Adding the Gen Z spin to new educator recruitment
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 5, 10 July 2020, page no.21
The QTU is making huge strides in getting to know and understand our youngest cohort – those belonging to Generation Z. If you’re 25 or under, then you are a member of Gen Z, and we are doing everything we can to make sure we get to know you, meet your needs and meaningfully welcome you to the QTU community!
In short, successfully and meaningfully bringing Gen Z on board requires a new set of strategies. So, Officers of the QTU are focusing on developing a range of strategies and innovative resources to support the recruitment of new educators.
- The design, tone, content and format of the termly new educator publication is being reworked, reimagining it as “New Educator Connect – Inform and Empower”, a member-driven content experience (https://www.qtu.asn.au/new-educator-connect).
- The presentation designed for recruitment sessions at universities is being redesigned with a multi-modal focus, highlighting the alignment of QTU and Gen Z values.
- A recruitment package is being created to support Union Reps in recruiting Gen Z non-members.
- A statewide, online, “New Educator Connect” session is being facilitated.
- A “Know your Working Conditions” presentation is being developed, designed specifically for new educators.
- A range of information resources is being created for new educators, including the “Do what teachers do, join the QTU” flyer for new educators (https://www.qtu.asn.au/application/files/3915/8735/7783/New_teacher_flyer_April_2020.pdf).
- Building our Instagram following by running a series of drives and competitions.
And there’s much more besides!
So why are we doing all this? Well, it is predicted that Gen Z will comprise 34 per cent of the workforce by 2028. The QTU must be ready for this dynamic group of teachers who represent the future of our organisation. We must be innovative in how we work, to ensure we bring Gen Z teachers on board and encourage them to be active in their Union. We must foster a community that they will be proud to belong to and where they will be recognised.
Gen Z can largely be understood in terms of four key characteristics:
- Gen Z is an online cohort.
- Gen Z interacts through social media.
- Gen Z members are individualists who crave community.
- Gen Z values work-life balance and recognition in the workforce.
In addition, the QTU’s Gen Z research has revealed that young people often do not fully understand what unions do or the full scope of their work, and as such are not necessarily able to understand the power of solidarity and the collective, and the consequent importance of being a union member. Additionally, Australian mainstream media undeniably shapes public perception by portraying a consistent negative bias against unions and industrial conflict.
If you’re interested in learning more about Gen Z and understanding the wide range of recommendations that inform the innovative strategies listed above, you can read the full “Gen Z and the QTU” report at https://www.qtu.asn.au/gen-z-report. The report explores what makes Gen Z tick, analyses the relationship between Gen Z and unions, and then considers the range of challenges – but also incredible opportunities – in bringing this generation on board and encouraging them to be active in the QTU.
It is important to note that the resulting “Gen Z spin” that will be applied to many of the great things the QTU already does will benefit all QTU members – not just those from Gen Z. There are new, adapted, innovative and exciting things coming for all members – watch this space.