Covering Generation Z in the Workforce

by January 4, 2019
girl with a purse and a smartphone

As Generation Z enters the workforce, consider how employers adapting.
Photo by Tofros.com via Pexels, Pexels License

Born between about 1995 and 2012 depending on who you ask, Generation Z is now entering the workplace as its oldest cohorts graduate college and pursue full-time employment. Staffing firm Robert Half International predicts that Gen Z (also called iGen) will make up more than a fifth of the workforce in five years.

While there’s sometimes a tendency to lump younger generations together, Gen Z doesn’t play by the same rules as Gen Y. Gen Y graduated into a job market slowed by the recession, while Gen Z’s job outlook may be rosier today amidst record low unemployment. Gen Z grew up in a constantly connected, post-9/11 world. But while their Millennial siblings might over-share on social media, Gen Z values their privacy online. That may be why many of them are avid SnapChat and WhatsApp users.

Here are some questions to consider as you’re covering Gen Z in the workforce:

How are local companies attracting Gen Z workers? According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z tends to prefer YouTube and Instagram over Facebook. Has that changed how employers in your area engage with job applicants?

What skills gaps are local employers seeing in Gen Z job candidates and employees? Do tech-savvy employers have the social intelligence to engage in real life or are they relying on text or email to communicate with coworkers?

Once they’ve hired Gen Z workers, what are companies doing to train them? Are they gamifying the training process as this Pizza Today article suggests? How do the experts recommend adapting training processes for younger employees?

How are local employers managing and engaging Gen Z hires? Do their employee recognition programs keep younger workers engaged? Or have they tweaked those programs based on employee feedback?

Reporter’s Resources

Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM has published a number of articles on Generation Z coming to work and may have HR experts available to comment on this topic.

Consulting companies: Firms that consult on workplace and HR issues may be able to weigh on Generation Z. For instance, Deloitte offers detailed analysis on the generational and technological challenges in entry-level jobs.

Center for Generational Kinetics: Each year, the center conducts a national research study called The State of Gen Z, which might provide fodder for your coverage.

GenZGuru: Father/son duo David and Jonah Stillman consult on generational differences and published a book on book called Gen Z @ Work.

Ryan Jenkins: This speaker, author and Inc. columnist bills himself as a Millennial and Generation X expert.

Ashira Prossack: This speaker and workshop facilitator focuses on engaging Millennials and Gen Z and breaking down generational stereotypes.