Known by a variety of names—Generation Z, iGeneration, Digital Natives, centennials or most commonly, simply Gen Z—the folks born between 1996 and 2010 number some 74 million in the United States. And they are making their presence known in the job market.
Gen Z is the first generation born into a world immersed in the internet and social media; these men and women have never experienced a time when the vast wealth of knowledge on the world wide web wasn’t but a mere finger stroke away. How does this fact influence their lives? What impact does it have on the workforce?
The reality of life for Gen Z
Digital skills for a digital age, right? We need their know-how and enthusiasm for technology, correct? Yes, and yes. Being more tuned in globally yields a greater understanding of people and places different from themselves, all of which leads to more significant, more diverse ideas. More positives, right?
Again, yes. But there can be a downside as well.
“They’re always connected,” says Barbara Fisher, chief operating and people officer of Aduro. “How does that affect them, and how does that weigh on them?” The always-tucked-in-their-pocket smartphone is super handy, yes, but the downside can be a hovering, weight-of-the-world heaviness that totes a heap of stress and anxiety.
Fisher encourages Gen Zers to temper the advantages of this ever-expanding, wondrous technological age and all that it offers with an understanding of the need to enjoy times of intentional disconnecting.
As these Digital Natives prepare for career paths, what factors influence their employment decisions? What tops their workplace wish list?
- The desire to be heard
They long to express their thoughts, share their ideas, and be respected for their unique perspective, resulting from their immersion in and enthusiasm for the globally connected world they so love.
- Transparency and open communication
Hand-in-hand with their longing to be heard comes a yearning for a communicative, transparent leadership style. They like to be kept informed and, whenever possible, to be part of the decision-making processes.
- Regular feedback
The 2018 State of Gen Z™ report uncovered new, never-before-seen data on this new crop of employees, including that 66% of Gen Z needs feedback from their supervisor at least every few weeks. The traditional yearly review will not meet this need for more relational management.
A collaborative environment
While their extensive technology skills have prepared them to go it alone, they value collaboration and teamwork. In fact, 58% prefer to work on a team. They appreciate the opportunity to work with creative co-workers, to brainstorm with innovative folks from diverse walks of life.
- Human connections
Despite their affinity for social media—and possibly because of their extensive involvement in online connections—Generation Z craves human relationships in the workplace. They prefer in-person communication when it concerns their job. And they expect to learn from their peers.
- Career stability and career growth opportunities
Student loans loom large for many recent college grads, emphasizing the need to launch a career path that will provide stability in the years ahead. This does not translate into a desire to work forty plus years for the same employer; instead, it focuses on growth opportunities, gaining new skills, and a broad range of experiences.
Are you looking to expand your workforce with temporary or direct hire employees? Our pool of talented candidates includes Generation Zers ready to launch their careers. Let A.R. Mazzotta make best-fit connections between your company and these eager Digital Natives.