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Building Contact Center Love: Six Ways to Attract and Retain Gen Z Workers

January 31, 2023

Our Contact Center Love Series starts off with Gen Z, one of the most diverse and socially minded generations, and by 2025, they will make up almost a third of the world’s workforce. Born between 1997 and 2010, with the oldest in their mid-twenties, Gen Z may be the hardest generation to keep. Why? They’ve grown up during economic downturns, saw the career struggles of their older peers, and some entered the workforce during a pandemic. They’ve quickly learned what really matters to them, and they’re not willing to settle. So, what can we do to attract and retain a generation that’s rewriting all the workplace rules? Here are six tips… 

Stop Doing These 3 Things 

Stop labeling. If you were to ask for a standard “definition” of Gen Z, the very act of asking you to name a “type” would make a Gen Zer roll their eyes in frustration. They are the most diverse group in U.S. history, and they refuse to fit into tidy little boxes. In fact, they have the most progressive view of gender and identity and will often refuse to check a box on a survey under either ethnicity or gender. So, in your application forms, you might have to get creative. Find ways to get to know them as individuals by asking open-ended questions or ask them to send in a short video introducing themselves.  

Stop assuming they don’t want a traditional ‘career’. Though more than half of Gen Zs are involved in independent ‘gig’ work, don’t make the mistake of thinking they only crave flexibility. They love security even more. Gen Z is the most pessimistic generation about their long-term finances and their ability to retire, and over 55% would prefer the security of noncontract, permanent work. If like itel, your workplace can offer them the stability of a long-term career, but with diverse opportunities to learn new skills, and gain exposure to other departments, you could just find yourself with one of the most loyal work groups.  

Stop making empty promises. Gen Z lives by its core values, and more than any other generation, has a deep concern for social activism. But they’re tired of companies not practicing what they preach. Three quarters of job seekers cite that it’s “very important” to work at an organization whose values align with their own. Companies must show young applicants that they are willing to address societal challenges. Our 4Ys Foundation is a great example of how our company is committed to elevating the lives of individuals and communities by encouraging company-led volunteer opportunities and charitable programs that focus on key areas of Sports, Education, Innovation, and the Environment.  

Start Doing These 3 Things 

Start tapping into Gen Z’s interests. Gen Zs are digital natives and are naturally drawn to tech-related industries. According to Deloitte, almost half are also drawn to jobs that support the greater good, such as education (41%) and healthcare (37%). Contact center jobs are uniquely positioned to merge those two aspects: the latest tech and the desire to help others. Gen Z also likes variety, and contact centers offer more mobility and career possibilities than many sectors. In hiring messages, highlight benefits of contact center jobs that are often underrepresented, such as the ability to explore various industries, learn new skills and gain experience with their favorite brands, as well as explore new tech like AI and gamification (itel specialties).  

Start retention efforts right away. Waste no time. 77% of employed Gen Z workers are already looking for other jobs. More than ever, it’s important to tune into what younger workers are feeling and thinking. Gen Zs are prioritizing work-life balance and mental health. But they are the least likely to be able to afford healthcare (only 1/5). Companies focused on retention should prioritize employee health and wellness programs and offer not just standard benefits, but like itel, ongoing health fairs, access to mental health professionals or help lines.  

Start rethinking the hiring process. Gen Z might live and breathe tech, but more than half hate outdated online hiring forms and won’t complete them. What they do rank highest in their decision to take a job is their relationship with their recruiter. They are also just as likely to turn to advice and recommendations from peers or social media influencers when looking for new employers. So, it’s important to leverage social networks and platforms to reach this audience. But don’t think that a one-off job ad will do the trick; 81% of Gen Zs say it’s vital for employers to establish a connection early and often, even if they don’t have an immediate job opening.  

Want more attraction and retention tips? Stay tuned for more in this February’s Contact Center Love Series… 

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