All Grown Up: Generation Z Has Arrived, and Tech Employers Must Adapt to Attract Them

  • June 10, 2019

Although most of Generation Z are at school, and some are still even in pull-ups, the eldest amongst them have now left university and are becoming second-jobbers.

In fact, that statement isn’t quite accurate: For many in this demographic, a traditional university degree doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to the instant gratification they are accustomed to. Swathes of bright young things completing their A-Levels are opting to begin their careers with money in the bank rather than student debt by undertaking modern apprenticeships.

From SMEs to large corporations, and organisations with tech at their core to public and private sector organisations across all industries, there were more than 18,000 people taking part in ICT apprenticeship programmes in 2017/18.

Move over Generation Y

Generation Z differs from Gen Y in that they are much more realistic and pragmatic than their predecessors. This cohort has grown up in an era of terror threats, and through a financial crisis. They crave a strong financial grounding for themselves and a clear career path.

Unlike their Millennial brethren, they know they aren’t entitled to financial security, and they are aware that hard work is required to achieve it. But, research by eRecruitment software provider Oleeo has shown that 18% of Generation Zers are withdrawing from the recruitment process, even once they have got to offer stage. And Oleeo believe that is because hiring teams just don’t know how to engage them.

These insights into what the youngest generation value in their working lives should help employers address that:

Soft benefits

Millennials went giddy over slides at Google, and would be delighted with the installation of a draft craft beer system in the office, though they would prefer more holiday and an on-site creche facility.

Generation Z is not interested in gimmicks, they want tangible benefits that are relevant to who they are or want to be, and that enhance both their professional and personal lives. Massage chairs and dress down Friday won’t cut it.

Growth Potential

Generation Z are used to growing up amongst rapidly advancing technology, and they are a generation of natural life-long learners. They also want to matter, they want purpose and opportunities for personal growth, and they want employers to provide the opportunities for both.

People first

You would be forgiven for assuming that as true digital natives, these post-Millennials may be lacking in social skills. Far from it. There has been a notable shift back to the art of face-to-face communication owing to platforms like Snapchat and Facetime, this generation communicated face-to-face more than Millennials, albeit through a screen.

In a poll conducted by management consultants RainmakerThinking, it was discovered that what actually matters most to Gen Zers is supportive leadership, followed closely by positive working relationships. They want collaboration, teamwork, and a sense of belonging to a community.

Work-life balance is even more critical

We thought Millennials expected the moon on a stick when it comes to work-life balance, but the next generation has grown up in an environment where the cloud enables them to be connected to every aspect of their life remotely, even tending to avoid the pub and socialise virtually, preferring technology as a social leveller over alcohol.

Generation Z expects to be able to work remotely wherever possible, but just as connectivity is important to them, so is the right to disconnect.

Time is of the essence

If you thought Millennials were impatient, you aren’t remotely prepared for GenZ, who have grown up with everything they want access to at the touch of a screen. Same day Amazon Prime delivery, Uber and Deliveroo mean this generation has never had to endure the agony of forgetting a birthday, queue at a taxi rank, or disregard an alcohol-induced McDonalds craving at 3am. Convenience is king.

Generation Z expects instant gratification, but they also process information quickly. This cohort is used to multi-tasking across five screens every day and this constant stream of information has left them with an attention span of just over 8 seconds. Berate them for it if you will, but they are highly efficient at processing information that you or I haven’t even noticed.

The future is here

There is still a lot to learn about this new generation and their behaviours, but tech employers need to start learning and adapting now in order to attract the brightest talent. The future of business where Gen Z is involved is real-time collaboration, fast-paced transactions and efficiency. All lauded outcomes of digital transformation. We are building a world for the future, and these young people are it. If you think you need more than an 8-second attention span, you may just be a dinosaur.

For more insights into how your business can talk so Generation Z will listen, or for attracting any level of IT professional to your organization, get in touch to discuss your recruitment needs and how Intec Select are best placed to help as IT recruitment specialists.

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