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Hiring Generation Z: What to Expect

June 10th, 2016

Are you ready for the arrival of Generation Z? If you’re still struggling to manage a workplace populated by members of Generation Y, then this might be a good time to redirect your focus toward the horizon and get ready for the future employees who are entering college as we speak.

“Generation Z” describes a wave of future employees who are still working their way through high school and university level courses. And when they reach the workplace, they’re expected to bring a host of cultural and behavioral traits that are likely to set them apart from their (slightly) older peers. Here are few things we can expect from this cohort.

They’re TRUE digital natives.

These are the children who were born during or after the year 2000, so they won’t be able to remember a world before smartphones. These are the babies who tried to “scroll” through picture books as if they were touch screens. This won’t make them weak or ill-prepared for the realities of the working world, but it might make it harder for the rest of us to relate to them.

They’re anxious about the future and their prospects for survival—not just success.

For teenagers in the 80’s, “success” was the focus—not basic stability. It was common to assume that studying hard would lead to college, which would lead to a professional job, which would lead to long-term financial security. But the past 15 years have turned that expectation upside down, and none of the institutions we once took for granted—including college, marriage, home ownership, and the practice of working for a single employer for decades at a time—hold the same weight that they used to. The bottom line: don’t expect Gen Z to desire or chase after the same things you wanted at their age.

They won’t be impressed by hierarchy and they won’t seek approval for its own sake.

Blue ribbons, pats on the head, gold stars from the boss, and promotions that involve a title change with no boost in salary may have seemed like shimmering pots of gold to earlier generations. But don’t expect the same wide-eyed eagerness from Gen Z. If you want them to contribute, pay them. Don’t feed them lines.

They will care…about each other.

Gen Z will likely bring a distinctly positive shift to the workplace; they may care more about each other than the company bottom line. Expect them to speak out against unfair policies and disrespectful treatment. These employees will be true team players, possibly on unprecedented levels.

These are the entry level candidates who will knock on your door in just a few years, so you’ll want to be ready. For more information, contact the Hartford staffing experts at Merritt.

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