Job Swimming: Meeting Expectations

Job Swimming: Meeting Expectations

Author: Rosie Greaves, LaborIQ Staff Writer

Sep 16, 2022

The fight for comfort is the current reality for workers. The job market is developing an employee-centric undercurrent, shifting the dynamic from job-seeking to job-swimming. So, how do employers secure talent that will stay?

An authentic person-centered approach bodes well with an emerging professional generation with high standards and a string of older generations quick to jump on board with the respect-for-the-employee ethic. This is the tune most respected companies are singing right now.

Let's look at this trend in more detail.

Generational Expectations

Where hiring Gen Z is concerned, be considerate, be discerning and be knowledgeable!!

This generation of workers expects to be paid for all their time and takes a more holistic approach to life than others in the workforce. Gen Zers manage professionalism like pros, are emotionally self-aware and quick to stand up for their right to enjoy life.

Guidance over patronization, love over fear, and TikTok over Facebook. Gen Z has had a constant feed of information, and they're ready for the world in a way their predecessors could only have dreamed.

All that to say: be ready to compete for a Gen Z gem every now and again. They may nab that top job opening before you say, ‘work from home.'

But, unfortunately, some of your employees may not entirely understand or appreciate their worth. The concept of the ‘job’ is changing; some generations passively watch it unfold, some are against the shift and others are eager to dip their toes in.

With that said, here's what your company can do to prepare for the surge of Gen Z workers:

Learn From Your No’s

Suppose a prospective candidate turns down an offer from your company. In this case, it's an excellent opportunity to get feedback from someone you respected enough to offer a position.

What should you be asking?

You should include three crucial things in your follow-up email:

  1. How can we improve the interview process?
  2. Was there a company policy you wish we had in place?
  3. If you could describe your first impression of our company in three words, what would they be?

Tip: Maybe change your communication mode based on each client. In the interview, ask questions about their preferred communication style and use their answers to inform your means of contact. For instance, if someone loves a phone call and finds it more personable and efficient, do that! On the other hand, if the person appreciates a quick email, be concise and vibrant. People appreciate being remembered, but they respect being understood.

Nurture Your Current Employees

Don’t just realize your employee's worth when it’s too late. Your staff will occasionally be browsing the job market. Make them feel fortunate to be where they are. Review wages frequently and foster a progressive, encouraging environment where talk of improvement and employee well-being is met with a genuine interest.

LinkedIn conducted a study this year which found that 5.4 years was the average time employees are retained.

However, with record resignations last year alone, a forecast for fresh employees with high expectations could quickly become a reality. So avoid being caught short by being proactive about preparing for such an eventuality.


Flexibility isn't something to be earned. Suppose a person has understandable needs. In this case, their request to deliver the same work in an environment that is comfortable for them is reasonable.

The days of punishing women for having children by forcing them to endure long commutes and excessive unpaid overtime is disrespectful if it can be avoided. The same goes for employers' treatment of those with mental health needs.

So, ensure prospective employees know your stance on family-friendly policies, flexible working arrangements and mental health support. The last few years have been a perplexing and unstable time for many, and adopting a nurturing approach will yield positive results.


A flurry of influencers suggesting that a dose of market research can quickly determine whether an employee is being underpaid is taking TikTok and Instagram Reels by storm.

Inspired by this content, people are taking the initiative and demanding higher pay for their work. This, matched with an employee-focused job market, is proving the perfect environment for employees to demand their worth.

All this to say: Expect candidates to be well researched about pay brackets for their skillset and be comfortable with healthy discussions on this topic.

The Takeaway

For those working in HR, it would be wise to treat this new era of change as an excellent opportunity to master the art of meeting expectations. Is the workforce becoming entitled? No, we don't think so. But, we do believe that they're becoming enlightened. So be sure to recognize, adapt and expect this - especially as more Gen Zers enter the workforce.

The savviness of these young professionals promises that attempts at underpaying them will not go unnoticed. So the best thing for your business to do is to get on top of changing industry standards and educate yourself on top salary trends.

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