How to Attract and Retain Gen Z in Retail?

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Feb 12, 2024

While macroeconomic challenges may have led to global economic slowdown, the retail sector in the GCC region managed to rise above, witnessing a remarkable growth of around 22% in 2023.

What does it mean for UAE retailers in the next five years?

With the right strategies at place, businesses can capitalise new opportunities that come their way to drive growth and revenue. But how can that be possible without hiring the right people?

Staying on top of the game requires investing in the next wave of industry leaders – Generation Z.

As a retail business, you need talented individuals to leverage their fresh perspectives and modern skills to drive your businesses towards innovation and success. Top companies can see the value Generation Z can bring to the table – which is to stay competitive and relevant in the coming years.

That being said, attracting Gen Z talent for retail careers is a challenge. In order to bring them on board and retain them, you have to make their opportunities appealing. And it is only possible if you know what matters to Gen Z at work.

By aligning your retail roles with their preferences, you can engage top talent and ensure your organisation thrives despite changing market trends.

The Role Gen Z Is Playing in Transforming the Workforce

Before you can hire Gen Z, you have to understand them.

The youngest generation – Gen Z – entered the workforce at a moment that coincided with the COVID-19-induced upturn of the traditional work structures.

Because people could no longer go to work, remote and hybrid setups became the norm, and this is what Gen Z has grown up seeing around them.

Other than that, they’re also a generation that grew up in the digital age, which, once again, offers them a unique perspective of life and what’s important to them.

Gen Z has strong opinions and values, and these younger employees are already changing the dynamics of the workplace in a way that mirrors their priorities.

So, what are these values? Let’s take a closer look –

Gen Z wants work-life balance –

The 2022 Cigna International health survey reported that 91% of individuals between the age range of 18-to-24 years are stressed across the globe.

Because of this reason, they place extreme value on mental health and work-life balance.

Even a GulfTalent study reported that around 76% of Gen Z workers in the Middle East prioritise work-life balance and prefer flexible arrangements when looking for employers.

They reject the 9-to-5 grins and heavily preach leading a balanced life.

Because they don’t support the love-to-work mentality, they value employment opportunities that can respect that and offer an excellent work-life balance in the long run.

Gen Z wants to work with companies that are socially responsible –

According to a 2020 research, Gen Z in the UAE had five primary characteristics, ‘influenced by social influencers,’ and ‘involved in pollical debates’ being two of them.

We know that Gen Z grew up in the digital age, which means that they were more connected than any of the previous generations.

Because of this reason, they were exposed to the world's injustice but felt helpless around it, which is the cause behind their strong opinions and personal values. They embrace ethics, diversity, and social activism.

And it’s not just talk they believe in, but real action. Therefore, you can expect them to look for employment in organic, sustainable, and just companies that take their corporate social responsibility seriously.

Gen Z believes in showing loyalty to right employer –

Apart from being digital natives, Gen Z in the UAE are quite risk averse, especially in workplaces.

Unlike their millennial counterparts, Gen Z is known for displaying a surprising loyalty to their employers

So, even if they express dissatisfaction with their jobs, they may stay with you if you are able to provide the right incentives and circumstances.

Therefore, providing engaging roles to your Gen Z employees is your key to truly unlocking a loyal, value-driven workforce who already have the passion and skills to drive positive change and business success.

How to Attract Gen Z Talent?

While you may be operating out of a brick-and-mortar, you cannot rely on traditional talent acquisition strategies to meet the expectations of the Gen Z population.

So, what should you do instead? Let’s take a look –

You Must Offer Competitive Compensation –

While Gen Z may value other things, they also give a lot of importance to compensation. They know what they deserve, so don’t expect them to settle for less.

As a business, what you can do is offer a fair salary or signing bonus to show your appreciation for them. At the same time, you should also closely reassess your policies and hiring strategies to address pay disparities among minorities and women to foster an inclusive environment.

You Must Offer Meaningful Benefits –

You have to move beyond superficial perks because Gen Z wants practical benefits, such as fitness perks, time off, and comprehensive healthcare.

A game room in the workplace is a good idea, but you’ve to provide meaningful benefits as well that contribute to their overall job satisfaction.

You Must Provide Workday Flexibility –

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z prioritises healthy work-life balance, which means would love to work in companies that don’t believe in overworking their employees.

Unlike millennials, Gen Z actually prefer hybrid options over fully remote ones.

What it means it that when writing contracts you should offer flexible arrangements that are based more on productivity or delivery instead of the rigid 8-hour attendance.

You Must Offer Opportunities to Grow Professionally –

Gen Z grew up in the age of internet. They know that information and knowledge is just one click away, so you’ll always find them looking for learning opportunities online.

As an employer, you should use this to your advantage by investing in skill and capability development to help them advance their career in the future. By prioritising continuous learning, you’ll also be marketing your brand as an attractive employer in the job market.

How to Retain Gen Z Talent?

Onboarding Gen Z talent to your workforce is just the first step.

Because Gen Z minds are trained for instant gratification, you must provide engaging roles in order to retain them in the long run. Let’s take a quick look at two actionable steps you can take today –

Provide clear growth plans –

While Gen Z will look at jobs with better compensation, they are going to prioritise better growth and advancement opportunities next. So, your managers must define a well-planned growth trajectory for young employees – one that is focused on professional development as well as personal growth.

It’s essential to recognise that monotony can be a deal-breaker for them, so allow them enough opportunities to experience diverse roles so they can explore and enhance various skill sets.

Create an environment where Gen Z can open up –

Gen Z employees want their voices to matter. Studies have shown a striking connection between feeling unheard and job dissatisfaction among Gen Z.

Because they thrive in environments that allow them to express themselves, as the employer, it’s your job to create spaces where they feel safe enough to speak up and address concerns without fearing judgment or discrimination. Getting feedback this way will also allow you to revisit your hiring and retention strategies to improve them.

Empower Your Retail Business With Gen Z Talent – Partner With TASC Outsourcing

It is clear that Gen Z craves connection, engagement, and harmony in their work environment. Whether in the initial hiring stages or climbing the corporate ladder, they want to feel like they are being heard. That is where we come in.

With 16+ years of local and global recruitment expertise in tailored recruitment strategies and deep understanding of generational needs, TASC Outsourcing stand ready to assist your retail business in harnessing the full potential of Gen Z talent. Our team of recruitment experts is dedicated to finding the right fit for your organization, ensuring a dynamic and innovative work environment.

Get in touch with our recruitment experts now to create a workplace where Gen Z talent thrives, fostering long-term growth and success for your business.