What to Know About Hiring--and Retaining--the Class of 2024If you're hoping to recruit and retain these soon-to-be college graduates, you might want to consider offering flexibility, soft skills training, and better work-life balance, according to experts.

The entry of the Class of 2024 into the workforce is imminent, and your strategies for attracting and engaging these new professionals can significantly impact your company’s future. This unique group, largely consisting of Gen Zers, is set to become a dominant demographic in the workforce, overtaking the Baby Boomers. Tara Ceranic Salinas, a professor of business ethics and chair of the Department of Management at the [University of San Diego's Knauss School of Business](https://www.sandiego.edu/business/), explains the distinctiveness of this group, emphasized by their pandemic-colored highschool years. 

## Key Attributes of Gen Z Employees 

### Embrace Flexible Work Structures

The Class of 2024 ushered in their college years during the global pandemic, which has instilled a deep sense of flexibility in their work approach. A reflection of this is observed in the [2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey by Deloitte](https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html), wherein Gen Zers expressed a preference for remote and hybrid work arrangements. The notable benefits cited include improved work-life balance, mental health, productivity, and financial savings. 

However, the need for social interaction and mentorship is also significant among this group, presenting an opportunity for companies to foster an inclusive workplace environment, either physically or virtually. 

### Potential Skills Gaps and Teachability

With remote learning as a notable part of their educational experience, Gen Z may exhibit some developmental areas, particularly in terms of communication and professionalism. Companies can incorporate extensive 'soft skills' training in their onboarding processes to bridge these gaps. Gen Z holds unique potential, one of which is their proficiency in adopting new technologies. 

Education firms such as Deloitte and PwC have been proactive in providing training focused on presentation and professional skills to their young recruits, as per a report by [The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com). 

### Strive for Work-life Balance and Purpose

Gen Zers place a significant emphasis on work-life balance and purpose in their work. For them, working from home has equipped them with a vantage point from where they can manage their professional and personal commitments competently. 

A survey by [Deloitte](https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html) reiterates this, stating that work-life balance has been the driving factor for Gen Z while choosing an employer, ranking even above factors like learning opportunities and pay. 

Furthermore, Gen Z employees seek to align their individual goals with their company's purpose. They aspire to contribute to global good and seek employers who reflect a similar stance. 

In conclusion, companies need to align their strategies to cater to the unique needs and preferences of Gen Z employees to effectively integrate them into the workforce. They should depict a strong commitment to work-life balance and purpose-driven work to attract and retain this new cohort. 


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