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Bet on Gen Z Employees

Generation Z (more commonly known as Gen Z) employees have been called many things, including the use of some rather pejorative terms. We often hear it is difficult to recruit them, and even more difficult to keep them. 

However, this generation is rich in key skills–especially on the web–and open-mindedness, which are invaluable to the evolution of any team and any company. 

In this context, why not adapt our ways of doing business?

At Agence Middle, we firmly believe in the importance of counting on this generation of young workers to ensure the growth of our local businesses. Since the creation of our boutique agency in 2019, we have recruited and mobilized over 30 employees from this generation. Over the years, a culture of humility and openness has been shaped, fueled by a people-based leadership approach. These elements have allowed our team to grow in its own way, and our clients to grow by leveraging the qualities and skills of a unique generation.

From this process came shared values and key learnings that have made us successful with Gen Z. 

Interview with Karelle Lépine, Founder of Agence Middle and instigator of a unifying leadership model. 

Why focus on Gen Z?

K.L.: In my opinion, Gen Z has unique assets that are conducive to business growth. In a context where things are changing rapidly, these individuals have an incredible ability to adapt easily and integrate new concepts very quickly. Each member of our team is so savvy and curious. These aspects of their personalities, coupled with their comfort with technology tools, make them key resources for business growth.  

Gen Z is often criticized for their lack of loyalty to their employers. What do you think about this?

K.L.: There is no doubt that a sense of belonging is hard to forge with this generation. At Middle, we’ve created a sense of belonging within the workplace, a real community where they can be themselves. They can go to lunch at 11:00 a.m. or work out at 2:00 p.m… It’s flexible hours, yes, but it’s much more than that. This flexibility reflects a relationship based on trust with all our employees, a trust that is possible thanks to open and benevolent communication on both sides, to allow them to evolve in a non-judgmental environment. In my opinion, it is this trust that allows them to be themselves, and to create a sense of belonging, from which loyalty emanates.

How do you manage conflicts that may arise with a Gen Z employee?

K.L.: Personally, I took a training session in nonviolent communication (NVC) and it helped me a lot to manage my team. It’s a type of communication-based on facts, empathy and respect, which allows us to address professional issues so they can be taken into account and resolved quickly together, without putting the blame on one person alone. This avoids misunderstandings and more negative personal interpretations… 

In a context of communication and openness, where everyone can be themselves without judgment, we all live authentically. So there is no discomfort in expressing personal concerns, and we make sure to communicate them upfront before they lead to deeper frustration or conflict within the team. 

At Middle, we cultivate humility as one of our core values. It’s important for me as a leader, but also for each of our team members, to put aside ego and apologize when we are wrong. This maintains the bond of trust and interdependence that has made us successful. 

What is the secret to recruiting Gen Z employees?

K.L.: At Middle, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to recruit our employees. One example of this is the fact that our Instagram account is almost entirely dedicated to HR. We post stories of our daily life in the office, we talk about our culture and our daily lives. Most of the people who apply at Middle first followed us on Instagram, and it was our content and uniqueness that got them to apply. 

We also leverage our existing community to spread the word about our offerings. 

Like our clients, we like to innovate, so we test out several ways to pique the curiosity of our future candidates. Recently, we set up a LinkedIn automation to find talent, and I’m proud to say that we found a TOP project manager thanks to this new initiative! 

Check out our current job openings!

Charlotte

Writer

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