Generation Z: to take or not to hire? How to train and adapt young salespeople
30.07.2019 10416

Generation Z: to take or not to hire? How to train and adapt young salespeople

Probably everyone heard about the theory of generations. It is believed that Generation Z is the most sophisticated employee in every sense. They are hard to manage, difficult to motivate, and almost impossible to teach. Why? Because they are young, too ambitious and used to live by their own rules. Who are these Z-you? All employees who were born after 1995 year. That is, now they are from 18 to 23 years. But is it really so? The experience of our HR expert Daria Artyukhova suggests otherwise.

Daria Artyuhova Daria Artyuhova - started her career in advertising and marketing in 2006, since 2007 moved to HR. During her work, she managed to gain experience in the field of recruitment, C&B, management, creation of an HR brand, T&D. Launched several successful start-up projects. She was one of the founders of the KEDDO franchise network in Russia. Management experience over 6 years. Certified business coach, business consultant, speaker, webinar host, author of articles and training materials. Education: MBA-Professional City Business School, master's degree at the Russian State Social University, Moscow City Law Institute.

It so happened that in our network 70% of employees (sellers and administrators) are people no older than 25 years. Many of them came to us very young, right after school. And they remained for many years, grew to serious positions. What is our success? Objectively - our system of adaptation, training and motivation was built young for the young. Given what they like. And one more thing: we do not stand still and are constantly improving.

However, despite the fact that we have a lot of young people, it is not so easy to find them. I know from my colleagues from other companies that young employees are not very willing to go to them.

Today in retail there is an acute problem of staff shortages. Young people do not seek to go to sellers. In Russia, retail sales are one of the least attractive areas for young people. Everyone wants to be designers, programmers, or travel bloggers. If we talk about those young people who nevertheless come to retail today, then these are those who could not decide who they want to become, or students who cannot be taken anywhere without experience. Many see retail as a start or a temporary venue. And there is nothing to worry about. Most of our best retail employees have come to us just for this purpose. And then we realized that they want to build a career with us and develop together with the company. However, it all depends on what the company offers its employees.


If you carefully study the theory of personnel management, then to date an incredible number of books have been written on how to properly adapt staff. As you know, there is an adaptation of the primary and secondary. Primary - at the first employment, secondary - at the change of job / position.

These are two completely different adaptations and different programs. For a new employee, without any experience, support and clear instructions on how and what to do are very important. For an employee with experience, professional adaptation is more important in order to quickly get used to the new circumstances, get used to the changes and gain insight into the work. Indeed, at each new stage, to the previous experiment, it is necessary to add new knowledge, and sometimes completely abandon the previous experience.

Therefore, it is better to create two adaptation programs: one for young people, and the second for experienced employees. For young people, the program should be a little more extensive. I will explain why. Many things that are understandable and familiar to us, adults and experienced employees, may not be known and understandable to young children. For example, the current young generation often does not understand that work is not a school. And if you are late, certain sanctions follow, and not just a reprimand from the teacher. They do not realize the full degree of responsibility that now lies on their shoulders. They need help with this. For new employees, clear, understandable and short instructions should be drawn up for almost all regular situations that may arise. And also you need to let them clearly understand what results are expected from them. It is best to communicate this information through codes of conduct, service standards, and internal labor regulations. It sounds a little stern and boring. But no one forbids you to create these documents in an easy, accessible and playful way. Welcome movies work well in which you can tell what they expect from new employees. In them, I recommend telling you about the standards and rules of work. You can post these videos on the internal portal, or create a private channel on Youtube or an Instagram account. So you also get feedback from employees in the form of likes and comments. And you will be able to understand which material “fits” well and which is better to redo.


With youth training, one also has to connect creativity and ingenuity. Modern man cannot concentrate on one thing more than 4 minutes. Can you imagine? After 4 minutes, the current student loses interest in the lecturer and what he says, and he needs a new action. That is why the frame duration in modern blockbusters has been reduced from 15 to 2 seconds! Otherwise, the viewer will lose interest and will not go to see the continuation of the franchise. The same thing with training. If it is not saturated with video or games, vivid pictures and tests, young people will remember only 5-10% of information. But now there are a lot of modern resources and technologies that can solve these problems. There are companies that create training platforms, games, and interactive videos. And all this can be tied to sales. That is, not only to train, but also to introduce an element of competition and motivation, thus increasing your profit.

Familiar trainings are also a thing of the past. Previously, it was necessary to get to know the participants, warm up, create an atmosphere, set up the group to work with each other, and only then begin to study the material, do not forget to pause, and recharge the group, and for this you usually had from 8 to 16 hours training. Today, the maximum training format is 4 hours. And at this time you need to have time to put as much information as possible so that it is absorbed. It is important to divide everything into blocks and make more frequent but short meetings. And everything should happen in the most playful way, with examples and practical training, in the ratio of 20% theory and 80% practice. Otherwise they will not remember, and it will be boring.

No one will read complex texts. It is best to present the necessary information with the help of infographics, drawings and scribing (the process of visualizing complex meaning with simple images, in which images are drawn in the process of conveying information). So even technical information is better remembered. But if you want sellers to be able to tell something later, all this should be accompanied by rich, colorful stories in the style of storytelling.

Today, not the employer dictates what the training material will be, namely the employees. After all, it is important for the employer that information is remembered, understood and put into practice. Unfortunately, the Z generation is indeed a little more passive in this respect than the others. If they are not informed that this is important, they will not “bother” with this.


For generation Z, motivation is especially important. And if material motivation acts very well on representatives of generations Y and X, then for modern youth money is not the main motivation and not the main goal. But shouldn't sales employees strive to earn as much as possible? Must. The main thing here is to rekindle the excitement and create conditions for self-realization.

Competitions for the best seller / administrator with a good prize have always worked without fail. Another thing is that now you need to change the format and go digital. Competitions should be online and it is desirable that participants can share the results on social networks. Universal recognition and approval is what motivates now. And the prize is a dream trip to distant lands, and not an nth sum of money.

However, do not forget about the praise and recognition of the importance of young employees. It acts on them in the same way as on the others. Only instead of a letter that older employees would prefer to hang on the wall, a post on the page of the internal corporate portal or even in the official account is suitable for young people, and the public recognition of this employee as the best.

In general, the main motivation is interest and lack of routine. Which is very difficult to do in retail. After all, every day employees perform the same limited range of responsibilities. That is why they need contests, insignia, events.

Young employees are quite actively involved in various sports competitions and charity events. It is only necessary to support their undertakings.

"No experience? Come back tomorrow!"

But what if there is no experience and you don’t feel like going to retail at all, but you don’t take anywhere else? Everything is simple. Revise your attitude to retail.

The easiest way to get into a large and cool company is to start your journey with a seller. Today, the majority of employers in retail have minimal requirements for novice specialists: the main thing is the ability to learn and the desire to develop, activity and energy, they will teach the rest.

In Russia, the wrong stereotype has developed that being a seller is not prestigious. But for a student, this is a great start and a real opportunity to build a career in a dream company. Internal HR specialists are much more willing to promote already working, battle-tested employees on the career ladder, rather than hiring someone from the street for office positions. Everything is simple here. A person who already works in the company knows all the internal cuisine, corporate culture, and he proved himself to be something like that. The HR manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of such an employee and understands what to expect from him. Such an employee does not need to be fully adapted, it is enough to conduct training in a new place. In addition, he may already know someone from the office and it will be easier for him to adapt, he will quickly join the working mode.

But if, nevertheless, the soul does not lie at all to begin its journey with a salesman, there is another good way to start a career. Many companies conduct internships for young professionals. Internships are also paid when there is an opportunity not only to get the necessary experience for a resume, but also to earn money. Internships are usually provided for senior students or boys and girls who have just graduated from a university.

By the way, internships are a great opportunity not only for students, but also for employers to find a good specialist for many years. According to statistics, more than 40% of students after completing an internship remain in the company for at least 3-5 years as a permanent employee.

Probably everyone heard about the theory of generations. It is believed that Generation Z is the most sophisticated employee in every sense. They are hard to manage, difficult to motivate and practically impossible for anything ...
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