We found this article Attracting Gen Z Will Be Like Recruiting Millennials Only Different by Ms. Osnat Shostak on TLNT Daily which caught my attention as it introduced me to what she’s calling “Generation Z”. And, frankly, my first thought was “what’s Gen Z?” She explains that this a generation born on or around 1996 that is entering the workforce with expectations different than other generations. Ms. Shostak quotes statistics that suggest that this Gen Z will comprise 24% of the global workforce by 2020 – that’s next year!
So what types of expectations will this generation have of employers? Apparently they will react to digitized information so we need to incorporate visual imagery in our career content. Displaying it in social media rather than traditional job boards. Apparently, Gen Z possesses strong entrepreneurial spirit and aspirations of ownership so we should stress opportunities for personal & career development, training programs, and flexible work arrangements to attract Gen Zers.
We learn that Gen Zers are often interested in the community aspect of workplace culture. And, will look for office perks, comfortable surroundings, and an array of social events to attend. Diversity is high on the “wants” of Gen Zers so they’ll look for employers who value and support diversity and inclusion. And, Gen Zers will rely on the opinions of peers and trusted influencers to help them chose employers. So companies need to refine and enhance their public image as “Employers of Choice.”
This all sounded like we need to shape our companies to compete with the likes of the high tech companies with pool tables & beer fridges and slides instead of stairs, and perhaps, the Software and Engineering driven companies can develop such workplaces. But, how do traditional manufacturers fit the needs of these Gen Zers? How do we motivate them to contribute as Machine Operators, Machinists, Welders, Fitters and Skilled Trades? Can we make those fundamental jobs exotic, exciting, and enticing? How do make work in our factories “an electric atmosphere that promotes fun and learning” as Ms. Shostak advises us to do?
Certainly we can refine our brands as good employers to work for. And, we should all already be practicing employment equity and supporting diversity and inclusion! We can emphasize job & career stability where possible and we can practice performance management and career development for those with ambition and potential. But, with all due respect, we’re not all Google who can offer playful & comfortable workplaces! If our factories feel starved for workers now, how is this Generation Z going to impact the situation? I would love to hear your input.
Enjoy the article
~ Jim Fairfax