Generations are shaped by the context in which they emerge. Generation Z (Gen Z) refers to those born from 1997 onwards and who, collectively, display certain behaviour and attitudes that are characterised by rapidly advancing technologies. They are also distinguished from other generations by their racial and ethnic diversity.
Gen Zers are not just the future but the present, too. They will soon account for one quarter of the workforce, filling roles left behind by millennials as they move up through the hierarchy.
As we navigate the effects of Covid-19, it’s vital that employers understand the traits of Gen Z and how these can benefit their own businesses in the short and long term.
1. They’re adaptable
Attitudes towards work are evolving. Fewer young people are feeling under pressure to follow in their parents’ footsteps and take on jobs that their parents want/ expect them to do, and instead, are either pursuing careers that they know they want or are exploring all possible avenues of interest.
This change in attitude and open-mindedness towards exploring their career options have moulded Gen Z to be flexible and adaptable. They are not set in their ways and will happily throw themselves into a variety of roles where they can find new interests and skills, ultimately making them an incredibly valuable asset to the workforce.
2. They’re the future
Research and data project that Gen Z account for approximately a third of the global workforce and are the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in history.
Beyond the clear societal value, it is understood that diversity in the workplace can bring about a plethora of benefits, including productivity, innovation, and reduced employee turnover. As people from different backgrounds tend to have unique experiences, perspectives and skills, businesses that value diversity are more likely to make smarter, more informed decisions.
3. They’re tech-savvy
Gen Zers are true digital natives. They are the first generation to be raised in the era of smartphones, and so consequently, have little to no memory of life before these gadgets. It therefore comes as no surprise that technology is absolutely central to their lives, spending an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes per day on a mobile device.
The ease of having 24/7 access to the world’s information at their fingertips has shaped how Gen Z approach problems, communicate, network, learn, and ultimately, how they work in the workplace.
As technology is their go-to solution, they are familiar and comfortable working with digital tools and learning new systems. In the age of Covid-19 this is crucial: companies that have been able to adapt and pivot their business model through tech solutions have generally bounced back quicker than others.
4. They’re values-led
Unemployment rates have spiked in the wake of Covid-19, leaving lasting scars for everyone. However, whilst jobs have been lost across all generations, it is clear that Gen Zers are left at more of a disadvantage.
Some of this generation are newbies to the working world (majority have yet to penetrate it) and so naturally, they have less on their CV to help them stand out for the few jobs that are left in the market.
As lockdown restrictions are easing and the nation is working together to reach a state closer to normality, now is the time for businesses to tap into the power of Gen Z and show off their employer credentials Employers that do support Gen Zers during this period will be remembered and rewarded in the long term, becoming go-to employer brands for a generation that values loyalty and principles above all else.
5. They’re great in a crisis
Gen Zers are entrepreneurial in nature. When the 2007-2008 global financial crisis happened, Gen Z was young enough to not personally be affected financially, but also old enough to be aware of what was happening and to remember their parents struggling.
This has resulted in a generation of people that are used to adversity but are also able to approach difficult situations in a pragmatic way, making them well equipped for dealing with situations such as Covid-19 and great leadership material.
With a pool of adaptable, values-led, crisis-ready candidates at your fingertips, it’s clear that now is the time to unlock the power of Gen Z and future-proof your business. Get started with Placed today.