02 March 2016

HR - What You Need to Know About Generation Z

Show you care.

That's the message to would-be employers gleaned from recent research into what Generation Z individuals seek in a job – the majority wanting a workplace which is socially and environmentally responsible.

While Generation X individuals and the Millennials pushed for things like planet-friendly recycling, the recent look into what drives Gen Z shows they are focusing on the world stage, according to findings by Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp.)

“There is no denying the Gen Z employee is looking through a completely new lens at a radically changed and changing world,” i4cp researchers state in its report Generation Z: What Employers Need to Know.

The generation – 73 million individuals born between 1995 and 2012 – has never known life without Internet and has been inundated with many events which impact its view of the world.

Of 600 high school seniors surveyed at Minnetonka High School, Minnesota, 93 percent say a workplace's impact on the world affects their decision to work there.

“Like every generation before it, Gen Z has had its own events and conditions resulting in a shared experience that shapes its unique personality,” states the i4cp research. “One shared reality that impacts virtually every member of gen Z: The world is a scary place.”

That contention created by growing up in a post-9/11 world is bolstered by the war on terrorism, school shootings and global issues like climate change. And it leads to a number of personality traits identified in i4cp's white paper, a collaborative study with generational expert, David Stillman, and findings with the high school students' focus group.

Unlike the generation before them which strived to be part of the “robust middle class,” Gen Z individuals are said to see the “need to be smarter and more strategic about planning for their future and achieving any level of economic stability, let alone affluence.”

While the population tends to be “realistic, pragmatic and very competitive,” like the Baby Boomer generation, it also shares characteristics from Gen X like being environmentally aware and tech-savvy.

About half the group surveyed stated they are competitive or extremely competitive and will be less team oriented and more independent, with 21 percent saying they would like to work from home and nearly half of the respondents saying they want their own office.

More than half those surveyed say they want a long career with one company.

While 44 per cent say they check on social media at least hourly, speaking to the reality many in this generation suffer from “an intense fear of missing out,” findings also show 78 percent want face-to-face communication with their boss.

Understanding where the generation is coming from will offer advantages for would-be employers on how to recruit, retain, manage andmotivate employees from its ranks.

One unique finding is that Generation Z workers will want highly-customized jobs rather than generic posts – something would-be employers would be wise to acknowledge and work with, according to i4cp, a leading human capital research firm which helps organizations build and sustain high performance bottom line business results.

By Nadia Moharib
Nadia Moharib is an animal lover who has adopted everything from birds to hamsters, salamanders, rabbits, fish and felines. She has written about all-things-pets for years and was a long-time editor of a pet magazine in a daily newspaper which featured a Q & A column, Ask Whit, penned by her pooch (ghost written, of course.) The serial dog owner lives in Calgary, Alberta and most days can be found at a dog park picking up after her rescue pooch, Scoots.

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