What do you need to know about Generation Z?

Who are generation Z?

The generation to follow millennials, generation Z’s are emerging as the next best thing for market researchers and trend forecasters – for this reason employers need to take note!

Depending on which report you favour, generation Z’s (sometimes called ‘the centennials’), will have a birthdate between 1996 and 2010.

What are their traits?

According to one advertising giant, this group appear to have a much more fluid approach to gender identity than any generation before them. They focus on individualism, ‘being who they want to be!’

Generation Z’s are also the first generation to be raised in the era of smartphones, they are unlikely to remember life before social media. Consequently, generations Z’s may establish some of their closest relationships with people they have met via digital platforms.

Why are they important to employers?

Employers will remember the impact that the first millennials made to their workplace with their different approach and perspectives of work. According to Randstad (global recruiters) research, this impact is likely to be magnified with generation Z’s. Generation Z’s will bring an enhanced entrepreneurial spirit, as well as commitment and loyalty that employers often reported missing in millennials.

Generation Z’s are also tipped to be more independent and self-directed than generations before them and will lead the way with flexible working as they remain connected 24 hours a day.

What do they look for from an employer?

Generation Z’s are different because they are the first generation to put ‘social purpose’ at the top of their shopping list when taking that first step on the career ladder. Their strong social values will result in less focus on salary and benefits when choosing between employers but a varied workload that adds value to the organisation, personal development and career progression are likely to be attractive.

Generation Z’s will also expect 24 hour connectivity and access to cutting edge technology.

What should employers do to make their organisation attractive to generation Z’s?

Savvy employers already recognise the importance of inclusivity in attracting the best candidates regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background. This approach will not only be effective in attracting generation Z’s but it will also enable current staff to feel valued.

Employers that empower their staff to be the best they can possibly be will not only be attractive to generation Z’s but these employers will see reduced levels of staff turnover than those that limit opportunity and progression.

So in short employers do need to consider how attractive their workplace culture is to generation Z’s but in doing that they must not lose sight of the needs of current staff. The exception to this might be the opportunity for the employer to attract more 16 to 18 year olds into the workplace. This is an area that is expected to grow, not just because the new UK apprenticeship standards will offer more than 600 different standards (including degree level apprenticeships), compared to 250 under the old apprentice framework, but also because the rising cost of a traditional university degree in the UK will likely result in the new apprenticeship framework becoming an attractive alternative.

Contact Edwina to discuss how you can make your organisation more inclusive or to learn more about the new apprenticeship framework.