Reaching Gen Z – The Future of Work
As much of a ribbing as Gen Z gets for their unconventional styles, language, and work habits, it’s important to hear what’s on the wind. They are the future of work in the United States and across the planet. Cultural differences aside, there is something ethereal about the Gen Z ethos that reaches across borders. Bruce M. Anderson explains in his article Engaging Gen Z Is Critical for HR — and the Future of Work — According to LinkedIn’s CEO, why they’re important for the future of work – highlights below.
The Future of Work
According to LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky, “It’s been a rough couple of years for everyone here today,” Ryan said. “All of our companies have been hit sideways.” And then Ryan laid out his vision for how companies can get back on their feet and, particularly, how they can move forward.
His data-packed talk made the case for “an evolution of the tools, the insights, the platforms, and the data to make the decision-making for all of us much easier.” He called for hiring for potential, not pedigree; for companies and candidates to share information so they can align on values; and for the central importance of reskilling, upskilling, and internal mobility programs that are both nimble and robust. Ryan also put a spotlight on something talent leaders should be paying close attention to: HR practitioners from Gen Z are changing jobs much more rapidly than their counterparts from other generations. He sees a need for HR leaders to make clear how mission-critical their teams’ work is.”
Global Talent Movement
Gen Z-ers are setting a new precedent for moving on if uninspired. The article continues, “The past two years,” Ryan said, “represented an unprecedented amount of talent movement globally.” But, he added, the shifts in talent within the HR field have a generational dimension.
Baby Boomers, Ryan noted, were the most loyal (or least likely to switch jobs) before the pandemic, during the height of it, and into recovery. Gen Xers followed a similar path until recently when their inclination to move has ticked up. When Millennials working in HR got to the spring of 2021, Ryan explained, they began changing jobs at a record pace and transitions topped out near the 200% increase year over year.
“However, this is all in contrast to what we see with Gen Z,” Ryan told the assembled talent leaders, “who not only were the biggest movers during and post-pandemic but were also the most active movers even before the pandemic struck.”
That’s a lot of movement — by 2030,Gen Z will make up 30% of the total global workforce.
“This generation believes it’s OK to move around frequently, if they aren’t inspired,” Ryan said. “Motivating and inspiring this generation is going to be critical to the future of the industry.”
This is essential for your organization and, more particularly, for your team. “If we want to inspire the next generation of HR professionals,” Ryan said, “it’s vital we help them see this role as strategic, core to the business, inspirational, and meaningful.”
There is a way to entice this generation. The article advises, “Gen Z is the cohort born between roughly 1995 and 2015. They tend to be adaptable, values-driven, and intentional about career choices. Earlier this year, before hiring cooled off, they were changing jobs within HR 40% more than the previous year, which was double the rate of Millennials.
In a blog post this past May, LinkedIn engineering recruiterMadison Vitug, herself a member of Gen Z, wrote: “[A]s I chat with fellow career starters about their goals, one thing is clear: We are unwilling to compromise our career vision to fit into a work model that doesn’t work for us.”
Among the tactics Madison suggested for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent were these three:
- Double down on flexibility. Of all the generations, Gen Z was most likely to leave or consider leaving a job because their company did not have a feasible flex work policy.
- Lean in on learning and growth. More than three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z believe that learning is the key to a successful career.
- Walk the walk on values. Fully 80% of Gen Z are seeking organizations that better align with their values (as compared with less than 60% of Millennials). Your purpose and your mission are your calling cards.
The Gen Z Opportunity
Anderson concludes, “Ryan saluted the assembled talent leaders for all they have done during tumultuous times. “When I think about the last two years,” he said, “let me tell you something that I believe: The people represented in this room right now are the people that have held our companies together.” And what will those talent leaders be grappling with as they shape the future of work? “The challenge of organizing, engaging, and skilling a hybrid workforce,” Ryan said, “that is a core strategic question to a business.” And that challenge starts with making sure your workplace, your workforce, and your work team works for Gen Z.”
Eventually, Gen Z will be writing articles about who supplants their generation in the workforce. Will we have re-imagined what work is by then, or will we simply return to the beginning of the generational alphabet? Only time will tell.
Trent Lyons is a Technical Recruitment Lead at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Trent, who specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.