Get Ready for Generation Z

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It’s nearly summer, and that means young people across the country are celebrating the completion of degree and certificate programs. They are also, not surprisingly, looking for their first “real” job. But this generation of graduates is different. And, as a “geriatic millennial” (which describes anyone born between 1980 and 1985), I find myself finding less and less in common with members of Generation Z (anyone born after 1996).


5 Facts about Generation Z

Here are five facts about Gen Z along with five ways we can all do a better job of attracting, engaging, and inspiring them to be the next generation of leaders.

  • According to Pew Research, Generation Z will be the most well-educated generation yet. That means lots of credentially-qualified individuals will be applying for jobs and competition will be fierce. How quickly you find the best candidates and narrow the interview pool could make all the difference. Consider utilizing a job assessment along with people data (like a behavioral assessment) to help identify top applicants and make better hiring decisions.
  • In the same report, Pew reveals Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are extremely important to these young people. They will be attracted to company missions, visions and values as well as ongoing culture add initiatives. Consider now whether or not your organization is attracting or deterring connection with these young job seekers.
  • McKinsey reports Gen Z, or Digital Natives, were influencers before the term was even coined. They’ve grown up with unprecedented access to the Internet, social networks, smart phones and other devices. As a result, they’re changing the world around them and will not conform to be accepted. Is your organizational culture welcoming and does it create a sense of belonging among all team members?
  • A recent report by Deloitte and The Network of Executive Women (NEW), reveals “Gen Z prefers individual tasks over team-based activities however they will value physical connection. They prefer independence but not isolation.” This information may be helpful as many companies are considering a change in their work model as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on business. Will your remote, hybrid or in-office model meet the needs of young workers? Have you asked current employees how they would prefer to work moving forward?
  • In the same report, Deloitte and NEW share “Gen Z’s preferred career development is to have diverse and entrepreneurial opportunities with the safety of stable employment…”. Organizations who allow Gen Z’ers to play an active role in the design of their career paths will create loyalty and increase engagement. By implementing talent optimization, organizations can better align business strategy with people strategy to achieve desired business results.

With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day and a labor shortage, the need for qualified, hungry talent has never been greater. Gen Z very well may be the solution organizations will turn to during this challenge.

“To attract and retain the best and brightest of the generation
will require a different mindset. Employers will need to understand
the behaviors and tendencies of a generation that expects much
more personalization in how they are treated by their employer.
Rather than try to fill cookie-cutter roles, instead develop the profile of a great employee, establish internal apprenticeship programs, or hire smart, talented people and then match them with a role.” (Deloitte)


By focusing on recruiting people who can do the job versus those who can get the job and taking the necessary steps to evaluate and potentially re-imagine organizational culture, you can attract best fit, highly motivated, culture add employees.

Are you ready for Generation Z? If you would like to discuss how assessments, talent optimization, and culture can better prepare your organization for the next generation of team members, reach out. One of our leadership consultants would be happy to learn more about your challenges and strategy.



For more on reevaluating organizational culture, read Leadership Consultant Mandy Haskett’s most recent article featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

And, to learn more about the importance of evaluating the employee experience when considering culture, read “Addressing Post-Pandemic Organizational Challenges” by Leadership Consultant Mikel Hartman.