Generation Z is an increasingly large part of the employment pool, setting the stage for a massive shift in workplace dynamics, soon to surpass millennials as a demographic of vast diversity – they are the new kids on the hiring block, and with them comes a new outlook into the world of work.
In a nutshell, Generation Z is anyone born after 1995. These are the people born into an era of instant technology, and there is nothing digital they don’t know! Unlike previous generations they have grown up in a self-taught environment, which allows them to evolve outside of educational institutions. So, there’s no time like the present to begin preparing the best ways to employ and retain Generation Z.
They are the largest, most diverse, open-minded, and socially responsible generation yet. Their emergence into the employment market is changing old norms between employers and employees with distinct expectations about the company environment and support.
Generation Z sets the tone for how recruitment will evolve in the future. They fully grasp that digital networking and social media will be part of tomorrow’s portfolio, recognizing the value of online marketing.
Understanding what drives this talent profile is critical to connecting with them in a way that makes them feel valued:
As the first generation to be classed as “digital natives,” Gen Z is extremely comfortable using technology. They’re capable of using tech to make their lives easier and can troubleshoot when common issues come up—an ideal skill for any work environment.
For them, technology is everything! If you are still running on old-fashioned operations, it’s very unlikely this generation will want to work in your company. On average Gen Z uses 5 different devices a day, so naturally they expect their ideal workplace to have all the latest digital tools and systems to help them succeed.
Like it or not, the future is digital, and this generation has mastered it better than anyone before.
Career opportunity and advancement are key drivers for this group. Salary is important, as it is to every generation, but it is significantly less meaningful for Generation Z. The feeling of fulfilment and progression in work is one step ahead of compensation.
Unlike the millennials, Generation Z care less about the benefits that come with a company, such as a gym, on-site ping pong table or a beer fridge in the kitchen. Their focus is on a more meaningful benefit, craving an environment in which they can grow professionally.
Gen Z are highly motivated by a work environment with a genuine company culture of recognition. They desire a setting where employees feel valued, respected, and needed within an organisation.
This type of culture rings true to all generations, but more so than ever in this era. Things like recognition programs and internal mobility procedures will help win them over. Their growing awareness of workplace wellbeing has also influenced Gen Z to want to work for companies with collaborative, inclusive, and innovative cultures.
Recent trends have highlighted the rising number of freelance workers throughout the years, with over half of professionals expected to be independent contractors by 2027. This demonstrates that the newest generations prefer flexible and autonomous working arrangements.
The ability to work remotely or out of office is another key component expected by Gen Z. This generation knows how easy it is to utilise the cloud and online services, therefore an employer who can offer their team the option of working outside of the office will be likely to retain their staff.
Those in this generation have seen the downfalls and economic heartaches of the previous ones. They know what can happen to a booming economy and are aware of the need for savings. For that reason, they are interested in future-proof jobs and careers with real growing power and sustainability for their future.
Gen Z is mostly aspiring to pursue careers in the tech industry, making tech organisations the most sought-after employers, followed by business services, finance, and retail.
A review of the job market shows that engineering and data roles are leading the interests of this generation. With iOS Developer taking the number one spot in job interest ranking, followed by Computer vision engineer, Machine learning engineer, Audio engineer and Day-care assistant taking the fifth slot.
As Generation Z comes of age, employers have a great opportunity to recruit young talent who are up to speed with the latest technology and social norms, and adapting working environments, work processes and styles accordingly, will be critical to the success of organisations in the future.
For employers, think of gen Z as a group that wants fairness and progression in the workplace as well as a company that prioritises a flexible working culture.
Now you are aware of how to employ and retain the next generation, it’s time to start building these processes into your company so that you can begin to recruit them.
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