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Get Ready for Generation Z
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MPACE Education and Professional Development Committee

Get Ready for Generation Z

By Robert Half

MPACE Review: July 2017

Summary:Dale Stoker


The following digest reviews the article “Get Ready for Generation Z” by Robert Half.  The article summary below provides a brief overview of the mindset of Generation Z and how to be success in recruiting the next wave of college graduates, specifically when interviewing them.  The full article can be viewed at the following web address: https://www.roberthalf.com/workplace-research/get-ready-for-generation-z


Article Summary


Generation Z is generally defined as those born between 1990 and 1999.  With an aging Baby Boomer population entering retirement, by 2020 more than 20 percent of the workforce will be Gen Zers. They are considered to be the first digital and global generation since they grew up with the Internet and a smartphone.  The economic and financial instability that they witnessed their parents go through have caused this generation to seek out more financial secruity then Gen Y and that will affect their career choices.

In the research by Robert Half, 32 percent of students expected to be managing employees within 5 years of employment.  In general, Gen Zers don’t believe you need to be at a company for a long time to earn respect and this may cause friction with older generations that expect new employees to work their way up the ladder.  These workers are different than others as they are asking how the job can work for them versus traditional mentalities of how to apply their skills to help the company.  In interviews ask Gen Zers what their long term goals are and how the company can support their career path.

When recruiting this group, Gen Zers rank career opportunities as their number one consideration so companies “need to both talk and show Gen Zers clear paths to new opportunities and promotions. Otherwise, these young workers won’t hesitate to start looking elsewhere for growth and new experiences” according to the Robert Half study.  The second consideration is salary, which stems from the economic crises they witnessed their families endure in the 2000s.  With this need for financial security, Generation Z workers are more likely to seek larger companies that can offer more stability, and a larger salary.  They expect to make over $46,000 at their first job out of college.

As technologically savvy as this generation is, they prefer to communicate through face-to-face vs text or email.  Gen Zers thrive on authentic connections with others, especially authority figures with the most valued characteristics in boss being honesty and integrity.  Be sure to showcase the company culture because they want to know how their personal goals and beliefs align with the organization’s purpose, but it has to be authentic.

Implications for Career Services Professionals

Career Services staff can support current students by preparing them for the recruiting process, especially by tempering expectations.  Salaries may be lower than expected, managers may not be has open to mentoring as they want, and another economic shift could jeopardize their need for security. However, aligning their beliefs with the organizations and desire to contribute on day-one can be strong characteristics that will make them stand out.  The shortcomings of this generation isn’t with technology but with soft skills.  Career Centers can offer additional education around self-presentation, personal responsibility and managing work-life balance.

Implications for Recruiting Professionals and Employers

Remember Generation Z’s learning style is technology based but they crave face-to-face communication.  They value authentic connection with their recruiter and their supervisor and they have high expectations for what they can contribute to the team on day-one.  Throughout the interviewing process, highlight the company culture and how the job can work for them and help them meet their goals.  Gen Zers are looking for financial and career stability with a company that has high integrity that aligns with their values.

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