Generation Z will enter the workforce in just a few years, with companies having to prepare for how they will best utilise these digital natives to help them grow and innovate.
A new survey from global employer branding company, Universum, tapped into close to 50,000 minds of Gen Z-ers across 46 countries to get an idea of what they think about their future careers, their expectations and fears.
Gen Z is defined as a cohort of people born between 1996 and 2000, the first ‘digital native’ generation – babies who came into the world naturally holding a mobile phone. It is this generation that is believed will make a greater impact on the digital world by pushing it forward and helping businesses navigate through it.
Citing PwC’s 2015 global CEO survey, Universum pointed to the areas most CEOs are strongly focusing on when it comes to sourcing top talent: mobile technology, data mining and analysis, and cyber security.
“In the coming decade, Generation Z will be stepping into these mission-critical roles,” Universum said in its research report. “That’s why developing strategies for recruiting and retaining Generation Z starts now.”
So what’s on the minds of most Gen Z-ers, and what insights can help companies better attract and retain this talent?
First of all, companies can start with selling themselves through their education and training programs. The survey found universities are not the be-all and end-all for a lot of Gen Z-ers, as 60 per cent want to know about companies’ education opportunities for those with no university degree.
Forty-seven per cent are considering joining the workforce before university, with many Gen Z-ers not convinced that universities will prepare them for the workplace.
“What can organisations offer as a supplement or replacement to traditional university degrees? Given Gen Z’s comfort with online learning, can organisations offer enough substance to replace a traditional four-year degree – and will students find this an attractive alternative to tertiary education?” Universum asked.
Gen Z-ers don’t usually follow the conventional job hunting process of seeking ads and responding to them, the survey found. Having conversations via social media channels with employers about job opportunities is the way to go for many people of this generation, as 83 per cent are open to this form of communication.
Placing a job ad on their social network page is not cool with all Gen Zers, however, as 59 per cent do not like the idea.
“Our research suggests that employers should be careful of the use of advertising to attract the attention and interest of Generation Z, and focus more on sharing the opportunities available to those working at their companies through more personal forms of communication like employee profiles and stories.”
The survey also found 55 per cent are interested in starting their own business, with this trend increasing in emerging markets.
“How will large global organisations recruit and retain this start-up generation?” Universum asked.
When it comes to Gen Z’s fears, the survey found more than a third are concerned they won’t find a job that matches their personality, or will end up in a role that doesn’t allow for development opportunities.
“This desire to be themselves and express their personality at work is critical for employers to heed.”
However, top future work concerns among Gen Z-ers differ from country to country, Universum pointed out.Read more: How millennials challenge traditional leadership
CIO has contacted Universum for more information.