- Generation Z will be graduating from college and entering the workplace in greater numbers over the next few years. As the first generation to grow up in our hyper-connected world, Gen Z will present new challenges to companies attempting to recruit talent in this age group. Contrary to common belief, Gen Z has distinct goals and expectations that contrast with Millennials. In this article, we’ll discuss the traits that will make a workplace attractive to this generation of workers.
By | Michelle Laurey
As the first generation to grow up in our hyper-connected world, Gen Z will present new challenges to companies attempting to recruit talent in this age group.
Contrary to common belief, Gen Z has distinct goals and expectations that contrast with Millennials.
In this article, we’ll discuss the traits that will make a workplace attractive to this generation of workers.
One of the biggest concerns Generation Z brings to their careers is the need for financial security.
This concern stems from growing up through the market crash and the Great Recession that began in 2009.
Many Gen Zers watched their parents who felt secure suddenly lose stable incomes and struggle to change careers in the years that followed.
Employers who offer a stable future and opportunities to advance a career will be more attractive to Gen Z.
Gen Z values organizations that have transparent promotion and internal hiring processes.
They expect that demonstrable skills and measurable results will be the primary way candidates advance their careers.
Organizations that are driven by political machinations or which are not clear about paths of advancement will struggle to keep Gen Z employees.
Companies that create a level playing field and promote employees based on aim measurements of success will seem fair and comprehensible to Gen Z workers.
Promotion of Independent Work
In some ways, Gen Z mimics the independent streak that’s clear in Gen X employees.
They prefer to work alone on projects that won’t depend on others for success beyond what is necessary.
They like personal office space more than open collaborative work areas. Some of this independence comes from a desire to be in control of their performance.
They want to determine their own futures and not have their results diluted or co-opted by other employees, which is a different motivation than Gen X employees who grew up more socially independent than their children.
Gen Z’s independent work style also means that remote work arrangements are ideal for them. It gives them better control of their work schedule and workspace.
Remote work also dovetails with consulting and freelance relationships with Generation Zers.
Generation Z has been multitasking since childhood after growing up with mobile devices and computers.
They take it for granted that they will juggle multiple projects and relationships in the workplace and may feel under-stimulated if their work is focused on a single project or task.
If they have downtime waiting for another employee to complete a task, a Gen Z employee will be more likely to expect another task to work on in the meantime.
Crafting positions that multitask will help organizations align with Gen Z.
Tolerance of Entrepreneurial Projects
Gen Z is even more entrepreneurial than the Millennials, mainly because they want to find non-traditional ways to succeed.
Employees will more often have side businesses that they pursue outside of work, which means more opportunities for conflicts if it’s not managed properly.
Organizations with strong and clear policies about personal businesses among employees will be more attractive to Gen Zers.
If employee self-employment ventures are a potential problem in a company’s industry, recruiters should be upfront about it as they court Gen Z talent.
More Face-to-Face Meetings
One of the less intuitive traits that Gen Zers will appreciate is a culture that emphasizes face-to-face meetings over video conferencing or group phone calls.
Remote Gen Z employees will want to meet their coworkers in person at team events periodically.
The reason for this is that Gen Z employees have used mobile and web technologies from an early age and found them to create superficial relationships.
As a result, they are more concerned about building strong interpersonal relationships through direct contact as least periodically.
Otherwise, Gen Zers are more likely to disengage.
Integration of Digital Technology
Gen Z more than any generation before them has fully internalized today’s digital and internet technology. Organizations that are slow to adopt these technologies will appear obsolete and regressive to Gen Zers.
They’ll advocate for the adoption of technologies like cloud applications and workplace chat software, not to mention mobile devices and computers.
A good way to prepare for Generation Z is to adopt forward-looking technology tools and to stay on the leading edge.
Unlike previous generations, Gen Zers will expect to learn new technologies periodically rather than resist them.
Along the same lines as their desire for more face-to-face interaction, Gen Zers have a more one-on-one concept of leadership.
Their parents were more involved in their lives than previous generations. That close involvement with authority figures means they expect supervisors and managers to take an active interest in mentoring them.
Organizations that implement coaching and mentoring policies will make Gen Zers feel more at home. They’ll also be better motivated when they receive frequent encouragement from their leaders.
A Skill-Based Hiring Process
The days when it was possible to quickly compare candidates by looking at their level of education and subject areas are going away.
Generation Z is graduating with a variety of degrees, some of which are cross-disciplinary degrees difficult to compare to standard courses of study.
The result is that the selection process for interviews will need to focus more on skills and knowledge rather than level of education.
Otherwise, many qualified Gen Z applicants will fall through the cracks.
With each new generation, employers need to make accommodations for the expectation and personality differences with previous generations.
This difficulty has sped up with Millennials and Generation Z because of the technological revolution that they’ve grown up with.
Organizations that plan for changes to their workplace culture that make Gen Zers feel at home will be more successful at retaining talent in their ranks.
About the Author
Michelle works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge watches Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter.