Why should HR pay an interest to Gen Z?

by HCA16 Dec 2015
By 2020, Gen Z – those born between 1990 and 1999 – will make up 20% of the workforce.

Their workplace reality will be different to that experienced by any other generation.

According to the 2015 Future Leaders Index, conducted by Co-Op in partnership with BDO, 67% of Gen Z are already concerned about their career prospects in the current economic climate.

Other findings from the survey included:
  • 74% of Gen Z prefer to communicate face-to-face in the workplace
  • 45% of Gen Z cite personal challenges working with Baby Boomers, compared to 17% with Gen X and 5% with Millennials
  • 71% of bachelor degree graduates are employed full-time within four months of completing their degree, compared to 85% in 2008
Where does Gen Z want to work?

The report showed that certain sectors’ growth expansions will be matched by where Gen Z want to work.

Three of the top five growth sectors – mining, child care and wholesale trade – are attracting little interest from Gen Z.

Just 4% showed an interest in child care, and only 5% are showed an interest in pursuing a career in aged care. Another 4% chose or were considering a career in mining, while 3% were attracted to a career in wholesale trade.

Why should employers be interested in Gen Z?

1. They are digital natives

Gen Z is the first generation of people who as teenagers did not experience a world with slow or stationary internet access.
They are used to interacting online with others, and consume and share content with ease; they easily adapt to new technologies and implement them into their work practices.

2. They are pragmatic

Having grown up during the War on Terror and the economic crises, Gen Z is said to be target oriented. They are said to plan their careers and seek job security early on.
Starting the long path of university education might be less attractive; alternatively, early internships and apprenticeships are an option for them.

3. They are looking at employers right now

Members of Gen Z are on the brink of making the decision of where their careers are headed. With knowledge of what is attractive to them right now, employers can be part of the decision process (for example, convincing more people to choose STEM subjects) and position themselves on Gen Z’s desired employer list before they even enter the job market.

4. They are diverse and global

Gen Z is believed to be the first truly diverse and global generation.

Traditional gender segregation in jobs does not apply to them as strongly as for previous generations, and they are the first generation who was able to communicate and find friends globally.

This has major repercussions for employers lagging on diversity and inclusion issues, and also the technology they offer to workers.


  • by 17/12/2015 12:17:31 PM

    FYI Gen Z doesn't start till approx 1995. Gen Y is still early 1990's.

  • by Lucky3110 29/01/2016 1:58:22 AM

    This is a very narrow view. Not all people born within those dates have the same characteristics. You can't lump all people in the same basket. People should be acknowledged on their own merits. I am a baby boomer... left school without ever sitting behind a computer, in fact we didn't even have electronic typewriters. As times changed throughout my life I educated myself. I had to learn to adapt to technology constantly throughout my life and continuously improve my skills to keep up with the business world. Being born in a certain era does not make you a better employee, it's whether or not you have the ability to continuously learn and adapt to change. And as for being more global... I also packed up my life at 50 and moved to the other side of the world, changed my career and made new friends. Life is what you make it, not what year you were born!

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