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How Sales Teams Can Recruit & Retain College Grads in the Tight Labor Market

Generation Z graduates, or those born between 1997 and 2012, are flooding the workplace, and with a flowing economy and tight labor market, it can be difficult for companies to recruit and retain these entry-level employees. Gen Zs have the advantage to be choosy about the jobs they take, but they are also more likely to be continually looking for better opportunities. In fact, according to recent research from Gartner, 40% of Gen Z employees would not repeat their decision to accept a job offer they had accepted, and only 51% said they see themselves having a long career at their current organization. Since it can cost one-third of an employee’s salary to find their replacement, it’s important that companies work to implement policies that help retain employees.

So how can organizations, particularly sales teams whose salaries are usually based on a commission structure, successfully recruit and retain top Gen Z talent to help carry their business forward? Let’s explore tactics sales teams in any industry can replicate to maintain their entry level talent through 2019 and beyond.

Personalize Compensation Packages

Personalization is important to Generation Z in every aspect of their lives. In fact, a recent report found that nearly half (44%) of Gen Zs will provide their personal data to a company to enable a more personalized experience over an anonymous one. This appetite for a customized experience is relevant in the workplace as it applies to compensation as well. Compensation and sales performance technology can create a channel for sales teams and HR managers to integrate personalization into the compensation experience.

Implementing compensation technology that uses AI will help sales managers and HR managers create a customized total reward package that best fits with employees’ needs. Catering their commission structure, non-cash rewards, benefits and overall salary to meet Gen Z’s desires helps to ensure that these new employees stay engaged in their current position and interested in growing with the company. In a commission-based compensation structure within sales teams, it’s important to provide more immediate motivators to keep employees working hard and bringing in new deals. Since Gen Zs are known to value companies that give back to the community, providing extra paid time off for volunteering at a charity of their choice or promoting match donations to nonprofit groups that are important to them can go a long way in creating trust with Gen Zs.

Additionally, technology creates an opportunity for employers to identify employees that may be considered a “flight risk” by using data to identify waning engagement, slowing performance, or multiple unusual absences. Once risky employees are identified, HR management and sales team leads can work together to get the employee back on track in their career with the company. This may mean providing more personal benefits such as work from home opportunities if an employee has a particularly long commute or reevaluating the structure of their quotas for commission.

Creating Transparency for Commission-Based Pay Models

Generation Z will not stand for pay disparities due to gender, race, or age, and they will look for transparency in compensation to determine if they are paid fairly. Gen Zs are also the most likely generation to share salary information with colleagues, proving their commitment to create transparency even when their employers do not provide it. With just nine percent of Gen Zs reporting they feel comfortable discussing salary and compensation with their manager or supervisor (compared with 20% of Millennials), it’s clear companies need provide employees with more reasoning to trust that they are being paid fairly.

Sales teams can create greater salary and total compensation transparency for their employees through total rewards statements. These statements provide an overview of employee’s salary, benefits, commission structure, non-cash rewards, and so on, which creates a full picture of an employee’s true value to the company. For Gen Zs, this is particularly important, as 58% rank non-monetary elements as the most important workplace benefits. Sales team leads can leverage compensation benchmarks for the greater industry and use advanced data analytics to show team members that they are being paid fairly and that their quotas and benchmarks are comparable to similar positions in the industry. This kind of transparency in the workplace is critical in making Gen Zs  feel fulfilled and engaged while creating an environment that promotes open dialogue and fairness in compensation.

For sales teams to recruit and retain new Generation Z employees, they must implement policies to promote personalization and transparency in compensation. Armed with this knowledge, how will your sales team work to recruit and retain top Gen Z talent?
Mike DeLeonardis is the President of North America at beqom, a cloud-based total compensation and performance management solution. Mike has 20 years of experience managing enterprise cloud software and service businesses.

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