Just when you thought you had figured out Millennials, Generation Z is now entering the workforce. A whopping 72.8 million individuals are included in this group born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s.
For the last few years, Millennials have dominated many L&D conversations, but the new generation joining the workforce, Generation Z, have very unique needs. As the first generation to only know life with mobile and internet technology, they encompass an overall different attitude about the world and, thus, work. Companies need to know what the priorities of these job seekers are as Generation Z will represent 20% of the workforce by the year 2020.
Are you ready?
Generation Z wants to know that they are making a positive impact in their organization with the security of having opportunities for growth. They value mentorships and want to know what is expected of them. They have goals and need a clear path to reach them. They don’t expect to get paid for just showing up; but, they do want to be generously paid in salary and benefits for their work efforts. Like most people, they seek job security in a flexible environment.
For Generation Z, safety means they are looking for stability and that opportunities to advance within a company are based on performance. They want to know what the rules are, and that they are fair. They’re okay with taking risks to stretch and grow. Is it safe to take risks at your company? They need an environment where they can be independent, competitive and even territorial. 35% of Gen Zers would rather share socks than office space. Gen Zers are very entrepreneurial and want to ‘own’ their projects and areas in the organization—here’s where the mattering comes in. They see their peers experiencing mattering every day in their social media feeds, so recognition needs to happen on a regular basis, once a year is not going to cut it. Does your company culture work this way?
Aligning Your L&D Efforts to Support Generation Z
Generation Z value who they work for. They want to work for organizations that have integrity. Attracting these job seekers means you must position the positive traits of your organization. Philanthropy and social consciousness is important to this generation, so take advantage of social media to highlight how your organization works and through training and development, as a good steward to society.
Generation Z is tech savvy, especially when it comes to their smart phones, so your recruiting efforts should reflect this. Post jobs online and make it easy for applicants to apply right from their phones. Additionally, instead of sending emails or calling applicants about the status of their applications, send text messages. A good applicant tracking system will allow you to send batch SMS messages and create automatic replies.
As much as Generation Z engages heavily with technology, they still value face-to-face time always ensure that this a key component for employee development within the organization.
Consider non-traditional work and education experiences as Generation Z has learned in more explorative ways than previous generations.
Generation Z will start entering the workforce by the boatload over the next five years. Like the millennial generation that came before it, Gen Z will be bringing an entirely different set of qualities, needs and wants to the table. L&D executives must begin preparing for Generation Z as they look to continue their company’s growth in the years to come. Make sure to join us at this year’s Chief Learning Officer Forum taking place on October 24th- 26th in Boston to ensure you have all the tools needs for today’s and the future workforce.