In the next two years, Gen Z is expected to form 27% of the workforce. Coupled with the aging technician population, shops need to make it a priority now to understand and adapt to the unique needs and values of this up-and-coming generation.
We recently shared an article to help shops better understand what Gen Z looks for in an employer. Things like finding a purpose in their work, tech-savvy practices, and work-life balance, amongst others, topped the list of things Gen Z values.
With an understanding of what Gen Z looks for in an employer, shops can look at their own recruiting strategies and assess where they can make adjustments to better attract this generation.
6 Ways Shops Can Attract Gen Z Employees
The good news is shops don’t need to do a full overhaul of their recruiting strategy to accommodate Gen Z. With a few tweaks, you’ll be well on your way.
- Leverage social media. This generation is more active than ever on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Research shows that Gen Z likes to see short, authentic content from companies. This means it’s time to do away with the overproduced corporate videos, and replace them with things like day-in-the-life style videos, or content that shows the personality of your employees and the overall work environment.
- Don’t succumb to experience inflation. Every shop wants employees with experience. However, listing a minimum of 2-3 years of required experience for an entry-level position is unrealistic for those just starting out in the workforce. Open up your pipeline for young Gen Z talent by removing that minimum experience level bullet from your entry-level job descriptions.
- Support local schools and students. A great way to get in front of Gen Z is to do it while they’re still in school. Schools need the support of shops in a multitude of ways, including: tool/equipment donations, shop tours, work-based learning opportunities, and speaking to classes. By being active in the classroom, students will become more familiar with your shop, and then you’ll be top of mind when it comes time to look for jobs.
- Emphasize the sustainability and eco-friendliness of your shop. According to a recent study, the environment is Gen Z’s number one concern. Make sure your shop aligns with Gen Z’s values by incorporating initiatives like eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient processes. Some examples of sustainability include recycling, installing LED lighting, buying in bulk, reducing the amount of plastic and paper used, and more. These can improve your shop image, and it can show how your shop will contribute to a greener future, which will catch the attention of Gen Z.
- Flexibility is key. According to research, Gen Z wants to ditch the nine-to-five workday and find new styles of work. While it’s true that your shop needs to support regular hours for your customers and remote work isn’t an option for most shop employees, there are still ways to offer flexibility. Examples of flexible scheduling include offering four 10-hour workdays, rotating weekends off, or flexibility around PTO. These simple changes will help support the flexibility and work-life balance that Gen Z craves.
- Promote and improve your shop’s diversity and inclusion. Gen Z strongly values diversity and inclusivity. Your shop can improve its diversity and inclusivity by being open to hiring people of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, religions, etc. This could also mean being inclusive of different disabilities. Once you’ve established a diverse and inclusive shop culture, demonstrate your shop’s commitment to creating an inclusive workplace by creating employee testimonies and showing off your employees on your social media pages.
The Future of the Automotive Industry is Gen Z
In summary, Gen Z has the potential to thrive in the automotive and diesel industry. Their connections with technology, drive for sustainability, and passion for changing the workplace norms make them a perfect fit for helping evolve the industry. With the right mindset and approach, shops can start attracting more Gen Z workers and setting them up for success in the shop.