Move over Millennials, Generation Z are the new kids on the the career ladder. While businesses were busy gaining confidence in attracting and managing Millennials, Generation Z has been rapidly growing up. This new wave of young professionals is bursting onto the scene with entrepreneurialism and global thinking. Here’s the basics in what you need to know to attract and keep these autonomous multi-taskers.
Generation Z – Aren’t They Just Young Millennials?
Millennials and Generation Z are as different as they are similar. Sure, they share some interests, values and expectations but as each generation emerges, the influence of the one they supersede lessens.
Their formative experiences are completely different and whilst they may embrace technology with almost identical enthusiasm, Generation Z was raised in a tech-centric society. Understanding the distinction between the two generations is vital to recruiting Generation Z.
Preparing for the Next Generation
Within 3-4 years Gen Z will make up one fifth of the workforce. This stat alone makes a change to your marketing strategy imperative. Companies who appeal to a fresh wave of talent will evolve faster, grow larger and gain access to a whole new cohort.
Appealing to a generation who is bursting with ideas and possibilities that come from maturing with fast-evolving technology and a sense of collaboration borne from an interconnected and intersectional social world will require some change. It’s vital that business begins to understand what Generation Z expects from their employers and to adapt to the new reality.
Fortunately, the similarities between Generation Z and Millennials mean that there’s no need for widespread culture changes; just a bit of tweaking. Here’s five elements to address to take your appeal to the next level.
Contrary to media depiction, Generation Z knows exactly how much they don’t know. They actively want to educate themselves and push themselves to the limits of their potential. Businesses with mentorship programmes are more likely to attract and retain Generation Z employees than those without. Additionally, it’s important to have accessible management for professional support.
Generation Z also wants their work to be beneficial to their community. That’s not just community projects/charity but consumer products and services they feel improve people’s lives. Ethical, fair trade and sustainable are your buzzwords for this generation. Sure, they want company perks but more so they want to be able to tell their friends that their work makes a difference so think “benefits over features”.
Speaking of perks… a chasmal difference between Generation Z and Millennials is perks. Video-games in the break-room doesn’t pique Generation Z, instead they are driven by experiences and good old-fashioned benefits like insurance, gym membership and bonuses.
They want to attend conferences and visit expositions to network and learn new things that will benefit their career far more than a juice bar in the break room.
Generation Z has matured into one of the most uncertain periods in employment history. They’re leaving their formal education setting with little expectation of walking into a job-for-life like their parents and grandparents.
The gig economy, digital nomadism and career diversification is entirely standard for Generation Z. A decade ago, a CV of a 25-year-old with 10 different jobs would have been a red flag. In the next decade it’ll be commonplace. As such, opportunities for career development and promotion are huge; even if that means diversifying – in fact, as covered in a former point, they’d love the chance to learn new skills.
Generation Z will refuse to stagnate and will move on in search of bigger and better offers. For them professional loyalty is a two-way street. They won’t stick around if all they’re getting is a paycheque.
Flexible working was popularised by Millennials but there is still a stigma attached to remote working. Generation Z is going to change that.
To Millennials and Generation Z alike, the 9-5 is an antiquated, unproductive system and they’d launch it into the sun if they could. Of course, there are caveats but by and large Generation Z will want the flexibility to work when they are most productive. Flexible working hours isn’t possible for all workplaces but businesses who wish to compete for the best talent will need to find some form of flexibility.
Businesses must adapt to the expectations of Generation Z as they enter the workforce. By shifting recruitment and management tactics, businesses can attract the best talent and push into the future quicker than their competitors.