Hiring and Retaining Gen-Z Talent in the Life Sciences
The Life Sciences industry is witnessing an unprecedented surge in Gen Z hiring, as detailed in a recent report by Jobvite. The past year alone has seen a 32% increase in Gen Z job seekers entering the field, and by 2025, Gen Zers are expected to constitute over 25% of the workforce. As companies in the Life Sciences sector seek to bring in top talent, understanding the specific values of Gen Z job seekers is essential. This generation, born between 1997 and 2012, is set to drastically reshape the industry's workforce demographics, and they are the first generation to grow up with the internet, social media, and smartphones as part of their everyday lives.
As someone who is tasked to bring in top talent, here is some insight into the specific values of Gen Z job seekers, such as their desire to be part of a company with an impact, career growth and development, workplace diversity and inclusion, flexible work arrangements, and a positive work culture. Emphasizing these values in recruitment efforts can help attract and retain top Gen Z talent.
Gen Z's career desires are different from those of previous generations. They seek companies that not only offer competitive salaries and benefits, but also meet their aspirations for societal impact, career growth, diversity and inclusion, flexible work arrangements, and a positive work culture. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 41% of Gen Z respondents prioritized meaningful work over high pay, and 61% said they would accept a lower salary if it meant working for a company that aligns with their values. Therefore, emphasizing these values in recruitment efforts becomes a strategic imperative for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent.
Consider the societal impact of work, for instance. According to a Cone Communications study, 94% of Gen Z believes companies should help address social and environmental issues. Gen Z is passionate about making a difference in the world, and working in the life sciences industry offers the opportunity to do just that. Developing new drugs, medical devices, or diagnostic techniques can directly impact people's lives and health. Employers who make it a point to highlight this potential for impact during the recruitment process can connect with the passionate Gen Z employees.
Moreover, Gen Z values continuous learning and development. In fact, 65% of Gen Z say the opportunity for personal development is the most important factor in their job, according to a Gartner survey. As digital natives, Gen Zers are keen to learn new technologies and skills. By offering comprehensive training and professional development opportunities, employers can not only attract but also retain top Gen Z talent.
The desire for a clear career path is also a key consideration for Gen Z job seekers. A survey by LaSalle Network found that 76% of Gen Z individuals want to know their career path within their first year at a company. Providing a transparent career trajectory and growth opportunities can foster a sense of security and motivation among Gen Z employees, thereby helping to retain talent. They can also encourage Gen Z workers to pursue their passions and interests outside of work.
Mental health is another crucial factor for this generation. According to a survey by TalentLMS, 82% of Generation Z employees find it important to have mental health days while half want mental health training. Employers who recognize this need and provide mental health support options could effectively enhance their attraction and retention of Gen Z talent.
Lastly, leverage social media and digital platforms. Gen Z is highly connected and active on social media and other online platforms, where they consume information, share opinions, and build networks. They also use these platforms to research potential employers and learn about their culture, values, and reputation. Life sciences employers can use social media and digital platforms to showcase their brand identity, highlight their achievements and innovations, engage with their audience, and showcase their employees' stories. Recruiting firms can help identify Gen Z candidates who not only possess the necessary qualifications but also align with a company's values and culture. They understand the importance of highlighting a company's commitment to meaningful work, social impact, diversity, and inclusion. Furthermore, they can leverage social media and other digital platforms to effectively engage with Gen Z talent. According to a survey conducted in the United States in July 2022, 48% of both Gen Z (ages 18-25) and Millennials (ages 26-41) with work experience have applied to job opportunities they found on social media.
Here is a quick summary tips specifically for hiring and retaining Gen Z talent:
Highlight the meaningful impact of the work: Gen Z is passionate about making a difference in the world, and working in the life sciences industry offers the opportunity to do just that. Emphasize the importance of the work and the impact it can have on people's lives.
Offer opportunities for learning and development: Gen Z values continuous learning and development, and offering training and professional development opportunities can help attract and retain top talent.
Provide a clear career path: Gen Z wants to know that there is a clear path for advancement within a company. Providing a clear career path and growth opportunities can help retain Gen Z talent.
Highlight mental health options. Gen Z places an importance on mental health. According to a survey by TalentLMS, 82% of Generation Z employees find it important to have mental health days while half want mental health training.
Pay attention to social media and digital platforms and leverage partners, such as external media platforms and recruiting firms with strong social presence.
With Medical Device, Pharma, Biotech and Diagnostics companies still struggling for strong talent, understanding Gen Z is critical. Especially since they have shown that they are 32% more likely to leave their job compared to the Millennials.