Gen Z: Preparing the Workplace for the Next Generation

You must be familiar with the “Millenials” or Generation Y; they have been getting quite a bad rep for some time now. Following close on their heels is Generation Z, the group born between 1996 and 2012. Yes, many of these are still too young to be joining the workforce; however, the older Gen Zs will be around 23. This generation was born amid the digital boom when smartphones, WiFi, cloud computing, etc. were shaping and changing our communication and consumption habits. Also called as Digital Natives, they have grown up with a tablet or a smartphone at their disposable, giving them access to a repertoire of knowledge and online tools.

A considerable section of this group is fresh out of university or tertiary study and trying to kick-start their careers. This is a core group that you will be looking to hire, and you need to understand what drives them, their expectations, ambitions, and long-term goals to successfully recruit and retain them.

Here are a few ways you can prepare for Gen Z to be a part of your working family:

1)     Get Tech Savvy:
Gen Z has been raised in the digital world, and they are always adopting and adapting to new technology. They are accustomed to the speed and convenience of the digital age. Make your job application process seamless, ensuring all functions on your online forms are error and bug-free. It will also do you well to upgrade your workplace to accommodate these Digital Natives.

2)     Offer More Than $$$:
When it comes to considering a job opportunity, the Gen Zers will look for more than just the figures on their payslip. They are looking for value. Your work culture, career advancement opportunities, value system, leadership, and other perks will also figure in their decision-making process.

3)     Value for Their Time: Traditional 9-5 job schedules may not always appeal to the new generation. The fact that they carry their smartphones everywhere makes them very accessible, even after office hours. It might help to structure a more fluid work schedule where they don’t feel like they are whiling away their precious time when there isn’t much to do at work.

4)     Shared Values: Many Gen Zers are very invested in social issues and causes. If they find their potential company reflecting their value system, it will make them want to be a part of it. Aligning with the right causes, being socially forward, adopting environment-friendly habits, embracing diversity, and demonstrating inclusivity may just be things they want their new company to have.

5)     Independence: They have all the information available to them at their fingertips. Google, YouTube and Instagram have all made them extremely self-sufficient. If they encounter a problem, they are most likely to look it up online and troubleshoot. They will want to work in a place that celebrates their independence and provides them with opportunities where they can demonstrate their skills.

Gen Z is poised to disrupt the recruitment process and workplace norms. It is best to start experimenting and tweaking the recruitment process now for this group.

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