Meet Generation Z Part I

May 4, 2016

Who are they and what are their work expectations?

Barb Miller (2)The next largest generation is ready to enter the workforce this month. The generation has been coined “Generation Z” or “Gen Z.”  Gen Z refers to the group of people born after the Millennial Generation. There is no agreement on the exact range of birth dates however, according to Wikipedia, some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s or from the mid-2000s to the present day. As of this month, they represent 7% of the workforce but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed.

This generation is the most digitally connected and they have no concept about life before the Internet, mobile devices, digital games, or iTunes. This screen based generation utilizes technology as a tool to communicate, share information, be entertained, receive and complete school assignments, obtain breaking news, and so much more in every aspect of their lives.

What do hiring managers need to know about Gen Z’s arrival in the workplace?

  • They expect leadership to be transparent. Because Gen Z knows the power of sharing and openness, they want leaders to be honest and forthcoming. There will be no place to hide for inept leaders.
  • They want leaders to provide immediate results. Gen Z is used to real-time information and moving at a fast pace. They want leaders to offer exposure to new projects as well as show them how to attain a high level position in a short period of time.
  • They have an entrepreneurial spirit. 72% of Gen Z expects to create and run their own startups at some point in their career (HRCloud.com). This means heavy competition. Organizations will not only have to compete against each other for talent but against entrepreneurial startups.
  • They may help companies derive possible cost savings. Expect a savings by hiring Gen Z.  Since they’re transient and want to work remotely from any location in the world, you’ll probably save on office space, infrastructure, and relocation.
  •  They expect higher education. For the most part, when talking to Gen Z, they plan on traditional college careers but it’s as much for the social benefits and networking connections as it is for honing IT skills. After graduation, most plan to gain higher education and many plan to accomplish this through online learning.
  • They plan for idealistic generation. They want to change the world, feel that their work has to be of value to society, and love the idea of volunteer work, which many are already doing.

No doubt, Gen Z will have a strong influence on the workplace and affect both HR and technology initiatives. Employers need to find business solutions and processes that will work for this generation as they enter the workplace.

Are you a member of Gen Z or a hiring manager? If so, share a story about Gen Z entering in the workplace.