Congratulations – you finally got into the swing of attracting, managing and retaining and Millennial talent! But you can’t rest on your laurels because Generation Z – people born starting in 1995 – are now entering the job market. While there are some similarities between Millennials and Gen Z, there are also some important differences you should know about the youngest generation of American workers.
They Demand Diversity From Employers
While Millennials value diversity, Generation Z demands it. Members of Generation Z grew up with schoolmates and friends of different backgrounds and experiences, and they expect their places of employment to reflect the reality they are familiar with. To attract and retain this youngest generation, diversity must be a lived value. If it isn’t, expect Gen Z to speak up and demand change.
Information Security Is Non-Negotiable
Generation Z came of age in the era of big data. Throughout their lives, they have been exposed to data hacks, misuse of personal information and data security scandals. They are much less likely to trust a website that asks for personal information up front – and that includes job applications. Online job applications that ask for personal information will be abandoned by Gen Z even more so than among Millennials.
Gen Z Has Shorter Attention Spans, But They Are Better Multitaskers
Attention spans have been shrinking for years, but Gen Z grew up with a constant bombardment of social media alerts, emails, news snippets, etc. As such, their attention spans are the shortest of any previous generation.
However, they are also better multitaskers than their older counterparts – even better than Millennials. They are used to doing five things at once, usually while listening to music or watching TV, and they are able to complete those tasks amid all the distractions.
Gen Z Embraces Non-Traditional Education
Gen Z grew up in a recession and they watched Millennials get strapped with crippling college debt that will follow them throughout their adult lives. As such, Generation Z is much more likely to go straight into the workforce to earn money while relying on online courses, self-teaching, certifications, boot camps and other non-traditional methods of building skills rather than pursuing a college degree. This means employers will have to start looking at skill sets rather than degrees when hiring younger workers.
They Have High Salary Expectations
Millennials had high expectations when they entered the workforce but Generation Z has even loftier ides of what they are worth. Some surveys indicate they are looking for $60,000 starting salaries. While that is not unheard of in fields like engineering, IT or finance, most entry-level jobs pay far less. It will be up to employers to tout the value of benefits and perks since $60k starting salaries are not often realistic.