Focuses are shifting from Millennials to Generation Z as they begin to enter the workforce. Gen Z is made up of people born sometime between 1995 and 2012 or so, and although they share some similarities with the preceding Millennial generation, their overall goals and workplace desires are different.
Millennials are known for being entrepreneurial, and Gen Z is following in their footsteps in that sense, but what they want from employers is not the flexible schedules, bean bag chairs, and ping pong tables that Millennials are accused of demanding.
According to a survey of students conducted in 2015, members of Gen Z “appear to have differences in their priorities and concerns compared to their Millennial counterparts.” Specifically, in that they are focused more on their dream job—32 percent of Gen Z students surveyed said that their greatest aspiration was to be in their dream job within 10 years.
This focus of the up and coming to Gen Z means that employers may need to shift their focus from creating an ideal Millennial work environment—flexible schedules, an open and friendly culture, etc.—to be more focused on an environment that provides career growth and opportunity. According to students surveyed, their top three priorities were opportunity for career advancement, fulfillment in their work, and stability. Friendly work culture, flexible schedules, and having the highest salary were lowest on the list.
While Millennials will still remain in the workforce for decades, rising generations will become an even bigger focus. So, how can employers make that shift in focus now, and start attracting and nurturing Gen Z talent? Hunter Perret is a long-time entrepreneur and philanthropist whose work is attracting that Gen Z talent already and he may just have the answer.
Perret has an impressive resume with many different entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures on the list, and through those experiences, he has learned that the key to success is serving and supporting others. He has applied the lessons has learned both in his own life and within his businesses, and his work and dedication are drawing the attention of next-generation talent.
Here’s what Perret does that has captured the attention of Gen Z:
He Sets an Example
Time and time again, the saying, “Actions speak louder than words” has proven to be true. That in mind, one of the most important ways to attract talent is not just to claim that you have certain policies or live by certain mantras, but show that you do.
Perret has expressed his commitment to philanthropy and helping others both in what he says and in what he does. Gen Z talent is not only told what he’s doing, but they can see it through his actions.
He Takes Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is one of the focuses that Millennials and Gen Z share. There are a lot of social issues that need to be addressed, and while some companies are working to take social responsibility and do their part, many do not.
Perret does take social responsibility, though, and encourages his employees to do the same. It’s something that he values and Gen Z can see that.
He Gives Back
“Community service is in my blood. I have an improper balance of non-profit versus for-profit lifetime spent—but it is my passion. I preach about leaving the grass greener than when you found it. I believe that everyone wants to feel good about themselves in one way or another.” Perret says.
He gives back to his community, and he enables those he employs to do the same whether they’re at work, or at home, or at a community event. Having the opportunity, being enabled, and being encouraged to give back provides people with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
Those values being of top importance to Gen Z, it’s no wonder they appreciate Perret’s policies.
He Encourages Growth and Creativity
The top value of Gen Z students being career growth and opportunity, it’s important that they have the opportunity for growth and creativity in their workplace. Recognizing this, Perret helps employees and people develop personally and professionally.
People typically have many different strengths that aren’t always seen if they’re put into a job that is mundane and has no room for growth—when they’re given the opportunity to step up, though, they typically do, and it helps them to flourish.
Perret and his wife have mentored students for years—helping young leaders develop and thrive. He has seen, first-hand, what a difference it can make in a young person’s life to have someone to turn to, to ping developmental questions off of, and to rely on for guidance.
He knows that this not only applies to the students his family has taken under their wing, but to everyone in all walks of life and encourages development and growth. That is attractive to Gen Z talent because it helps them work toward their goal of finding their dream job and having satisfaction in their career.
Although Gen Z is still coming of age and we may not know everything they will want and value as a generation, some things are clear: Gen Z is focused on career growth and fulfillment which they focus on getting through giving back. The fact that Hunter Perret’s philanthropic work has captured their attention definitely demonstrates that. What will you do to attract Gen Z talent to your business?