A Changing Workforce - Generation Z
Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2019 by Maire Gerrard — No comments
In recent years, talk of so-called ‘millennials’ and their accompanying trends has been rife in the media. However, there’s a new generation on the horizon of adulthood who are about to take our workforce by storm. They are imaginatively referred to as Generation Z; or ‘Gen Z’ for short.
While the catchment of birth years that fall into Generation Z appear to differ, they tend to be considered as those born after 1995. As we enter 2019, members of Gen Z are likely to be in their introductory years of working. In fact, it is estimated that around 30 million will be in employment this year. Therefore, workforces need to consider both what this generation can offer, and subsequently how to attract them to their businesses.
Possibly the most commonly cited characteristic of this cohort. Millennials came of age in the era of ground-breaking technological advances, such as the internet and mobile phones. By comparison, Gen Z have taken this one step further and have grown up in the midst of the social media revolution and smart phones. Their knowledge of the capabilities of technology is the most advanced yet, making them valuable additions to a workforce looking to harness its power.
Having grown up in the height of economic recession, Gen Z know that having a successful career is not an entitlement, but something that requires hard work. They are aware of how competitive the job market can be, so will push themselves both before and after securing employment to achieve their goals.
With retirement ages being pushed further and further back, Gen Z are more concerned about doing a job they are passionate about than previous cohorts. Therefore, if they are engaged and happy at work, it is likely they will be loyal to your company and motivated to contribute to its success.
So what are Gen Z looking for in their future employer?
While Gen Z are driven and loyal, organisations have to be able to prove that they can provide careers that match their high aspirations. Not only do they need to see that they can attain their dream job, but also that their employer is equally as committed and driven to getting them there. Therefore, investment in training will also be appealing to them.
Following the above, Gen Z will also want to be valued in their company for their efforts and ability. This does not necessarily mean they require constant praise and affirmation. Instead, they want extensive feedback and to form productive relationships with their seniors, to further their progression and potential to reach their career goals. Gen Z also prefers face to face communication over other means, which is surprising given their in-depth knowledge of technologies and interest in social media.
A final thing to consider is the fact that Gen Z are preoccupied with making a positive impact on wider society. Ultimately, they will be able to achieve their dream job in many organisations, but a company’s ethos and responsibility could be the deciding factor. If a company is eco-conscious or has an extensive CSR policy, then this shows prospective applicants that they have concerns spanning wider than their finances.
Gen Z will soon account for a large percentage of the world’s workforce, which is no bad thing given their fresh perspective and drive to succeed. As they are eager to kick-start their careers, employers should similarly be eager to attract them to their businesses, in order to ensure they can continue to thrive.