Gen Z, Zoomers, the next generation of accountants: whatever you call them, this new cohort of workers are filling your accounting teams or will be very soon. Born between roughly 1997 and 2012, the oldest members of Generation Z have officially graduated and begun laying the foundations of their careers.
This means the workplace dynamic will necessarily begin to shift as Generation X and Millennials become management and the Baby Boomers begin to retire. This hits accounting teams particularly hard.
In fact, according to the AICPA, 75% of CPAs are already eligible to retire. With the accounting workforce getting younger, one question for today's CFOs remains: Are you ready to welcome Generation Z?
The fight for talent: How to attract Gen Z candidates
While Gen Z share some traits and professional aspirations with their older siblings, employers are quickly finding that they have to put the broad brush down as they work to attract and hire the best of this generation – something especially true in the accounting industry with its traditionally low retention rates.
However, you'll have to offer more than a healthy salary to recruit and keep this newest cohort. In fact, a report by RippleMatch found that, as a group, compensation was almost the least important factor in deciding whether or not to take or stay in a job for Gen Z. Instead, professional development, upward mobility and a sense of community were key components.
Opportunities to continue to learn and grow professionally are consistently cited as much, much more important than a company's compensation package when it comes to Gen Z. So, how do you attract these new accountants, and what should you focus on once you hire them? Culture, culture, culture (and a bit of social responsibility, too).
Managing Zoomers: Be transparent, authentic & empathetic
Company culture becomes more important when leading a team of Zoomers and is especially vital in today's remote workplaces. Ensure that your new hires are engaged, nurtured and given plenty of opportunities to learn and advance in your people-first culture.
Strong parts of company culture – social responsibility and diversity – are especially important to Gen Z. Younger job seekers have consistently considered the social impact and diversity as essential qualities in an employer, and not just as lip service either. Rather, they seek authentic experiences.
To attract Gen Z workers, emphasize your company's social, environmental and philanthropic initiatives while sharing what makes your company unique. Focus on how they will thrive and why your values align with their own. And finally, follow through once they join the team.
Gen Z In the workplace: Embrace and implement new technologies
Technology isn't just important to your average Gen Z in day-to-day life, it's imperative. Knowing that, it's easy to see how a future workforce of Zoomers is poised to be a game-changer for the accounting industry by addressing two of the industry's biggest challenges: talent and technology.
Adapting to technological change is a consistent priority for financial leadership, so the incoming wave of "tech natives" brings the promise of a workforce that's equipped to do precisely that.
Zoomers carry a set of skills that include tech and data literacy that make them invaluable to organizations that are increasingly turning to data-driven decision-making and cloud-based ERPs to stay ahead of the competitive curve.
Battle Burnout: Provide Meaningful Work to Young Accountants & Outsource the Rest
For finance leaders that are more than ready to welcome an infusion of educated, dedicated and no-nonsense young professionals into the accounting talent pool, the solution is to provide meaningful work and watch for burnout.
When accounting teams are overworked and overwhelmed, turnover rears its ugly head. Unfortunately, Gen Z will be the first ones out the door when tedious work or burnout strikes.
To prevent this undesirable outcome, work with an accounting provider that has the advantage of sourcing talent for everything from AP and AR to payroll to tax. This will take tasks off your plate and focus your team on what matters – and on what they actually want to do.
Outsourced accounting or virtual accounting talent allows you the time you need for strategy and provides your young team members with opportunities to grow and learn rather than complete non-value-added transactional work. Focus on core competencies and outsource the rest; soon burnout (and turnover) will be a thing of the past. Find out more at Personiv.com.