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August 4, 2022

What's the best way to attract Gen Z workers?

Daily Briefing

    Amid the ongoing labor shortage, many employers are trying to court Gen Z workers with new benefits, including shorter work weeks, greater opportunities for career advancement, and much more, Alyson Krueger writes for the New York Times.

    Move over, millennials: Gen Z is entering the workforce. Here are 9 key things employers need to know.

    Employers try to hire and retain more Gen Z workers

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were roughly 11 million open jobs in May. To counter the labor shortage, many employers are offering new benefits to help attract and retain young workers.

    For example, Sage Hospitality Group is currently piloting four-day work weeks at certain properties for some of their hardest to fill positions, including cooks, housekeepers, and front-desk receptionists. In addition, workers at the company's Denver headquarters can work remotely at least one day a week and bring their dogs to the office one day a week.

    "Rather than having this negative feeling of, I have to go to work because I have to make a living, suddenly it is, I want to go to work because I can combine with my life that I love," said Daniel del Olmo, president and COO of Sage Hospitality's hotel management division.

    According to del Olmo, around 20% of its employees are members of Gen Z, and the new benefits have already helped the company hire new workers. "We need this work force," he said. "We recognize that Gen Zers are looking for different things than other generations, and we are trying to adjust for that."

    Similarly, GoodRx is offering many of its employees increased autonomy and flexibility. In addition to allowing workers to be fully remote, the company also contracts with an outside company to provide ad hoc offices anywhere in the country upon request.

    Other benefits offered by GoodRx include financial advisors, career coaching, and fertility benefits. "We are trying to solve big problems in health care, so we need the most fresh, young perspectives we can get," said Andrew Barrett-Weiss, the company's workplace experience director.

    How the Gen Z workforce is different from other generations

    According to Roberta Katz, an anthropologist at Stanford University, members of Gen Z view the workplace in a fundamentally different way than older generations.

    "American Gen Zers, for the most part, have only known an internet-connected world," Katz said. Because many younger people grew up with collaborative platforms like Wikipedia and GoFundMe, they came to see work "as something that was no longer a 9-to-5-in-the-office-or-schoolroom obligation," she added.

    Mason Mills, a 26-year-old marketing manager at one of Sage Hospitality's hotels, said the pandemic has also helped change her generation's perspective on work.

    "We started seeing that while a career is incredibly important, so is living the life you have been given," she said. "By allowing dogs in the office, and having a work-from-home schedule to accommodate some of those needs, it shows the company is evolving."

    "We have to keep innovating," said Issam Freiha, CEO of Blank Street Coffee, noting that the company is constantly asking its younger workers what they want out of their jobs. "This generation doesn't want to work for something that is stale." (Krueger, New York Times, 7/31)

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