3 ways HR teams should get ready for Generation Z

Charlotte Nicol
Published on 29th June 2017
2 min read

You’ve just got a handle on the wants and needs of millennials in the workplace and now you’re hearing that Generation Z – those born after 1996 – are a whole different breed.

Gen Z has grown up with technology in their hands. From buying everything they need online and having their entire lives broadcast on social media, to coming of age alongside smartphones, these individuals bring a different mindset to the workplace.

Unlike their millennial counterparts, they are more practical and more financially-driven, with a preference for self-learning and a desire for immediate results.

The maturest of Gen Z are approaching 21, and by 2020 will account for one third of the U.S. population, so if you want to recruit the top talent from this group, now is the time to understand what these young people are looking for from the world of work.

1. Recruiting Gen Z: get creative

Today’s always-on culture means that Generation Z are used to having everything at their fingertips, and receiving instant results. For this tech-savvy breed, that generic, text-only job ad will do little to excite them or get them to apply.

A range of job-hunting apps have sprung up that mimic the same functionality as Tinder or Snapchat. One leading contender is JobSnap which has been created to specifically target Gen Z. The app follows the swipe left and right model but instead of images and profile, job seekers and employers upload 30-second videos to sell themselves.

Undercoverrecruiter.com has rounded up the five best new recruiting apps here, but however you hook them in, Gen Z job seekers expect a faster turnaround from job application to job offer than any other generation before them.

2. Development for Gen Z: traditional training won’t cut it

Traditional classroom training in the workplace will not cut it with this new generation. They want engaging, interactive learning experiences.

According to research by Barnes & Noble College,  half (51%) of Gen Z learn by doing, so working through examples. 38% learn by seeing – for example, reading through training materials. And just 12% learn by listening, such as sitting in a classroom lecture.

Many of them will be self-taught in a range of technology and software from watching YouTube how-to videos, and from setting up their own online businesses whilst still at school and college.

However, although they are very independent and technologically savvy, Gen Zers value face-to-face interaction and collaboration.

3. Map a career path for Gen Z

In a study of 20,000 15-20 year olds across 20 countries, when asked what was important in their current or future careers, young people globally said that developing skills was the most important factor (24%).

Pay came a close second (23%) followed by career progression (19%), and the opportunity to travel and meet new people was the fourth most important factor when thinking about a career (15%).

While they define themselves in digital terms, Gen Z also craves an environment where they can share with and collaborate with their peers.

 Gen Z: the most engaged?

Overall, this new generation of workers will bring with them a range of technical skills and confidence in self-development that the workplace hasn’t seen before. Their want and need for instant gratification will have to extend throughout their employment experience – similar to what they get in their daily online interactions, they want real-time, continuous feedback on how they are doing and what they can do better in their work life.

Though this generation may seem more demanding, if their needs are met they are likely to stay and grow with the company, so Gen Z could boost staff retention and become the most engaged members of staff within your organization.

Today’s workforce now includes five generations. With traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, Millennials and Gen Z all jostling for success, read our ’17-70′ report on how to get the most from a multi-generational workforce.

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HR Strategy Modern Workforces