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February 22, 2019 Guide to Gen Z Staffing (How to Hire Them, Why You Should)

Gen Z staffing

They’ve never used a cassette player or known life without the internet. They’re ambitious, open-minded, and will make up a third of the population by 2020. Get ready to welcome Generation Z to your bar or restaurant’s team! We’re here to help you learn the ropes of Gen Z staffing: how to hire, retain, and motivate the best talent – from A…to Z.

Gen Z Staffing: Benefits of Hiring from the “iGeneration”

So, what exactly is Gen Z? By most definitions, Generation Z consists of those born between the mid-1990s and late 2000s. They’re also referred to as Post-Millennials, Digital Natives, or members of the aptly named iGeneration. After all, most twentysomethings today will freely admit they’re addicted to their devices.

But don’t assume Gen Z just sits at home scrolling Instagram. They have #biggoals for their careers and will work hard to achieve their dreams. That’s just one of the many reasons that Gen Z staffing is on the rise in bars and restaurants. Check out these 3 ways Gen Z staffing can benefit your business:

Evolve Your Business

If you make Gen Z staffing a priority, you aren’t just hiring employees – you’re bringing in entrepreneurs. An amazing 72% of high school students say they want to start a business someday.

Embrace the Gen Z entrepreneurial spirit, and you can take your business to the next level. For example, your new Gen Z hostess might also have ideas for tapping into the delivery trend, building a better loyalty app, or improving your social media marketing. (Just be sure your Gen Z staffing plans include compensation for their efforts.)

Spice Up Your Menu

Gen Z is by far the most diverse generation: nearly half of them are racial or ethnic minorities according to a November 2018 Pew Internet Research report. This generation embraces different culinary traditions and is already impacting food trends for all ages. A 2018 Mintel study found that young adults today are highly interested in global cuisine: 62% of them are cooking up international dishes at home that they’ve discovered on social media.

As you explore Gen Z staffing, one of the key benefits is a chance to expand and enhance your menu – with their guidance. They know what’s trending: from North African spices to Middle Eastern desserts.

Enhance Your Internships

Do you run an internship program? Considering one? Gen Z staffing just got easier for you. Today’s young workers are hungry for internships, and it’s not all about the money: 93% of them prioritize internships that will open doors over those that promise a big paycheck.

It really is a win-win. A budding culinary student gets to experience the hospitality biz and explore their passions. You get extra help in the front or back of the house. If you decide to launch an internship program as one of your Gen Z staffing initiatives, be sure to follow the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines. Interns must be paid a fair wage unless 7 very strict criteria for unpaid internships are met.

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How to Hire the Best Gen Z Employees

Gen Z individuals grew up immersed in technology with the digital world at their fingertips, so they’re good at filtering through a lot of information…quickly. That explains why their average attention span is just 8 seconds. As you plan Gen Z staffing and recruiting, it’s critical that you clearly spell out the basics: job description, pay, benefits, and growth opportunities. Gen Z wants “just the facts” – and they want them, fast.

Emphasize Your Technology

Gen Z experts David and Jonah Stillman claim that over 90% of this younger generation decides where to work based on the technological sophistication of a potential employer. Do you use apps for loyalty and delivery? Did you recently upgrade your POS system to include Gen Z-approved touchscreen ordering? Great, shout out that tech in your Gen Z staffing outreach and job postings.

Promote Positions on Snapchat, Instagram, and in Gmail

To get the word out about jobs and Gen Z staffing opportunities at your bar or restaurant, don’t hop on Facebook (only about 1 in 10 of them use it). Gen Z is more likely to be found on Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, a recent Bluecore study revealed that 85% of Gen Z discovers information and products on those social media channels.

As you approach Gen Z staffing, it’s best to be authentic and personal. Ask a current Gen Z staff member to share a link to your open positions on their Instagram feed or Snapchat.

Don’t forget email marketing! Set up a Google Ad campaign that shows hiring ads in a Gmail user’s Promotions Tab. Bluecore also found that 73% of Gen Z Gmail users actively click on the Promotions Tab, the highest usage of any generation.

Strategies for Gen Z Staffing Retention

As a bar or restaurant manager, you just got done figuring out what makes millennial employees tick. Spoiler alert: millennials want employers to offer freelance flexibility, full-time benefits, and a commitment to social causes. Forget (almost) everything you learned, because Gen Z staffing and retention is an entirely different ballgame…

Provide Near-Constant Feedback…Face to Face

Think that Gen Z’s love of devices means they’ll avoid actual facetime with you? Think again. According to a Gen HQ study, 60% of your younger employees want in-person feedback from their managers a few times a week – and 40% want daily updates.

Gen Z experts David and Johan Stillman state that 84% of this generation prefers face-to-face communication over text, email, and other digital methods.

To master Gen Z staffing, take a few minutes each day to connect with your younger team members. It doesn’t need to be formal. Be honest and get to the point, fast. Remember the Gen Z “information filter” can sense any B.S. and will tune out. Ultimately, your Gen Z employees are looking for a friendly mentor who empowers them to do their best work.

Reward Your Rock Stars

Generation Z grew up during the recession in 2008 and developed a healthy fear of financial instability. They seek security through income – and they’ve got great expectations in that department. Your Gen Z staffing plans must revolve around rewarding hard work through fair compensation. A Gen Z employee will impress you with their work ethic, but only if you have enticing rewards lined up!

One last piece of advice when it comes to Gen Z staffing and hiring. Don’t fall into the trap of labeling potential employees (of any age) based on their generation. Individual traits trump generational trends. We all know that baby boomer who’s addicted to Facebook, and of course not all millennials love avocado toast and light pink. While you might occasionally catch your Gen Z employee on Snapchat during a shift, expect to also notice them going the extra mile for your business.

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