Generation Z is here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

With technology developing so quickly, many of us struggle to keep up, but for Generation Z, those born between the mid-90s and early ‘00’s, they are largely accustomed to rapid technological developments having never know any difference.

Unlike millennials, the majority of Gen Z has engaged with advanced technology from a young age. Gen Z has the inherent ability to engage with highly complex software and technology. The real question is; will this wave of technically astute employees have a positive impact on the manufacturing industries? And more importantly, will recruitment and training become easier because of Generation Z’s existing technical knowledge and ability to grasp new concepts?

Generation Z could bring an array of technological skills to your business, but to entice the new workforce, it’s important to make changes to your recruitment strategy. We know that success depends on having the right people with the right skills plus a throughput of apprentices, graduates and trainees to replenish roles as people are promoted or move on.

To prepare for Generation Z, companies have to engage with this group in real life and on social media, as well as producing more dynamic online content that will inspire them to learn more about the industry and organisation they may be joining.

Research suggests that Generation Z are generally more capable of carrying out a wider range of tasks and prefer in-person communication with managers and peers. They also show preference to well-defined chains of command and teaching style leadership. Millennials may have an easier time managing Generation Z in the workplace than their superiors did. This is due mainly to their shared characteristics, such as high levels of self-confidence, a desire to learn new skills and a ‘can-do’ attitude towards work. Employers can make the most of these similarities by offering new employees the chance to collaborate with a more senior member of staff.

Worryingly however, 83% of today’s students believe three years or less is an appropriate amount of time to spend in their first job, and over a quarter of students believe they should stay in their first job for a year or less. To counteract these statistics, employers are aware of their opportunities to progress. They should put a structured training plan into place, which encompasses professional development and long-term career progression.

This year, Generation Z will be entering the workplace and, if you don’t recruit them, your competitors will. By adapting your recruitment strategy to suit younger job seekers, your workforce will become more diverse and technologically advanced.

James Colley is an Associate Director and leads Consilium Graduate. This division was established specifically to help manufacturing and engineering companies identify and then attract this emerging band of new talent. To find out how we can assist your business, then contact James for an informal discussion; or 01789 201040