Move over, millennials, Generation Z is making its way into the workforce.
Born between 1995-2010, Generation Z (also frequently referred to as Digital Natives) are the next big buzzword. Set to fill 20% of the workforce by 2020, this generation is the largest yet – here’s what your business needs to know about them.
Key Characteristics Of Generation Z:
“Gen Z understands that there’s a need for constant skill development in order to stay relevant. Their parents likely taught them the importance of working hard, and that no one will hand them their success. This generation is willing to work hard, but they expect to be rewarded for it.” – Source
1. Hardworking – but motivated by financial security.
Due to growing up in times of financial instability (the greatest economic instability since the Great Depression) and likely watching their parents struggle with money, Gen Z are eager to be financially stable. They value hard work and stability.
2. Digital Natives
Growing up with technology, Gen Z earned the moniker “Digital Natives”. They are the first generation to be intrinsically connected to the digital world; as a result, they’re great at adapting constantly to new technology and software.
Combining the first two points, this is the generation of continuous learning. Used to an ever-changing job market, skills becoming redundant and technology completely overhauling, Gen Z realises the importance of keeping their skill-set updated.
However, due to their constant connection, Gen Z are also used to teaching themselves. They’ve grown up sorting through the large amounts of information available at their fingertips – and utilising it. Independent learners, they tend to pick things up quickly and are more than happy to problem-solve without micro-management.
While Generation Z can have lower attention spans than their Millennial counterparts, they make up for it in their unprecedented ability to multi-task. Growing up looking between phones, iPods, laptops, computers, television screens, workbooks and homework, the digital natives are used to seamlessly switching between medias effectively.
5. Early starters
Driven by witnessing the past generation struggle to find jobs out of university – and driven to start gaining financial stability as soon as possible – Gen Z are getting onto the career ladder earlier.
“I was told that there’s winners and losers, and if I’m not willing to work my butt off there are 70 million other people that are going to come right up behind you and take your job,” Jonah Stillman says. “We are a very competitive and driven generation.” – Source
How Your Business Can Attract and Retain Gen Z:
This generation is competitive, ambitious – and looking to settle in and start moving up quickly. If your business doesn’t meet their needs, hiring Generation Z will be difficult – and retaining them impossible.
The first thing your business needs to offer is the possibility of progression. This generation are pragmatic, with one eye to the future; therefore, every job is an opportunity and a step towards their future.
What progression does your business offer? Can they grow within the company or develop a strong skillset that will help them develop outside the company?
In terms of a long-term career, how does your business help them?
2. Flexible working
Furthermore, this is the generation to follow on from the “work life balance” pioneers – and they’re always connected. To Generation Z, working remotely is just as, if not more, efficient as being in the office.
Does your business offer flexible working options?
3. Constant learning
The world is ever-changing – and there’s always more to learn. Jobs we’re doing today could be obsolete this time next year; jobs everyone’s competing for in ten years might not exist yet!
Because of this, Gen Z want to constantly be learning new skills, to prepare them for whatever the future holds.
Does your business offer opportunities for learning and development of new skills?
4. A modern workplace
Finally, these are the Digital Natives – technology is almost an integral part of their DNA. Slow computers, outdated operating systems, lack of technology . . . these are all going to be largely off-putting.
Are your business’s offices up to date?
Hopefully, this helped to shed some light on the latest generation arriving to the workplace! If you’d like some tips for managing multiple generations at work, feel free to read our post here.