Now that you’ve finally gotten a handle on managing the Millennial generation, Generation Z is entering the workforce in droves. While this new generation of professionals is similar to Millennials in some ways, they cannot be lumped together. Born after 1995, here is what you can expect from Gen Z and the next generation of engineers.
Gen Z Prioritizes Information Security
Gen Z is by far the most tech-savvy of any generation to enter the workforce. This makes them extremely easy to train on new platforms, but it also means they understand the importance of information security. They grew up in an age of constant corporate hacks, data exposures and misuse of personal information. Therefore, do not trust online job applications that ask for a host of personal information upfront. If you require them to hand over their social security information and other personal data during the application process, you’ll lose many Gen Z candidates.
Generation Z Isn’t Afraid To Share Their Opinions
Generation Z thrives on feedback even more so than Millennials. Not only do they want constant feedback on their progress, they expect to be able to provide feedback to their managers. This is the first generation to grow up with social media and to them, opinions are to be shared freely. They will not hesitate to share their feelings whether they were asked to provide input or not. This can be jarring for many managers who may mistake their candor for insubordination. It’s just that young people believe their feelings and opinions should matter, and they want to be heard. Be prepared to coach young talent on how to provide their feedback professionally.
To Gen Z, Diversity Is A Priority
Generation Z values diversity and they can quickly sniff out companies that merely provide lip service. This is the most ethnically diverse generation in US history and they grew up exposed to people of all types of backgrounds and experiences. They want to work for companies with workforces that reflect the diversity of the real world. They will study your company and look for diversity – especially among leadership – and they may not accept offers from firms they feel are too homogeneous.
They Expect High Starting Salaries
Generation Z, like Millennials before them, is graduating school with crushing student debt. They have seen the generation before them struggle and they do not expect to experience that same challenge. They want to earn a high starting salary and in some cases, those expectations can be misaligned. Be prepared to talk about salary early on with Gen Z candidates and also focus on things like benefits packages, perks and job flexibility to make up for the inability to pay them an exorbitant salary.