The Future of the Workforce: What You Should Know About Generation Z

Generation Z has arrived and there is reason to believe they will shake things up as they bring new priorities and expectations to the workplace. Forbes defines this group as people born from 1997 and later. As an employer, you are tasked with the responsibility of adapting to the differences between the millennials and z’ers. While these two groups of young workers share an obvious appreciation and aptitude for state-of-the-art technology, there are also many important differences worth recognizing if you expect to recruit the cream of the crop.

Job Stability Takes Center Stage

While job stability is likely to rank high on a lot of employees’ list of priorities when considering career opportunities, generation z’ers are laser focused on job stability. When you consider that they witnessed how their family was affected by the Great Recession that began in 2008, it is no surprise that these young adults place a high value on job stability. In sharp contrast to millennials who were known as job hoppers, this newest group seeks out stable jobs in high-growth industries like health-care and technology.

Preference for Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Anne Loehr published findings from Millennial Branding, reporting that 61 percent of generation z high school students said they prefer pursuing business ownership as an entrepreneur instead of working as an employee. This information will shape recruiting efforts and definitely influence the future of the workplace. If you want to be successful working in HR, you must understand why the entrepreneurial lifestyle is attractive to gen z’ers. Only then, can you effectively incorporate the benefits of business ownership into career opportunities.

Lower Percentage of College Graduates

Predecessors owing tens of thousands of dollars in student debt have impacted how this generation views formal education. Gen z’ers are less likely to go to college. This shift in attitudes about the necessity of a college education is sure to dramatically impact your recruiting activities in a business climate where there is a shortage of quality candidates.

Generation Z Employees Question Technology and Its Impact

This self-aware group has heard the reports about how “being connected” 24/7 can compromise interpersonal skills and relationships. Digital HR Tech reports that this generation is concerned about not having important people skills. The idea of detoxing from electronics has become a subject of conversation as more generation Z technology addicts try to take control of what they consider to be a threat to their quality of life and success.

The YouTube Generation Likes Videos

One obvious way that you can compete for the hearts and souls of this new generation is through the use of video. You should create recruiting and training materials in the form of videos to cater to an audience who has spent their entire life taking selfies and watching videos with a smartphone. Growing up with video makes for an impatient audience that is more likely to respond to this format than to text ads.

Flexible Work Schedules

There may be some truth to this generation’s inability to relate well with others when you consider that these loners like to work independently. Since this generation embraces technology and has used it all of their life, they resist the idea of a 9-to-5 schedule. It simply does not make sense to them when they realize they can reach out and communicate easily without the inconvenience of fighting traffic to arbitrarily show up physically.

Diversity in the Workplace Is a Must

Generation Z is a diverse group of workers with fewer “white straight males” than ever before. The majority of this workforce does not tolerate anything less than acceptance of everyone without concern for different races, sexual identities and genders. There is no denying that this group is socially progressive and expects no less than this attitude to be embraced by your company’s leadership.

Expectations for Socially Responsible Company Management

Much like millennials, gen z’ers want to work for a company that acts socially responsible. Companies that are perceived to behave badly as it relates to poisoning the planet, discriminating against workers or cheating employees financially will not be able to recruit the best and the brightest of this new crop of new workers.

Final Word

Each new generation brings its own set of expectations and demands. Savvy business leaders recognize the need to recruit top employees so they can effectively compete. While generation z shares many of the same ideals and expectations as millennials, there are distinct differences that you must consider if you want your company to be positioned to attract top talent. Progressive corporate leadership who uses the latest technology and is socially responsible will lead the way in the near future.

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