How should organisations train Generation Z?

by L&D14 Jul 2017

Generation Z is the generation born between 1997-2010, who were raised as digital natives and are only just starting to enter the workforce.

But what do employers expect of this generation, and how far with organisations adapt for them?

According to a new report by recruiting experts, Hayes, this generation will need skills that can’t be automated. This means understanding the values held by older colleagues and the ability to moderate their need for instant gratification.

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, said that Generation Z have grown up in an age that has seen the rise of global terrorism, the Global Financial Crisis and turmoil throughout the Middle East.

“This has made them more self-aware, self-reliant and driven,” he said in a statement.

“They are realistic, goal-oriented innovators who are constantly connected and ambitious.”

However, Generation Z employees seek instant gratification and feedback, which a workplace does not always provide.

“They also know they’ll retire at an older age, so they want work to fit around their lives,” Deligiannis said.

“But for this to be a reality, Gen Z will need to have the skills that employers are demanding, particularly as there is and will be more automation in the workplace.”

Deligiannis said they must also find ways to finance their life choices if salary increases remain smaller than they once were and other factors such as the cost of renting or buying their own home take their toll.

“Generation Z – like any new generation to the world of work – need to learn workplace etiquette and understand the values held by older colleagues, even for seemingly simple things such as acceptable use of a mobile phone at work,” he said.

Deligiannis also pointed to Gen Z’s ability to multitask as a key advantage.

“Employers must appreciate how using different devices is such an integral part of this generation’s life,” he said.

“Their attention span is short, but their ability to use different screens at the same time means they are often better at multi-tasking than other generations.”

So with these factors in mind, how should organisations go about recruiting Generation Z employees? Deligiannis shares the following tips.

  • Run a quick, honest and transparent recruitment process: Gen Z want to receive quick responses and want to see transparency from employers. They don’t want to hear what the organisation thinks of itself; they’ll gain these insights from others in their network. There’s also a lot of parental influence in Gen Z’s employment decisions.
  • Adopt new attraction strategies: With a more advanced level of digital skills, this generation will be the most connected in history. Organisations can therefore ask younger employees to reach out to their social media contacts when recruiting. If your job isn’t online, Gen Z won’t find it. Employers should also be ready to explore how to use virtual reality and gaming as part of your attraction and recruitment processes.
  • Work-life balance: This generation has a different view of work-life balance. They know they’ll work longer and as digital natives the use of technology for remote and home working is considered the norm.
  • Provide a sense of purpose: This generation want to understand why an organisation does what it does and how their role contributes to its success. They want a clear purpose.


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