The Z-generation is about to arrive in the working world.
We analyse their expectations, their hopes, and how employers can adapt.
Hyper-connected, with a political conscience and an entrepreneurial spirit, the Z-generation is mature, which has different implications on how we live and work. Born between 1995 and 2010, they will represent up to 40% of US consumers by 2020.
In recent years, the problems of recruitment and staff retention of their predecessors (Generation Y or millennials) have caused a lot of stress. But what about the arrival of Z-generation on the job market? As this coincides with the retirement of the baby boomers and the accession of Generation Y to management positions, the dynamics of the world of work are called to undergo important changes. We analyze what distinguishes the members of Z-generation from their predecessors, and what these differences imply for employers.
They are real “digital natives”
If Y-generation members are technophiles, they are surpassed by those of Z-generation, who for the most part have been immersed in the Internet world from birth. They are multitasking pros, able to process information quickly through their experience in multidimensional learning, entertainment and communication environments. However, this ability to analyse and filter content rapidly is also accompanied by a lower attention span: 8 seconds, compared with 12 seconds in the year 2000.
To capture and attract the attention of this population, companies need a multiplatform approach incorporating sophisticated use of social channels. Short, visual-based content will be more likely to be compelling, as will professional technologies that empower employees and enhance their expertise.
The addiction to digital devices that characterizes Z-generation must also be taken into account: employers can take advantage of it by finding useful applications in the workplace for personal technologies.
They have the entrepreneurial spirit
Having been brought up in an uncertain economic environment and well aware of the financial burden of going to university, Z-generation members are more likely to drop out of higher education to take up a job or start their own business.
According to a study by Millennial Branding and Internships.com, 72% of high school students in the United States want to start their own business. Similarly, according to Universum, more than half of all members of the Z Generation globally have the same ambitions. We also see that this population is more politically and socially committed, with the will to find a position that will have a positive impact on the world.
Z-generation members will thus be more difficult to recruit and retain. A survey carried out in 2015 by Adecco Staffing USA highlights this fact, indicating that 83% of students consider that the duration of their first job will not exceed three years. Almost a quarter (27%) plan to leave after one year or less.
To maintain the attractiveness of traditional employment, companies must give their novice employees opportunities to innovate, develop their entrepreneurial spirit and work with clearly defined objectives. Having a solid training program is crucial. Seeing things by overcoming established hierarchies is also a good thing.
Their professional priorities are diverse
Z-generation members are particularly demanding with regard to their career prospects, and are likely to do extensive research on their potential employers. Their priorities are the subject of much debate, with surveys revealing a wide variety of motivations. An international study carried out by Universum shows that 40% have as their main priorities the balance between work and private life on the one hand, and job security on the other. According to a global survey conducted by Monster, health coverage, compensation and a boss worthy of respect are also key factors. At the same time, their open and globalized value system will encourage many to prefer a work environment that favours openness and diversity.
Finally, as Z-generation members have an enlightened approach to brands and their marketing methods, it is important to be imaginative and transparent in your recruitment and training efforts to successfully retain them.
Source ThinkProgress – Lenovo