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What Gen Z Wants

Out with the old and in with the new! Generation Z is entering the workforce, and it is time for organizations to be prepared for their many needs compared to millennials. The next group of young adults is a tech-savvy and inquisitive group of talent, born in a time when political and socioeconomic polarities impacted society (think: economic crash, Sandy Hook, etc.).

If you’re looking to redefine your employee appreciation language for the next generation of workers, consider this.

Who Are Gen Z

Generation Z are born after 1995 and have major respect for personal engagement at work and technology to balance work productivity. These employees will travel the world in order to pursue the career of their dreams. Most are highly intelligent and curious, asking questions on the job to develop ideas for operational improvement initiatives. Unlike millennials, they have realistic expectations for their employers and are vocal in presenting their ideas, despite their lack of work experience.

What Gen Z Wants

As you review a student resume, it is important to search for the skills of your ideal employee that can add value to the team. Try searching for action words such as “invented”, “developed”, “organized”, and “achieved” when creating a shortlist of candidates. Generation Z’s experience will primarily be in committee work on campus, volunteering, internships, and classroom projects, which offer transferable skills that can be used in the workplace. Their lack of experience is an advantage because their perspective of the outside world and discussions with their parents can result in unconventional ideas that can potentially help a company grow.

Salary Expectations

Generation Z grew up when the economy started to recover in North America. If the economic downfall didn’t impact their parents, someone in their circle of friends has a story. This age group, unlike millennials, does not expect to be guaranteed a high salary after graduation. Most realize that the starting salary can start at less than $36,000. According to Fast Company, “Among young college graduates, average wages are $19.18 per hour—only 1.4% higher than in 2000.” Nonetheless, there is an expectation that with experience and time also comes an increase in income before retirement.

Open Discussions with Management

Technology is second nature to Generation Z, but a face-to-face connection with their manager is still vital for career development. It is important to foster open communication. When employee’s feel heard, this adds value to their work experience. These professionals aim to work at organizations that will guide their career with regular performance evaluations.

Workplace Cultures

Flexible workplaces are here to stay for Gen Z with an emphasis on an area for employees to relieve stress and focus on work-life balance. The CEO should project this type of culture down to management.  This helps the group flourish in a company that genuinely practices these initiatives.

Here is a list of flexible work options to consider:

  • A gym in the building
  • Room for employees to destress (i.e., game room, TV room, sleep room)
  • Options to work from home (i.e., once a month)

In addition, well-being programs and personalized healthcare benefits for employees are additional examples worth implementing at your company.

Acknowledged and Taken Seriously

There are many common misconceptions about Generation Z. They do not respect authority, are glued to their phones, lack social skills, and do not want to work hard.  The truth is, Gen Z has an entrepreneurial spirit. However, this also comes with its own advantages. Gen Z isn’t afraid to work longer hours and benefits from how their work positively impacts a company. This group values the opinions of their superiors and working alongside seasoned professionals in their department. They have the confidence to socialize with executives in meetings and share their ideas about customer experience improvements.

As you begin hiring Generation Z at your business, consider what these employees want, the strengths of this generation, and the desired benefits in your decision-making process.

Welcome to the Workforce, Generation Z

generation z

2017 marks the first year Generation Z will enter the workforce. These Centennials will bring a new culture with them, known for being more diverse, resilient and open than their Millennial counterparts.

While 37% of Centennials fear they will not find a job that fits their personality, this presents a new challenge for human resource professionals to understand this new demographic and reach them with strategic content that is relevant to them.

Here are a few things HR needs to know about this new generation of workers:

The Perk Generation

Gallup recently released a report on the State of the American Workforce. In the report they state that “the benefits and perks that employees truly care about are those that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life.” Millennials are more likely to change jobs due to perks, and the Centennial generation is no different. They are seeking out more independence and flexibility as the world becomes more mobile.

The Entrepreneur Generation

Along the same lines of independence, it should not surprise us that Generation Z is also more entrepreneurial. In fact, 37 percent of Generation Z said they are interested in starting their own company. This could be due to the Millennial generation paving the way with startup technology companies popping up left and right, plus an increased access to educational resources on sites like Udemy, Skillshare, and more.

The Happiness Generation

Millennials have been known to seek growth opportunities over salary. As Generation Z enters the workforce we are finding the same trend. A staggering 77 percent see job satisfaction as equal to or more important than salary. Again, this ties into perks and an overall compensation package that includes more than just the standard healthcare and retirement packages. Centennial employees want a place that makes their life a little easier.

The Mentor Generation

A surprising fact about Gen Z is that they don’t always prefer to communicate via social media and other technologies. In fact, 51 percent say they prefer in-person communications with managers as opposed to emailing or instant messaging. This also ties into their need for mentors. Generation Z doesn’t want a micro-manager breathing down their neck. They do, however, have a strong need for leadership and mentorship. They seek opportunities for growth over salary increases, craving feedback and direction from their managers. If they don’t find these opportunities, then they won’t stick around.

Generation Z and the Millennial generation may not be all that fundamentally different, but finding ways to appeal to their needs and wants will ensure your company has the competitive edge in the war for talent.

2017 HR Trends to Watch

2017 hr trends watch

As little as ten years ago Human Resources was primarily defined as the department in charge of payroll and benefits. Thanks to technology,  these more administrative functions have been automated, making room for more innovation and putting the focus on the “human” aspect of this department.

As we await for the ball drop and the ringing in of the new year, here are a few HR trends we can look forward to in 2017:


In 2016, 60% of job seekers reported a poor candidate experience and 72% of these candidates shared their experience via Glassdoor.com or other employer review services. Companies like Virgin Media are paving the way for an improved candidate experience. When Virgin discovered they were losing an average of $7 million in revenue due to weaknesses in their recruitment process, they began to analyze what they could do differently. They created a better candidate experience and in turn, improved ROI. We expect to see more of this in 2017 as employers seek to create a reformed experience for job-seekers.

The Gig Economy

The blended workforce is becoming increasingly more common in the modern workforce. With 93% of companies hiring freelance workers alongside full-time employees, we expect to see an even greater increase in 2017. In fact, a staffing industry report shared that total spending on the U.S. Gig Economy is close to $800 billion. With our economy becoming even more contingent on these workers, this presents new challenges for the HR professional as they seek to make these employees more of a focal point for employee engagement.

Generation Z

2017 marks the first year Generation Z will enter the workforce. These Centennials will bring a new culture with them. They are known for being more diverse, resilient and open than their Millennial counterparts.

While 37% of Centennials fear they will not find a job that fits their personality, this presents a new challenge for human resources professionals. They need to understand this new demographic and reach them with strategic and relevant content.


In CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior study, they report: “Although 76 percent of full-time, employed workers are either actively looking for a job or open to new opportunities, nearly half (48 percent) of employers can’t seem to find the workers they need to fill their job vacancies.” Employers also stated it takes anywhere from 26-34 days to fill an open position. We live in a world where time is money. Therefore, it’s certain more employers will take more measures to decrease the time and energy spent to find qualified candidates.


In a study by Willis Towers Watson, 75% of U.S. employers state stress as their number one health and productivity issue. Unfortunately, employers and employees can’t seem to agree on its cause. Alleviating stress has become a top concern for many companies. The American Psychological Association, however, reports less than half of workers say their organization supports their well-being. In addition, one in three report chronic stress while on the job.  Evidence that we still have a long way to go in creating a more relaxed, stress-free environment in the workplace.

What are the trends you’re looking out for in 2017?

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