Article: Dell Technologies’ Santosh TK shares strategies to attract and retain Gen Z talent

Talent Management

Dell Technologies’ Santosh TK shares strategies to attract and retain Gen Z talent

In an era defined by digital innovation and evolving workplace dynamics, understanding the needs and aspirations of Generation Z is paramount for organisations striving to attract and retain top talent.
Dell Technologies’ Santosh TK shares strategies to attract and retain Gen Z talent

Embracing a flexible working culture that is centred around technology is key to attracting and retaining the best talent, says Santosh TK Talent Acquisition Head at Dell Technologies. According to him, these models have been found to drive greater productivity and job satisfaction, reducing staff turnover and operating costs.

In an exclusive interview with People Matters, Santosh emphasised that flexibility is a very important aspect of retaining existing talent. Younger employees, considered to be more driven by purpose in the companies they want to work for, want flexibility and to work with the best technology. He believes that by providing purpose, flexibility, and technology, the potential of the next generation can be unlocked. “Central to this is ensuring that digital skills are a core part of the education curriculum, so that young people are learning everything they need for the workplace of the future. Equally important is ensuring that older generations receive the right training to reskill and upskill so that they can adapt to the digitised world.”

How would you define Generation Z, and what do you believe differentiates them from previous generations in terms of skills, work ethos, potential, etc?

With a perspective vastly different from Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, Gen Z wants to work for a company that has purpose and meaning. They look for flexible work options and support in maintaining a work/life balance. This doesn’t mean they demand to work at home at all times, but they require flexibility to be able to do so if they need to for personal reasons. Organisations that thrive are those who recognise the need to give their employees the most up-to-date tools capable of enabling them to achieve their objectives in a work environment that is increasingly more mobile, fluid, collaborative, and hyper-connected. Learning and developing opportunities are also among a top priority for Gen Z’s when it comes to choosing a workplace.

Dell Technologies conducted a study, Elevating the voice of Gen Z to shape the economies of tomorrow, across 15 countries globally, focusing on "Generation Z" adults (aged 18–26). According to the study, Gen Z is entering the workspace with a tech-first mentality that further makes the business move towards digital space. The study shows that 98% have used technology as a part of their former education. Gen Z also believes in being willing to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. The actions taken by public and private entities will help drive toward the ultimate goal—a future where Gen Z and the generations that follow can benefit from a more equitable, inclusive, and future-facing society.

How does your organisation adapt its policies and practices to align with the changing demographics and preferences of the workforce, particularly as Generation Z becomes a larger segment of the workforce?

For the most recent generation of talent in the workplace, Generation Z – a demographic that is digitally equipped. Engaging in the interests and imagination of the young team members is a highly productive way for organisations today to discover interesting insights and create new methods of collaboration while increasing the loyalty of a group who often does not envision working for the same company for a lifetime.

At Dell, we believe that focus on the development of talent is critical and with the rapid change in the kind of skills in demand, team members won’t feel as though they’re learning something new unless upskilling happens. We are not going with a one-size-fits-all approach and have in place a robust and structured approach for skill development by identifying our talent needs. What we’re doing is letting our business units define the skills they need, and we support them with the resources they need to carry out these upskilling programs

We also focus on identifying critical business priorities and aligning our key talent to these priorities. This is being done across the organisation for all team members including recent graduate hires as well as leaders. We have introduced multiple programs like the Full Stack Developer Program – a tech upskilling exercise to enable team members to become end-to-end experts across the software lifecycle. It even provides an opportunity to non-software developers to reskill as core developers. Additionally, we have initiatives like Opportunity Marketplace, focusing on ‘On-the-Job’ competency development for all our employees.

How do you tailor recruitment strategies to attract and engage Generation Z candidates? Can you provide examples of innovative recruitment methods or channels that have been successful in reaching Gen Z talent?

Gen Z has been shown qualities like keen to learn and curious to upskill themselves. To navigate such expectations, it becomes necessary to tailor a company’s recruitment approach while hiring Gen Z talent. Following are a few tactics to be considered:

  • Define your company culture: The first step in hiring for cultural fit is to define your company culture. You must be able to articulate what values, norms, and practices define your business.
  • Communicate your values: Even before the recruiting process commences it is necessary to outline your job description and engagement on different platforms to attract the right candidates for the company. Presenting the company’s mission, values and corporate culture creatively and regularly is the key to successful hires.
  • Train your hiring staff on how to discuss company culture with applicants: Any member of the organisation involved in interviewing potential employees must have a good grasp of your business culture and refer to it throughout the hiring process.
  • Give job candidates an immersive look at your company culture: Another way to successfully discuss company culture with job candidates is to provide a look at your culture in real-time. Walk the candidate around the office. Let them meet key team members.
  • Factor DEI into your hiring process: Creating a company culture that promotes workplace diversity and inclusion is beneficial for you and your employees. Develop an inclusive recruitment strategy that grants equal opportunity to every candidate.
  • Personality tests: Well-designed pre-employment personality tests often help determine if the candidate has the emotional requirements for the role. These tests demonstrate the traits required during crisis and different working conditions.

What aspects of an employer brand or company culture do you believe are most appealing to Generation Z candidates?

A company should carefully build its company culture and other related aspects to attract the best talent. As the largest generational cohort in history, Gen Z’s attitudes and expectations are heavily influenced by employee branding.

  • Future of Work: At Dell Technologies, we believe our best work is done when flexibility is offered. Flexible and hybrid work is part of our culture: Flexibility can be a mutual benefit to the team members, our customers, the community, and the company.
  • Upskilling programs for employees: Dell Technologies’ ‘Skills Assessment’ exercise provides team members with the opportunity to assess their proficiency against key skills, and to opt for upskilling. This also helps in starting a conversation with their leaders to align on what their strengths are and where they should focus on development. Employees can assess themselves against our ‘Culture Code Values’ and ‘Leadership Principles’ or the ‘Culture Code Core Skills’ in addition to any functional or technical skills that have been identified for them.
  • Healthcare: While considering future healthcare provision, Gen Z’s most-chosen concern was gaining access to healthcare appointments and treatments in a timely fashion. Gen Z also cites the potential poor quality of these services as a concern. Long wait times have been the primary factor causing Gen Z to put off making a health appointment within the last 2 years (38%). Long phone queue times (24%) and the inability to book appointments online (21%) were also cited as key reasons.
  • Sustainability: Sustainability is a key concern for Gen Z. Around 64% of Gen Z believes that technology will play an important role in the fight against the climate crisis. This indicates that Gen Z recognises the true value, and potential of technology in relation to addressing one of the biggest societal challenges in future decades.

How do you foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity for Gen Z employees within the organisation? What opportunities for career development and growth do you offer to Generation Z employees to keep them engaged and invested in their roles?

As the composition of the workforce changes, companies embracing diversity and inclusion are experiencing greater innovation, productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction — along with better business performance. It has been found that ethnically diverse companies are 36% more likely to outperform their peers. At Dell, we believe that innovation thrives when people work in an inclusive culture where they can be their authentic selves and feel that their contributions matter. Diverse thoughts and experiences, combined with an accepting, collaborative workplace, lead to truly meaningful work. Through our People Philosophy and Culture Code, we are creating an inclusive culture for our Generation Z employees where they feel empowered to achieve a sense of balance and connectedness to those around them, and where diversity of thought and experiences is welcomed.

Career development and growth opportunities for our Generation Z employees

For a generation that has grown up constantly connected and technologically advanced, working with cutting-edge technologies is vital to further their careers. Our GenNext program, an employee resource group that specifically targets GenZ, and focuses on professional growth, skill development and community engagement. Gen Z recognises the value of acquiring new digital skills to help with their future career prospects, and there is an opportunity for governments, schools, and corporations to offer a platform to facilitate this hunger for learning. Our Connexus program is designed for team members at remote locations to make them feel connected and promote inclusivity amongst team members.

In your opinion, what important role will Generation Z play in shaping the future of the workplace, and how do you anticipate their priorities and expectations evolving?

The digital workspace is a mission-critical essential for the future of work (FOW). A flexible digital workspace enables workers to access the applications and resources easily and securely they need to do their jobs, no matter where they are or what device they are using. Gen Z perceives flexible and remote working as important considerations when choosing an employer (29%). However, 29% also see value in or favor 9 am-5 pm office-based roles.

According to Dell’s research, what Gen Z desires most from work is beyond a good salary. They aspire for the ability to learn new skills and have new experiences. While the drive towards investing in sustainable energy solutions has been apparent for many years now, Gen Z’s prioritisation of a circular economy is particularly notable. They prioritise sustainability and are willing to engage with organisations that drive sustainability.

They believe actions taken by public and private entities will help drive towards the ultimate goal, a future where Gen Z, and the generations that follow, can benefit from a more equitable, inclusive, and future-facing society.

Read full story

Topics: Talent Management, Strategic HR, Talent Acquisition, #HRCommunity, #Hiring

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Your opinion matters: Tell us how we're doing this quarter!

Selected Score :