Gen Zs (people born roughly between 1997 and 2015) are entering the workforce. However you might feel about TikTok, memes, or astroglogy, their grand entrance isn’t a bad thing at all – especially for the accounting world.
So, what makes them great accountant candidates?
- Diversity. Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than earlier generations. This represents a significant opportunity if you’re able to foster a firm culture which genuinely celebrates and empowers difference. With greater diversity within your team, you’ll be able to connect with and serve a more diverse array of clients. Further, more diverse teams make better decisions (and enjoy more success). That said, it’s critical not to tokenize or make a half-hearted attempt at inclusion. Gen Zs can sniff out a marketing ploy a mile away so be sure your team is actually living up to the values you espouse.
- Tech savvy. Gen Z was born into the digital age. This means they have an intuitive understanding of a varied range of hardware and software. The accounting world is rapidly changing and Gen Z will be right at home as firms adopt new tech tools and move to hybrid or remote work models.
- Desire for stability. Unlike Millennials, Gen Zs are gravitating towards roles which offer them job stability, a competitive salary, and a benefits package. This means accounting would suit their general criteria well.
How to Retain Gen Z Talent
- Be watchful of work-life imbalance. With the Internet at their fingertips, Gen Z knows what’s out there. They know that there are plenty of stable roles with a competitive salary and benefits. If they sense that they’re being overworked and could have a better quality of life elsewhere, they won’t stick around. Obviously, the seasonality of accounting makes it difficult to maintain a single cadence throughout the year, but try and take steps towards to prevent work-life imbalance.
- Encourage strong manager-employee bonds. A McKinsey study suggests that the strength of manager-employee bonds may be the most salient factor in job satisfaction. In striving to retain Gen Z talent, be sure that whoever is managing these young workers is genuinely and demonstrably invested in their work and their growth. This article dives deeper into how to best meet Gen Z’s management needs, with the 2 major takeaways being: 1) "Be the manager that past you would have appreciated." and 2) “Check your narcissism at the door.”