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Hiring Gen Z: What Event Owners Need to Know Now

9 Aug, 2017

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Working as wait staff. Lifeguarding at local pools. Babysitting. Teen jobs used to come in predictable shapes and sizes. These days, they’re likely to take a very different form, thanks to Gen Z, whose goals, ambitions and desires outpace those of the generation before.

Event owners and planners of sports events who are seeking help, either seasonal, part-time or throughout the school year, should know what teens want and how to leverage those things to get the best possible working relationship.

According to an article in MediaPost, Gen Z (born roughly between 1995 and 2010) is different even from the Millennials, who precede them. And because they were shaped by different forces, their wishes, as they move toward the world of employment, are very specific:

While Millennials are stereotyped as job-hoppers, Gen Z shows more interest in staying with fewer companies for a longer time. While Millennials enjoy the “benefits” of free food and a foosball table, Gen Z demands good pay, tangible benefits and a higher degree of job security. While Millennials enjoy collaborating in flexible, open work spaces, Gen Z is more competitive and likes to have their own private spaces to concentrate. Gen Z also tends to come into the office rather than telecommute; relocate for the right job; work nights and weekends as needed; and eventually want to start their own businesses.

So what do teens want right now, and how can planners of sports events hope to win this next generation of talent? It’s all a matter of knowing what teens want:

A job they’re interested in: Maybe it goes without saying, but ‘good enough’ isn’t in Gen Z’s vocabulary when it comes to making a living. A teen with an interest in sports will be more engaged and more likely to contribute to the workplace.

A meaningful work experience: Forget dead-end jobs. Today’s teens are interested in something that can build a bridge to full employment upon graduation. Sports planners who can offer internships and other opportunities, and who give teens interesting, useful tasks, will reap the rewards of having a devoted, enthusiastic, young workforce.

Room to try new things: Gen Z is an entrepreneurial group; they can leverage social media and various platforms you might not have thought of. The MediaPost article advises potential employers to also consider holding a weekend “boot camp” for teens who are trying to start a business in that industry, or a longer-term accelerator program. Offer them the tools and encouragement they need to get their ideas off the ground and, eventually, they might become collaborators, employees or even “acquihires.”

A future: Gen Z doesn’t want a three-month job. Its members are looking for mentors and career counselors who can help them find the tools to move up. They want a career path they can map out. If the future will require education – either in the form of a full major in sports business or in the form of a certification program, a tuition assistance program also can help and will build even more loyalty.

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