Stay Vigilant: Generation Z Is Entering the Workforce

Not so long ago, the word “millennial” was, probably, the most popular term in HR and recruiting. Everyone had been trying to understand who millennial’s are, what do they want, how to manage them, and what are the best strategies for recruitment and retaining.

Now millennials are grown-up employees, and many of them have already passed a junior level in their careers. They are no longer a tough nut for managers, in fact, there are millennial managers who prepare for a new wave of workers knocking on the door. Generation Z has just graduated, and it’s expected to be the most extraordinary generation in the workforce.

Generation Z: Who They Are

Generation Z is a generation of people born after 1996. According to statistics, there are about 61 million Gen Zers in the U.S., which is 70% the size of the baby boomers and more than Generation X. This new generation was raised in completely different conditions than millennials, in fact, it’s the first generation that doesn’t remember a life without gadgets. They grew up during the global financial crisis followed by the Great Recession. As a result, this generation has a much better understanding of finances than their predecessors. Their parents started talking about money with kids earlier. They realize the importance of financial independence and don’t want to repeat the mistakes of their parents, which makes them motivated and determined.

Gen Zers are the first digital natives in history. They are used to getting any information instantly, being aware of all the latest news and dependent on social media. According to research by the Center for Generational Kinetics, 42% of Gen Zers admit that social media impact their self-image directly. As a result, they are looking for better standards of living. At the same time, they value freedom and flexibility.

The eldest of this new generation, who are in their 20s, are already saving for retirement. Many experts describe them as serious-minded and pragmatic, however, many managers are not optimistic about communicating with this generation. According to the data of the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, older generations have doubts about new professionals. Although they are less labeled as lazy than millennials, almost 30% of workplace managers expect difficulties with management and training.

What Do They Want

The new generation of workers demands new methods of hiring. It’s not enough to just tell about your company and offer a competitive salary. Gen Zers value marketing efforts and proper branding. Companies need to present them visually and explain what makes them unique. New professionals are willing to live a meaningful life and work for a company that really matters to them. Moreover, up to 20% of them would take a pay cut if it helped them do what they like and what they consider their passion. They also value flexibility more than healthcare. Having a flexible schedule, they would like to work in a corporate office, being motivated by their peers and learning from them.

As the global economy almost hit rock bottom in 2008, Generation Z started to have doubts about the security and stability of big companies. Thus, they are more inclined towards entrepreneurship and more self-reliant in general. In addition, they easily adopt all the technological innovations and learn fast, which makes them confident about starting their own business. They understand how business works and they want to be business owners.

Another distinctive feature of Gen Zers is that they don’t want to work in one country. They like to travel and consider it a lifestyle and fashion. A millennials’ dream about traveling and working from a laptop becomes the most ordinary expectation of Gen Z. According to a study by Expedia, younger people travel on business more often, and more than 60% of Gen Zers state that they want to work in several countries in their careers.

How to Work With Generation Z

Focus on their personal purpose
Gen Zers like to contribute and they are interested in companies that can present their mission as the most important part of the business. All you need to do is explain your mission in the best way possible and help new workers find a use for their brand-awareness, personal motivation, technology talents, and the idea of having a purpose.

Create engaging activities

This generation hunts for new experiences. Even though they spend most of their lives online and don’t record voicemails, using texting instead, they still value in-person communications and are really determined to live their lives to the fullest. Engaging events motivate them even more than material things, and every employer should take it into account.

Focus on technology and efficiency
Even though millennials are tech-cultured, they are used to Facebook and Myspace rather than instant social media, like Snapchat or WhatsApp. Gen Z values speed and efficiency in everything. Therefore, young professionals are attracted by technology more than their predecessors.

Get comfortable with creativity
Conservative managers are about to face the biggest challenges ever. Traditional tactics like “command and control” won’t work with the new generation of the workforce, as it’s focused on personal motivation and recognition. Managers need to support a creative work environment that will replace micromanagement and help employees apply their creative talent.

Develop new leadership strategies
A traditional leadership system that involves an alpha-leader managing employees in an authoritative manner is what every company is going to get rid of, in order to attract new talents. Gen Zers are excited by the idea of co-leadership, so you must involve more beta-leaders and implement smart management based on consensus-building and understanding.

Although millennials caused many shifts in the organization of the workplace and management, like remote work or new approaches to motivation, Generation Z is looking for even more tangible changes, having its particular tastes and expectations. However, these changes are worth attracting young professionals because they provide an increased value. You just need to keep them engaged and show that you have many objectives in common.

About the Author
Berta Melder is an experienced brand manager and co-founder of the Masterra Professional Writing Services, creative writer and enthusiastic blogger. Being passionate about her job, she cooperates with different education courses covering a broad range of digital topics as a guest lecturer. Follow her on Twitter.

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