Look out, world. Now that we’ve all gotten accustomed to the idea of those pesky millennials infiltrating our workplaces, we have a new crew to look out for! Generation Z is on the rise, applying for and landing internships at companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and VMWare. Generation Z is those born between 1994 and 2000, which means these companies are looking at high school students for their source of talent. Brand awareness is key for this group, so companies are best served to get their social media marketing and brand in shape when recruiting these teens and young adults to internships at their organization. For smaller companies, this means that you may have a department of just three individuals – one being a baby boomer, another a Millennial, and the third a Generation Z intern. So how do you get them to work together and be productive and efficient with vastly different working styles? Here are a few tips that employers can apply – whether you have 5 employees or 5000.
• MILLENNIALS are moving into leadership roles.
o These young men and women (roughly born between 1980 and the mid 1990s) are now taking leadership roles within the workplace. A whole new crop of workers is coming in to the picture (the Generation Z interns mentioned above), and that means millennials are moving into management positions. Employers need to know how to work with (and sometimes for) these individuals, and understand what makes them tick.
• HONESTY is now a valued concept in the workplace.
o The younger generations demand honesty and transparency – no gimmicks, just cut to the chase.
• THE SKILLS GAP continues to widen.
o As colleges continue to offer degrees in liberal arts, but hands-on job experience outweigh the value of these liberal arts degrees, the skills gap continues to grow. The educational institutions need to get on board with the reality of workplace demands, or the skills gap will continue to widen over the next several years. Although college graduates are coming into the workforce, their education does not line up with the needed skills across many industries.
• Another major trend is the continuing “JOB HOPPER” movement – those fascinating millennials may also have something to do with this growing phenomenon.
o No longer are the days of 30-40 year loyal employees. Job hopping, aka the continual job search, is evident as over 80% of employed people are currently looking for other job opportunities.
• Of course, technology and SOCIAL MEDIA RECRUITING have taken a huge rise and are allowing people to search for jobs with greater ease and availability. SOCIAL MEDIA is also being used by employers to attract talent, as many of the younger generation have technology constantly at their fingertips.
• SUCCESSION PLANNING has become a hot topic as well, as more baby boomers are hitting retirement age.
o Companies may try to retain some of these older employees for an extended time, in order to transfer their knowledge to the younger generation of employees. Succession planning and cross-training are two concepts that are often overlooked in the workplace, because they do not become an issue until an employee leaves the organization. However, it is critical for companies to have some type of succession plan or cross training implemented in order to ensure that there is not an information gap along with the growing trend of skills gaps within the workforce.
• WOMEN are joining millennials in management positions.
o Societal trends such as couples choosing not to have children, more women attending college, and delayed adulthood are all contributing to this trend. Forbes magazine estimates that of the highest succeeding companies (from a financial marker), 37% have women in a leadership role.
• One of the most recognized trends in recent years, which continues to flourish in 2015, is FLEXIBILITY for employees.
o Many employers now offer telecommute options and we’ve also seen an increase in employers hiring temporary workers and independent contractors or consultants. Millennials and Generation Z’ers are also accepting contract roles versus finding a “real job.” Long-term stability and job security are not priorities for these younger workers. Take for instance, Task Rabbit. A website that was previously used for personal assistants, errands, and small tasks is now being used by these young workers for contract positions and project work.
These non-traditional career options are partly the result of heightened technology use and awareness worldwide. Freelancing has become a much more common occurrence, and job seekers consider these options when evaluating their next role. As such, it behooves employers to seriously contemplate implementing these variables in their workplace in order to attract the younger generation of talent that is seeking this flexibility in large numbers. These trends are all indicative of the societal changes we’ve seen across the board, from technology to social media to flexibility in work and in life. It will be interesting to see what 2016 brings to us in the world of HR trends and hot topics.