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Generation Z Brings ‘FleXibilitY’ and Change to Employers

Millennials have been flooding the labor market around the world and as such, employers have faced the need to transform the way they look at the working environment to accommodate changing requirements. Generation Z is further complicating the equation after Gens Y and X.

Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as those adolescents who were born in and after 1996, while Generation Y was born in the period from 1981-1996 and Generation X was born between 1965-1980. Gen Z does not only make up the majority of workforce today, according to Pew, but is also seen as a group that has revolutionized the way we regard work, chiefly due to its mobility, inclination towards greater collaboration and the fact that they are internet natives.

“As these generations are already the children of the internet, they are tech-based and mobile,” Gergely Hacsi, branch manager of HR firm Trenkwalder Hungary, tells the Budapest Business Journal. “In order to be able to communicate with and reach out to these generations, companies have had to take initiatives to reform their tools and channels, to become digital and flexible.” 

Hacsi notes that this does not only include the increasing use of video interviewing, instant messaging applications and online assessment tools, but employers need to be flexible in many other senses, such as using new channels for employer branding, including a more conscious and targeted application of social media channels.

Members of Generation Z also appear to be more conscious and mindful about their career. They are more focused, determined and informed in relation to career choice and path in general compared to, say, Gen Y. As such, Hacsi has a very important message to employers in relation to these newest kids on the employee block. 

Harder to Satisfy

“They experience and travel a lot, they have a lot of opportunities, something that Y Gen members did not have earlier. Z Gen employees are harder to satisfy, it is not easy to keep them motivated, they demand a ‘friendly’ boss, require dynamism, a clear career path, inspiring working atmosphere and flexibility in working hours. These are the main challenges employers will probably face when hiring Z Gen candidates,” he says.

The attitudes of this generation have also changed a lot to their older peers. Apparently, Generation Z is not happy anymore to blindly follow direction and do what it is told without questioning. Its members appear not to be ready to put up with the world as it is; they would rather change it. 

“They would like to have impact on the company or on their surroundings through their work. They want to change and challenge things, dogmas and best practices; they want to explore and experience,” Hacsi explains.

At the same time, the trends are also changing, as far as their behavior is concerned. While Generation Y and Z are on the same platforms regarding the tech world, the latter tend to use online tools quite differently. Individuals of Generation Z “usually do not follow Y Gen practices; for example they are less represented on Facebook because their parents are already part of that and that is not ‘cool’,” Hacsi concludes.

Editor’s note: Other HR firms were contacted in preparing this article, but had been unable to get back to us by the time we went to print.