Are you ready for Generation Z?
Move over millennials, it’s now time for a new cohort to enter the workforce. It’s thought that by 2020, Generation Z (those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) will make up 20 per cent of Employees. So, to find the brightest school leavers and graduates in the future, you’ll need to understand how their motivations differ from their predecessors. We’ve looked at the latest research and outlined our findings to give you a head start.
Work-life integration rather than work-life balance
Technology has not only changed the way businesses operate; it’s blurred the boundaries between home life and the office. The ability to work flexibly from any location has many advantages, however, it can also mean that Employees remain ‘switched on’ responding to calls, e-mails and requests 24/7. That said, are we missing something in our attempts to separate the two? Research from Gartner suggests that Generation Z is already comfortable with technology’s ability to connect work life to home life and vice versa. As a result, they’re less likely to compartmentalise these things. It’s no longer about working hard and playing hard. Instead, ‘work should accommodate play, and play should be incorporated with work’. As an Employer, it’ll be important to consider how you can create the right environment to support this concept.
The consumer Candidate
When it comes to the job process, Generation Z has high expectations. They’re technologically savvy - they’re used to responding immediately to smartphone messages – which means they also expect the same standards from Employers. Research from Business Wire found that this cohort of workers is more likely to hang up if the phone is not answered within 45 seconds. Many have abandoned applying for online bank accounts because the form was too lengthy – so it’s unlikely that they’ll be tolerant of complicated, time consuming application processes either. Now, more than ever, you should treat potential Employees as you would consumers. Creating a stand-out Candidate experience, which really sells the role available is key. These job hunters have grown up in a world where technology has helped to make many aspects of our lives faster, simpler and more convenient. Why not follow suit and look at how you can improve your recruitment process?
Prioritising job stability over perks
A survey of nearly 800 members of Generation Z revealed their top priorities for the job search as: growth opportunities, generous pay, making a positive impact and role security. If you’re planning to attract these workers with a wide range of perks and benefits, think again. This is a generation which remembers the 2008 economic crisis, including any impact it may have had on acquaintances. A report from Kronos in the US found that ‘more than half of Gen Zers worldwide (54 per cent) – including 62 per cent in the UK’ listed pay as the most important thing when applying for their first job. It’s not that these Employees expect a job for life, but they want to know that they can benefit from time spent with an Employer. They want to build up a valuable skillset, helping them to adapt in a fast-paced, changing world, and to make sure they’re receiving the right renumeration.
A strong sense of social responsibility
This is something that Generation Z share with millennials. While salaries are important for this new cohort, research also suggests that 30 per cent of these workers would take a 10 to 20 per cent pay cut to work for a company with a mission they deeply care about. In the consumer world, younger generations are more likely to be swayed by purchases which are sustainable or environmentally friendly – and the same applies to job hunting. In particular, Generation Z values a work environment where it’s possible to share your views and opinions. A top-down structure, which lacks this type of platform, is less likely to be suitable. For many Candidates in this age bracket, it’s important to know that your manager shares your ethos. Honesty and integrity come top in a list of desired traits needed in a new boss. Therefore, as an Employer it’s worth thinking about your management style. Do you have leaders who are able to champion CSR initiatives, and who are open to a flat, collaborative structure where everyone can contribute ideas?