Not ready to hire Gen Z? Perhaps you’ve no idea who Gen Z is? It’s time to take notice because, by 2030, 20% of the population will be Gen Z. And most of those will be working with businesses like yours.
Who is Gen Z?
Most millennials are now in their late 20s or early 30s. Chances are they’ve risen through your ranks already and are part of your management team. Gen Z is the population cohort that came next. Those born in the late 1990s or early 2000s who are now starting to enter the jobs market. And they’re different from millennials, just as millennials were unlike those who came before them.
They have a different outlook on life and work balance. They think more carefully about money, and they certainly offer something refreshing with their work skills and mastery of technology. With the oldest Gen Z now being around 23, many are already in the working population because they’re more likely to have gone straight into work from school. Of those who went to university, they’re now emerging, waving their degree certificates.
What is Gen Z looking for in a workplace?
Hold onto your hats because Gen Z will demand a lot but reward you for it. They are the digital generation, brought up surrounded by hi-tech, convenience gadgets that intensify and speed up work and play. Where millennials used the dial-up internet and brick-like mobile phones, Gen Z went to school with an iPhone after spending all night streaming extraordinary multi-person games through their Xbox.
Technology is, therefore, the first workplace requirement of Gen Z. They’ll be frustrated if you don’t use and embrace the latest tech. A mobile generation, they’ll think nothing of moving to a different job if it suits them. The group was born in a different world. 9/11 had changed the political landscape, and the 2008 economic crash taught them the value of money. Gen Z is driven and sees progress as a reward for hard work and innovation, rather than luck or “who you know”.
They are self-motivated, keen to up-skill and learn new things to better their chance of success. Your business needs to be onboard with training and opportunities to keep Gen Z’s interest alive. But that’s a good thing since your new workforce is evolving and meeting new challenges
How to hire and train Gen Z
Gen Z wants to know what their job will be, what their short-term goals are, what training you’ll offer them and what they could then be doing a year from now. Your business should be savvy about working benefits like flexi-time. Gen Z works fast, multi-tasking and achieving more in a short space of time. You must reflect that by embracing leisure, team-building pursuits or downtime. And because Gen Z grew up amid political and economic storms, they’re more socially aware. By portraying your business as being pro-social justice, or a positive force for charity, Gen Z will want to contribute. Offer them financial wellbeing support, and they’ll welcome the chance to invest in their future.
What can you learn from Gen Z?
Gen Z employees are quick-thinkers and masters of tech. Older employees could learn from them so that mentoring programmes can be a two-way process. Gen Z is keen to learn so will embrace mentorship, but they now offer something to the mentor as well, teaching them about social media, for example.
They see opportunities in tech or product innovation that others may not have. And they’ll resent their voice not being heard. Involve them in problem-solving from a fresh perspective.