Members of Generation Z are arriving in the workplace at a fast pace. With the eldest members of this generation being around 23-24 years old, you may already have GenZers within your business. Many of this generation have come into the workplace fresh out of education, looking to work for a technologically advanced, diverse and challenging place to work for. But the question is, is your workplace ready for them?
They have taken to technology like a duck to water…
If you ask a member of Generation Z, can they remember a time when they didn’t have access to a mobile phone or tablet, their answer will be no. Instead of being given a shiny pair of keys to distract them as babies, they were given some kind of tablet or mobile phone. They have grown up surrounded by advanced technology and social media, which has had a massive effect on their views and habits and as a result, will have a huge effect on the way they will shape the UK workforce.
Since their early teens, Generation Z have grown up managing their own personal brand across multiple social media platforms, creating a presence online, as well as in the ‘real world’. Platforms such as YouTube, have helped them increase this online presence. YouTube is now filled with videos of young people ‘Vlogging’, reviewing and showcasing makeup, skin care brands and clothing. Video platforms have created ‘micro-entrepreneurial’ opportunities for this generation. With the success of YouTubers such as Zoella and Jo Sugg, making millions from filming themselves from their bedrooms, Vlogging has become a new career option for young people, replacing more traditional career paths such as bricklaying and plumbing, for example.
Not only are platforms such as Youtube a new career option for GenZers, it is also a place they go to learn. According to a recent survey, Youtube was the most popular social medium platform, and out of 2,500 GenZers, 53% of those said that Youtube was their most preferred method of learning. Instead of picking up a textbook, young people now turn to Youtube to find out about photosynthesis, or how to play a musical instrument.
It’s not all about the technology
When we think of Generation Z, technology is one of the first things that springs to mind, so much so, that they have been nicknamed the iGeneration. However, as managers and leaders of organisations that will be recruiting GenZers, we also need to be aware of other characteristics that ‘shape’ this generation.
Career stability is extremely important to GenZers. They want to have a reliable income coming in and therefore, want to feel secure within their jobs. Unlike their millennial colleagues, Generation Z are more likely to stay in a job for longer, as long as they feel they’re stable, and that they’re making a different to the wider cause.
Generation Z know what they want. They are very practical thinkers and look after their personal interests first. This generation are not likely to blend into the background. They want to have their say, share their thoughts and opinions and want to be appreciated for the work that they do.
GenZers appreciate a bit of variety in their jobs. This doesn’t mean they want variety in the work tasks that they do, but more in the way they do them. They like having the ability to use an array of different technology to do their jobs, rather than just working from a desktop computer all day every day. Having variety in the type of technology they use, also gives them variety in where they can work from. Having access to a laptop or tablet gives them the option to work in the breakout room, from home, or in the local Costa Coffee.
T2 Tips for attracting Generation Z to your workplace:
- Get down with the kids – if your business is not already on social media platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, it needs to be.
- Advertise vacancies online – advertising in newspapers and shop windows is now a thing of the past. If you want to draw Generation Z in, you need to advertise your vacancies on social media.
- Give them the option to express themselves – as part of your application process, instead of asking applicants to send a written CV, give them an option to send a video application or a presentation.
- Consider different channels – Young Professionals UK is a new social media platform created by, coincidently, a GenZer. Dubbed the younger alternative to Linkedin, Young Professionals UK is a way for young people to research companies, browse current job vacancies and apply for jobs. The platform, which has already attracted companies such as L’Oreal and Barclays, aims to reach 5 million users by 2022.
In Summary: with the introduction of Generation Z in the workplace comes a lot of changes and a lot of things to think about. By understanding how they’ve grown up and their views and values as a result, making certain changes to our current work practices and becoming more open minded to their ways of working, we can engage them and attract them into our workplaces.