z job seekers to the public sector is their desire to work in meaningful and challenging roles. Specifically, positions that positively impact their communities.

But the most meaningful jobs often aren’t framed that way in job descriptions. This makes it a missed opportunity for organizations that are keen to hire Gen Zers for goal-driven work.

The Gen Z generation has seen some of the greatest social, economic and environmental crises in all history. Therefore, they will choose an agency based on its ethics and values.

However, there are often issues with public sector positions such as:

  • Lack of advancement opportunities
  • Inflexible compensation packages
  • Rigid job descriptions

They also have barriers like too much paperwork, compensation based on seniority and an uninclusive workplace culture.

Recruitment strategies for Gen Zers should include promoting longevity in positions for stability. Also, showcasing a roadmap for growth and opportunities in your organization.

Gen Zers always understand what’s going on in the world around them. This and their enthusiasm helps them come up with unique solutions to problems. As a result, they can provide valuable ideas and input. That means encouraging freedom of thought is important for organizations that want to attract Gen Z candidates.

Emphasising Career Growth Opportunities

The number one reason employees quit during the great resignation was a lack of opportunities and career development.

Another survey found that 76% of Gen Zers surveyed wanted more opportunities. 80% wanted the chance to learn and practice new skills. Many Gen Z job seekers want to learn new tasks outside the ones the organization hired them for.

As this generation is more educated than any before it, they won’t find satisfaction in crossing repetitive tasks off a list year after year. Gen Zers will become quiet quitters or leave your organization.

HR leaders can prevent turnover by using recruitment strategies such as:

  • Investing in personal development strategies
  • Mentoring programs
  • Implementing personal and professional development programs

Promoting Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

Two top benefits Gen Z workers seek are a better work-life balance and flexible schedules. The traditional 40-hour 9-5 job doesn’t appeal as much to them.

Gen Z job seekers want time to pursue their personal and professional passions their own way. Many are looking for flexible ways, like gig work, to pay off student loans and focus on other passions. So, letting them work remotely or from other locations allows them to do this.

Offering flexible work hours and more sick and personal leave also appeals to this generation. These compensation package perks are critical for attracting and retaining Gen Zers.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion

According to a Monster survey, Gen Z job seekers prefer an organization committed to diversity and inclusion. These qualities are essential when choosing someone to work for. That could be because diverse teams are more creative and innovative. Plus, they are 33% more likely to outperform others.

Interestingly, the same survey explained that Gen Zers think differently about workplace diversity than previous generations. It's more than gender, race, religion, and age. Diversity at work is about accepting and valuing different points of view, experiences, identities and opinions.

Younger generations think that increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. is a good thing. So they are more likely to view diverse workplaces positively. Plus, diverse organizations are often better at attracting and retaining the right talent. This is especially true when it comes to the latest generation to enter the workforce.

Consider what your agency can do to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace to attract Gen Z workers. Creating an environment of collaboration that values different perspectives and participation from everyone is one solution.

Use your existing acquisition data to find and understand any gaps in your recruitment pipeline.

Key Takeaways

Older generations may be skeptical about the Gen Z workforce. But their zeal for innovation, new technologies and desire to work in meaningful roles can be a valuable asset to your organization. Consider adopting the recruitment strategies discussed here to retain the best talent from this generation. Aim to become that inclusive employer Gen Z employees can’t wait to work for.

That means it’s necessary to remove antiquated systems from operational procedures and re-evaluate the benefits you offer so that Gen Z job seekers won't see them as barriers. Think of it like this: if you invest in technology and promote diversity and inclusion, you’re investing in future workforces.

If you need help building a strong and diverse workplace culture and retaining top workers, contact CPS HR Consulting.

Is your organization trying to attract Gen Z Job seekers? Read this article to learn how this generation differs and tips for meeting their expectations.
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About CPS HR Consulting

CPS HR Consulting is a self-supporting public agency providing a full range of integrated HR solutions to government and nonprofit clients across the country.  Our strategic approach to increasing the effectiveness of human resources results in improved organizational performance for our clients.  We have a deep expertise and unmatched perspective in guiding our clients in the areas of organizational strategy, recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, and training and development.