Firms must make difficult changes to attract ‘Gen Z’ professionals

Finance professionals say their organisations are failing to attract the youngest generation of recruits and need to adapt in a number of areas if they are to be successful in bringing in the latest generation of workers, according to research from Reed Finance

However, companies report that the changes they would need to make would be difficult to implement.

The recruitment specialists asked nearly 500 finance professionals about ‘generation Z’, defined as those born between the mid-to-late nineties and the mid-2000s. The survey found that over half (59%) of respondents believe their company needs to adapt to attract younger talent.

According to the research, the primary changes that organisations are making include the need to redefine training, development and succession models (36%), followed by broadening workplace technology and systems (33%), developing more collaborative working environments (25%) and reshaping reward and remuneration models (22%).

However, these areas were also frequently singled out as the most challenging to change, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying that redefining training, development and succession models would be the most difficult. Other areas that were taxing included reshaping reward and remuneration models (cited by 21%) and developing more collaborative working environments (20%).

Rob Russell, director of Reed Finance, said: ‘In order to attract the very best, new talent entering full-time employment, companies need to look hard at how they can match the particular career aspirations and values of generation Z.

‘Our research highlights that businesses are already investing in organisational change in order to compete for, and attract, the best talent of the generation and we fully expect this to continue as the next peers shape our workplace.’

The research suggested it is well worth making the effort to create a more attractive workplace as the ‘natural ability to work with new technologies’ (39%), is considered generation Z’s most beneficial trait, followed by ‘the desire to continually learn’ (26%), as well as ‘an interest in positively impacting the wider world’ (12%).

Russell said: ‘In an increasingly competitive and digitally connected operating environment, it will be the companies that can best attract and utilise the talents of younger generations in areas such as emerging technology deployment that will be best placed to secure their futures going forward. 

‘This generation of “digital natives” will expect to work in an environment that embraces the full potential of technology.’

As well as creating new payment models that reflect a changing commercial landscape, Russell advised companies to take a close look at their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and how they impact the world around them.

‘Potential employees in their twenties want to work for companies who reflect the values that are important to them and will seek out organisations that can match their aspirations in this respect. Employers are realising that this generation has firm views on its priorities and if they are to capture the best talent and thrive, they will need to adapt to survive,’ he said.  

Pat Sweet | 09-08-2019

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