Move over Millennials because Gen Z is stepping into the spotlight. You have probably heard about this new generation that will dominate the workforce. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, Gen Z will constitute a significant 27% of the global workforce.
With their reputation for tech-savviness, you might assume they’re fully prepared for the job market. However, some studies show otherwise.
Dell’s research found that 37% of surveyed Gen Z individuals believe schools aren’t adequately equipping them for the demands of the digital world, and 56% have received minimal to no digital skills education. This doesn’t sound promising, right?
Why is Gen Z so different from other generations? What do Gen Z candidates really want from employers?
Should they simply adapt to the job market, or should employers meet them halfway to address their expectations? How do we attract and retain Gen Z in the workplace? And are we even ready for Gen Z in the workforce?
These are some of the many questions that we’ve seen floating around.
So, let’s focus on understanding this new workforce better! And answer the big fundamental question – why is this generation feeling unprepared for the workforce in the first place?
Let’s dive in!
Why Understanding Gen Z's is so Important
Who is this new generation that will dominate the workforce? Generation Z, often referred to as Gen Z, is the demographic group born between the late-1990s and the early 2010s.
They’re known as the tech-savvy, smartphone-wielding generation that came after the Millennials. They’re the first generation to grow up entirely in the 21st century, surrounded by advanced technology like smartphones and social media from a very young age.
Here are some other interesting facts about this generation:
💻 Fact 1: Gen Z is known for being digital natives, meaning they’re incredibly comfortable with technology and the internet. They’ve never known a world without it.
🌍 Fact 2: This generation is often seen as more socially conscious and aware of global issues. They’re passionate about causes like climate change, diversity, and social justice.
💼 Fact 3: Gen Z is also marked by its entrepreneurial spirit. Many young Gen Z individuals want to start their own businesses or side hustles at a very early age.
However, with their social media habits and different perspectives, this generation also seems to have a bad reputation. While doing the research, we came across many stereotypes. From them being known as more carefree and less loyal to having a shorter attention span and lacking soft skills.
And you might feel that there is some truth in these, or not! The point is – this generation might not be prepared for the workforce!
They seem to be thrown into an environment with people who have experience, are goal-oriented and have good work habits. So, they are struggling to fit in as a workforce.
📈 According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably had some kind of an effect on every generation. But this generation was more likely to be laid off first and have difficulty finding job opportunities due to their lack of work experience.
Another pain point for this generation is education. As a result of the pandemic, adapting to fully remote learning has made it harder for students to learn and follow their educational goals.
But how are they different from other generations?
Millennials entered the workforce during the transition to digital tools, Boomers navigated traditional office environments, and Gen Z is joining an increasingly remote and tech-driven workforce. And yet, they don’t seem to be fully prepared for it!
Understanding Generation Z is essential for organisations as they make up a significant portion of the workforce and consumer base, impacting recruitment, marketing, and innovation.
They will be the ones to drive changes in work dynamics, diversity, and inclusion, demanding flexible policies and responsible corporate practices.
Why Gen Z’s Feel Unprepared for the Modern Workplace
Today’s job market presents unique challenges for Gen Z due to workforce reductions and outdated technology education. This simply means there is a clear discrepancy between the skills they obtain through education and the skills required by the job market.
This is particularly evident in the rapidly evolving IT industry.
Gen Zs Should Explore New Learning Pathways
One solution to address skill gaps in traditional education is through upskilling. Gen Zs can acquire the necessary skills through online learning, self-paced tech upskilling platforms, training, coding boot camps and relevant certification paths.
In fact, some universities have already started adopting new market expectations. They are partnering with online learning platforms, offering students access to relevant tech topics. This ensures they’re more prepared for the job market early in their careers.
By embracing alternative learning pathways, Gen Z can also demonstrate their commitment to building in-demand skills. Obtaining tech certifications provides Gen Z with an opportunity to exhibit their skill sets. Especially in the popular technology areas such as cybersecurity, cloud, artificial intelligence, and data science.
Companies Should Find Ways to Engage with Gen Z Employees
On the other hand, organisations should be aware of how the job market is evolving. While some still face challenges in attracting and retaining skilled workers, the most forward-thinking employers are changing their recruitment approach.
According to TestGorilla’s report, 76% of employers use skills-based hiring to find new talent, with almost 55% using role-specific skills tests. This means they increasingly value skills instead of only traditional education and degrees.
It’s also important for employers to understand that this new generation values career growth, guidance, flexibility, and organisational culture aligned with their personal values. They are also more discerning than other generations when it comes to finding purpose in work.
Gen Z Has Something to Offer
Generation Z in the workforce is reshaping corporate culture with their values. But it’s important to recognise that the values of this young generation may evolve, so constant adaptation is key to maintaining an attractive and competitive employer brand.
But as with any other generation, Gen Z has something to offer. By ensuring inclusivity, providing clear career growth opportunities, and aligning business actions with social causes, organisations can attract and retain the talents of this new generation.