Move over, millennials: the next generation is on its way.

Though they may seem horribly young, Generation Z are due to burst into our workplaces in the next few years, and they already have their own set of ideas and expectations that their new employees need to take note of. Roughly classed as people having been born between 1996-2012, they’re set to have a huge influence on the way we work: in fact, Generation Z will make up 24% of the workforce in just two years’ time.

How can you prepare for the arrival of the newest generation of workers into your company, and what should you know about them? We take a look.

Understand them

If you want to stand a chance of hiring the brightest talent in Generation Z, you first need to understand them. Generation Z is the first generation to have grown up alongside technology as ‘digital natives’, and the skills that they’ve amassed as a result make them shoo-ins for the ever-more automated modern workforce. However, they’re also realistic, and are more clear-sighted about the potential of technology than their forebears: where 36% of millennials ‘strongly agree’ that science and technology can help solve the world’s biggest problems, only 30% of Generation Z believe the same.

They’re a generation that’s not afraid to express strong viewpoints, and stick to them: they’re independent, they care more about the production and value of their food and clothes than any other generation, they are competitive, and having grown up in the Great Recession, they also value security and money above lavish spending.

This kind of research should have a hand in how you restructure your hiring process to suit and appeal to this new influx of workers. Be realistic when writing your killer job description; include aspects of the job that might appeal to them, such as the chance to use their technology skills, put their own mark on the role, and work independently rather than in teams; if you do, you’ll be sure to attract more attention.

Customise your recruitment process

Alongside conducting your own research, make sure that your recruitment process appeals to this new generation by tweaking it to suit them. Make sure that the right information about your company is out there- for instance, on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, that are most frequented by Generation Z- and tailor it to suit people with shorter attention spans, especially as the average attention span of today’s young jobseeker is only eight seconds.

Use social media to get your message out to them, and don’t be afraid to mix up your application process. A cover letter and CV might not cut it any more in terms of engagement, so get creative: for instance, by encouraging people in send in thirty-second application videos. If you want a more detailed recruitment process, you could even get them to send in two-hundred-word answers to a few set questions regarding key personality traits or responsibilities that you’re looking for in the role.

Give them feedback

Though the next generation are competitive, that doesn’t mean that they can’t take criticism. Almost half of Generation Z say that they give feedback fairly often, and they value honesty and transparency at every stage of their buyer journey, including the recruitment process. Take the time, therefore, to return the favour. Tell them how they’ve been progressing through the different hiring stages- whether you think their CV needs work or that they seemed a little shy during the interview, it’s more than likely that this new workforce will appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your views and take them on board.

Give them space

The hiring journey doesn’t stop once they’ve been hired. Generation Z are notoriously independent, confident and willing to get their heads down and work: in fact, 69% of them would rather have their own workspace than share it with anybody else. They believe that if you want to do something right, then you should probably just do it yourself, so give them the space they need to breathe and be productive in their own way.

There are multiple ways you can do this: by touching base at the start of the day before leaving them to their own devices, by or encouraging them to innovate and come up with their own ways of working. Don’t mollycoddle them. Instead, let them get to grips with the workforce on their own terms: who knows, they might just surprise you and come up with a new solution to an age-old problem.

Let BMS Performance help you

With years of experience in reaching out to the new workforce, we’re already building strong relationships with Generation Z as they look to enter the world of work. Let us help you make the connection and start hiring for the future: contact us today.