John Forword, Reed Finance expert, says finance companies need to match the career aspirations and values of a generation which knows what it wants from prospective employers.
For some firms, this already means investing in organisational change in order to compete for and secure the employees they will need for a stronger commercial future.
Generation Z – those born from 1995 onwards – offer a unique and prized set of skills and aspirations. The combination of being tech-savvy, entrepreneurial in outlook and collaborative by nature in order to co-create, are some of the key characteristics that separate Gen Z from previous generations.
And finance companies want what they offer.
But in the face of increasing competition to attract the very best talent from a pool that is in demand, the need for finance industry employers to take a holistic look at their cultures and structure to ensure they chime with what Generation Z is looking for becomes increasingly pressing.
In the face of increasing competition to attract the very best talent from a pool that is in demand, the need for finance industry employers to take a holistic look at their cultures and structure to ensure they chime with what Generation Z is looking for becomes increasingly pressing.
For many companies, these changes are well underway with some businesses already looking to leave others behind in the race for Generation Z. Reed Finance recently conducted an in-depth survey of 500 senior finance professionals to see what companies were doing to attract this generation to help companies not only keep up but get ahead in the race to capture Generation Z talent.
- Initial changes being made by firms include the redefinition of existing training, development and succession models, which 36% of companies questioned said they were undertaking.
- A third of firms are already looking at broadening workplace technology and systems deployment, and a quarter admitted that they were striving to develop more collaborative working environments.
- In recognition of the need to reshape reward and remuneration models to more accurately match the demands of a new, aspirational workforce, 22% said this process was currently underway within their organisations.
- Companies have also been working hard to develop more collaborative working environments, with 25% saying they had already put plans to achieve this into action.
- The majority of employers (60%) said they believed that their company is not doing enough to adapt in many areas and entice talent from Generation Z.
In short, employers know that this generation is completely different from what came before and they are making changes but there are key opportunities for attracting the next generation.
- Potential recruits will be judging organisations on a number of criteria to determine if the firm is the right one for them in terms of opportunity, development, job satisfaction and enjoyment. So companies must demonstrate these in clear, progression lines.
- Aside from the actions already undertaken by companies, it is clear, from a number of studies that Generation Z seeks out greater flexibility in the workplace when compared to predecessors. If flexibility is on the table then it will make a major difference.
- Technology and the opportunity to work with developing and innovative advances in tech is also near the top of the priority list, alongside the demand for a transparent and achievable career progression vision.
In order to succeed in attracting the next generation, companies must be clear about creating the right type of workplace scenarios and addressing the critical areas outlined above. They must also recognise the personality characteristics that drive the ambition and vision of Generation Z talent.
This next-generation has a fearlessness and confidence to articulate what they want and are happy to demand it from prospective employers. They want to work for a firm that matches their desire to progress and develop, as well as operate by shared values. If they do not find it, they are likely to vote with their feet and look elsewhere.
But making these changes isn’t easy. Nearly a quarter admitted that redefining training, development and succession models would be the most difficult to achieve, followed closely by the task of altering reward and remuneration practices and creating more collaborative working environments.
However, the message is clear. If you want to attract the best Generation Z talent, finance organisations need to be mindful of the need to provide flexible working conditions, more imaginative rewards and remuneration structures, cutting edge technology, proven career progression opportunity and invest in developing and sustaining collaborative and sociable workplace environments.
Companies that ignore the working demands of Generation Z will end up losing them to rivals.