Before the robots come for all of our jobs, another cohort must be dealt with: Generation Z, or those born in 1995 and after, is entering the workforce. The consensus in business circles seems to be that big changes in workforce management will result.
A column at Chief Learning Officer, which somewhat creepily refers to Generation Z as “self-aware” (like robots?) says we should expect these youngsters to be “aware of their value” and looking to “sketch and re-engineer everything in pursuit of valued excellence.”
Preceding generations, it seems, will require management training to incorporate Generation Z’s “swagger,” as 30 million of them will be part of the workforce by 2019. Making the most of key skill sets possessed by this group, like a strong customer focus and a digital mindset, will be the payoffs for accommodating their work styles.
How to acquire the best of these young employees? Writing at Fortune, Adecco Group North America CEO Bob Crouch says many are focused on getting into “their dream job within 10 years from now,” and looking for career growth and fulfilling work. They will expect employers to demonstrate how they can fulfill the employee’s career goals, rather than the other way around. And retention may become more difficult; 83 percent say one should stay in a first job for three years or less. Twenty-seven percent say a year or less is enough.
Generation Z, according to CBC News, will expect prospective employers to communicate with them the same way everyone else does: Think messaging apps and posting photos and videos of workplace environments and staff activities for them to evaluate. Email and voicemail, most likely, won’t get through.
Employers demonstrating that they are comfortable with two-way messaging and that they can offer meaningful work may come away, according to Fast Company research with some of the youngest Generation Z members, with a new influx of employees that are pragmatic, practical, and some of the best brand managers around. This may become a strong additional selling point: They also are attempting to move away from some of the criticisms of Millennials, having been “shaped by their individualistic, self-reliant Gen X parents…”
Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+