While it seems like Millennials have been the center of attention for the past several years, an upcoming generation of workers is on the rise, and it’s one that warrants the attention of their future employers.
Enter Generation Z.
Gen Zers were born between 1995 and 2015, currently putting them between the ages of 4 and 24. While they might not be a significant part of the workforce just yet, this generation of digital natives is already developing a unique set of work preferences that’s definitely worth noting.
For Gen Zers, scheduling flexibility in a job is a must. After all, these individuals have grown up surrounded by technology that has shaped their views on work. This generation doesn’t know a world without gig economy apps such as Uber and Lyft, and has an expectation of making work fit into their own individual schedules. According to a study by the Workforce Institute, 35% of Gen Zers would never tolerate being forced to work when they don’t want to, and 34% would never tolerate being unable to use vacation days when they want to. With statistics like these, it’s clear that employers should consider offering flexible work arrangements in order to attract Gen Z talent. Some examples include remote work options, unlimited paid time off programs, or on-site amenities and services.
Although they are heavily influenced by the gig economy in their work preferences, many Gen Zers still express concern about job stability, including health insurance. This is not a generation that acts rashly when it comes to their finances, for this is a group that has heard dozens of horror stories about Millennials battling mountains of student loan debt. In fact, Gen Zers are saving far earlier than previous generations, according to a survey by Lincoln Financial Group. To recruit a workforce like Gen Z, companies should emphasize the benefits that a full-time role will bring, compared to freelancing work that may not offer insurance coverage or other retirement benefits.
Combine values with technology
Gen Z, being a highly values-driven group, will be unlikely to stay in a job for long if it does not resonate with their desire to improve the world. This perspective, along with Gen Z’s affinity for learning new technology, makes them an extremely agile workforce—one that could readily leave a company without much hesitation. While this may sound like a detriment to employers, Gen Z is also optimistic and open to possibilities if the opportunity is right. According to research conducted by analytics firm YouGov, 54.5% of Gen Zers believe they will have a job that doesn’t exist yet, and 64.8% believe technology is changing the job market for the better. Employers will do well to maintain close contact with their Gen Z workforce, even those who have left their organization, there will likely be an opportunity to recruit former employees for newly-created, innovative roles.