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Talent Magnet Series: Attract! Hire! Retain! – Bulls Eye on Gen Z

Posted by Kevin Nolan on April 25, 2024

Last week, we discussed the changing labor landscape for immigrant workers. What about the rest of the labor market? Most suburban high school kids are encouraged to go to college, while some latch onto a higher-skilled trade like electric, welding, or auto mechanics. 

Other students graduate and head to the retail or food service industries—these folks are our target. We offer a better alternative.

Customer demand remains strong and should remain high for a few years. But the current labor shortage is a systemic problem we will face indefinitely. It has to do with demographics—the age of the US population, the lack of documented immigrants, and the fact that millennials are aging out of entry-level jobs in painting as they approach 30 years old. 

There are fewer people in Gen Z for these jobs, and the problem existed before 2020 and the pandemic.

Generational Breakdown

Boomers (70.2 million): These are our customers, not our entry-level hires! Many are wealthy and spending money; they typically do not do the work on their homes themselves. 

Gen X (65.8 million) and Millenials (72.1 million): These two groups are moving from employees to customers in their forties and mid-fifties.

Gen Z (68 million): Entry-level jobs in the workforce now belong to Gen Z, and we are targeting them for new hires.

Takeaway: Aim to win Gen Z

Nolan Painting had to focus on this workforce shortage in 2018, so by 2019, we upped our recruiting/marketing spend. We started putting a lot more intentional effort into marketing our ‘We’re Hiring’ program, which is aimed at recruiting folks, specifically from Gen Z, to join our team. 

A good CEO is looking for the obstacles that are stopping 

the company from growing. 

Unfortunately, for the past five years, employee retention and recruitment have been inhibitors of growth for us. My job (and your job if you aim to grow) is to fix this problem. As a leader, you must build something people want to be a part of. 

My team and I put together a plan. We’ll get into it next week. Until then, build muscle.

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