Generation Z, the digital-native post-millennials born from the mid-nineties onwards, are entering the world of work. What do employers expect of this generation and how far will organisations adapt for them?
According to recruiting experts Hays, in the latest edition of the Hays Journal, they’ll need skills that can’t be automated, understanding of the values held by older colleagues and the ability to moderate their need for instant gratification.
“For Generation Z, the workplace is exciting but daunting,” says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia. “This group grew up during the 2008 financial crisis and with threats from global terrorism and political uncertainty in the Middle East.
“It has made them more self-aware, self-reliant and driven. They are realistic, goal-oriented innovators who are constantly connected and ambitious. But they seek instant gratification and feedback, which a workplace does not always provide. They also know they’ll retire at an older age, so they want work to fit around their lives.
“But for this to be a reality, Gen Z will need to have the skills employers demand, particularly as there is and will be more automation in the workplace. They must also find ways to finance their life choices if salary increases remain smaller than they once were and other factors such as the cost of renting or buying their own home take their toll.”
Tom also says that Gen Z – like any new generation to the world of work – need to learn workplace etiquette and understand the values held by older colleagues, even for seemingly simple things such as acceptable use of a mobile phone at work.
He also points to Gen Z’s ability to multitask as a key advantage. “Employers must appreciate how using different devices is such an integral part of this generation’s life. Their attention span is short, but their ability to use different screens at the same time means they are often better at multi-tasking than other generations.”
How to recruit Generation Z
Hays share the following tips to recruit Gen Z:
• Help them make a difference: Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer for KFC Australia, New Zealand and Thailand, says 95 per cent of its 35,000 workforce were born after 1996. “To attract and retain Gen Z, we need to help them be the best they can be at work and in life,” he says in the latest Hays Journal. “We help them to make a difference to each other and to their communities.”
• Run a quick, honest and transparent recruitment process: Gen Z want to receive quick responses and want to see transparency from employers. They don’t want to hear what the organisation thinks of itself; they’ll gain insights from others in their network. There’s also a lot of parental influence in Gen Z’s employment decisions.
• Adopt new attraction strategies: With a more advanced level of digital skills, this generation will be the most connected in history. Organisations can therefore ask younger employees to reach out to their university and social media contacts when recruiting. If your job isn’t online, Gen Z won’t find it. Employers should also be ready to explore how to use virtual reality and gaming as part of your attraction and recruitment processes.
• Work-life balance: This generation has a different view of work-life balance. They know they’ll work longer and as digital natives the use of technology for remote and home working is considered the norm.
• Provide a sense of purpose: This generation want to understand why an organisation does what it does and how their role contributes to its success. They want a clear purpose.
The generation game:
When was each generation born?
Baby Boomers: 1945-1960
Gen X: 1961-1980
Gen Y (millennials): 1980-1996
Gen Z: 1997-2010
Gen Alpha: after 2010