With Millennials firmly established in the workplace its now time to focus attention on Generation Z – don’t make the mistake of thinking the two generations are one and the same.
To provide some context, Millennials (Generation Y) are roughly classified as being born sometime in the 80s to early 90s. The oldest are now in their 30s and nudging leadership roles; according to UN population data they are forecast to make up 35% of the global workforce in 2020.
Generation Z (Post-Millennials, iGeneration) were born between the mid 90’s and 2015. While the majority are yet to enter the labour force, they are predicted to account for 24% of the global workforce in 2020. The challenge for businesses will be understanding them, their drivers and motivators, and adapting the organisational value proposition and attraction strategy to entice them as prospective employees.
Here’s what we’ve found:
Gen Zers were born and brought up during the current age of digital technology so its no surprise to hear that they are extremely tech-savvy and are most comfortable communicating via online social channels. A recent study by Dell Technologies revealed that 91% of Gen Z teens say that the technology offered by an employer would influence their job choice.
This is a generation who have never experienced a world without the convenience and speed of digital. It’s time to review your candidate experience and ask whether it will engage them in the right way – think Snapchat/Insta, online company reviews, automated scheduling, AI virtual hiring assistants and on-demand interviews. Plus, what internal platforms are you using – is your business Cloud based, what internal communication tools are you using in your business to keep people connected?
Office perks (free food, coffee machines etc) are great but for this generation they want something more meaningful. They value culture, career pathways, opportunities for growth and development and trust in senior leadership. That could translate into rotational programs, shadowing, and offering more learning and development opportunities including microlearning.
Gen Zers are also seeking purpose; they are aligning themselves with brands that are authentic. How this manifests in their employment choices is that they will likely hunt out businesses that are purpose-driven, look for managers who demonstrate honesty and integrity and be motivated by organisations that genuinely embrace diversity and inclusion.
Technology, devices and online tools have given Gen Zers endless access to knowledge – if they have a question, they are more likely to Google the answer than ask someone for advice. That independence influences their preference for how they work – they are looking for freedom, flexibility and autonomy in a role. For businesses that means offering flexible working conditions or demonstrating the responsibility and ownership that comes with a role.
The majority of Gen Zers were in their youth during the Great Recession/Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and they remember the impact. As a result, they seek stability but also relish a bit of competition (and recognition). Combine this with the fact that this generation is keen to improve their performance and advance their career. In business, this has implications in the way you recognise and measure performance – and how often. For example, 60% of Gen Zers want multiple check-ins with their manager throughout the week rather than the standard annual performance review process.
Generation Z is well on their way to the workforce. The time to lay the foundations for attracting Gen Zers to your business is now. It will firmly position you to successfully compete in the future talent market.
If you are looking for direction and assistance with understanding your employment brand and the steps you need to take to secure top talent into the future, get in touch with us.
The Decipher Team
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