Millennials are so yesterday. In fact, the oldest Millennials are turning 40 in the year 2020 (ranging from 24-40), and Pew Research says they are the biggest age group in the workforce. Generation X comes in second and Boomers are still hanging in there, too.But the next generation is starting to make its impact, according to Financial Executives magazine. Generation Z, those born since about 1997, are starting to graduate college and enter the workforce, even at accounting firms. They already account for about 25% of all Americans.
Your firm had better get ready for them, and their different work expectations, if you want to retain and attract the top Gen Z workers.
Who Is Generation Z?
Digital Born and Bred: They have lived in a world where the internet has always existed. And continuing innovations such as smart cars, smart houses, and other technologies are simply expected tools.
Mobile Lifestyle: For Gen Z, the internet is not something you sit at a computer to use (unless forced to). Instead, it is mostly engaged from their mobile phones, which have always been “smart phones.”
More Socially Connected: Facebook is for the oldsters; they would probably agree. For Generation Z, there are dozens of social media outlets, with the most popular currently focused on video and images (like TikTok, Instagram, and SnapChat).
Economic Survivors: With the effects of Coronavirus on our economy, this may be the beginning of the second significant recession Gen Z will have to endure. This can have a lasting impact on how individuals spend money and invest. Also of note, Generation Z is a largely cash-less one: they prefer digital payment platforms.
Generation Z'ers Are Autonomous
According to a survey, a third of these young Americans expect that, within five years, they will be in a management or supervisory role. Another 25 percent expect to be “moving up the career ladder,” but not yet in management. In short, they expect to be upwardly mobile and earn their way toward management. The professional staffing firm Robert Half suggests keeping Gen Z informed of in-house career opportunities so that they see opportunities for growth without leaving.
Generation Z'ers Want To Earn Their Keep
The Great Recession of 2008-2009 had a significant impact on how this generation views work and money, possibly as a result of their parents or other adult role models suffering financial difficulties, job losses, or underemployment. More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they realize they may have to work harder than other generations did in order to achieve and maintain successful careers. As a result, some research suggests this could make Generation Z’ers more cynical and realistic.
Generation Z Is More Entrepreneurial
Just as the internet has always been around for them, Z’ers also have more thoroughly embraced the gig economy, especially ride-share and delivery services. Some may also be working in these services while in school or had relatives who did, and they see this contract work as leading to a more flexible personal schedule. This autonomous relationship with a contract employer is desired, although at their current age, Gen Z may not yet fully value the benefits that can come with full-time employment. However, surveys show they desire self-employment. This desire for workplace flexibility will also extend to their role as an employee.
Potential Obstacles For Employing Gen Z
There are some potential obstacles that come along with hiring Generation Z.
More Easily Stressed
A Randstad survey noted that stress can be a major factor for Gen Z in their search for success in the workplace. Generation Z feels stress more than Millennials. The younger group is also more concerned about their relationship with their boss and other distractions in the workplace.
As with their Millennial counterparts, Generation Z’ers already seem to be getting labeled "job-hoppers," but a survey shows that they can be enticed to stay longer. Their loyalties don’t increase as much with direct compensation, but are influenced by their employer’s other benefits, including their commitment to social causes such as climate awareness.