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Employing Generation Z – what to expect

Employing Generation Z – what to expect

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z, Gen Z, Post Millennials, iGeneration or iGen; call them what you like, but if you are going to be employing them, you need to know more about them. Although there is no exact demographic for this new wave of employees, Generation Z is thought to have been born between the mid-1990s and 2010, and they bring with them a whole host of new talents, attitudes and a more cautious approach to the world. Unlike their predecessors, the millennials, Gen Z have learned from the failings and disappointments that expectancy can bring, and have a more cautious and open-minded attitude to life. All of this actually makes them hard-working, loyal and talented employees that can bring a new wave of thinking and skills to any business.

What careers are Gen Z seeking out?

Technology is what gets this generation ticking. They have been brought up on a diet of www.com, and everything they have learned has used technology in some format or other. They are not afraid of it, in fact, they embrace it and understand how it can enhance most aspects of their lives. Engineering, Technology, Science and IT are at the forefront of where this generation is headed, and this is what the construction industry is crying out for. With BIM, AI and AR all driving construction forward, Generation Z are what we need to bring this to fruition. Construction is changing; we know that, and we also recognise that we will always need the personnel at the coal face, the brickies, the roofers, the scaffolders, the electricians. But all of their jobs will be controlled by the techies behind the keyboards, bringing future projects to life and this is where Gen Z are going to excel.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well yes, it does. We have this up and coming generation of careful, cautious, independent, ambitious twenty-somethings all eager to get on the career ladder. Sounds great, but has growing up in this digital age dampened down skills that they will need in the workplace? Communication, for instance. One of the most important skills we have and need to make a success in our lives is the ability to communicate with all people, from all walks of life and at all levels. Customers, colleagues, bosses; we need to know how to communicate with them effectively to get on and get ahead, and this is where Gen Z falls short. Their constant diet of texting, emailing and messaging has left them short in the communication skills department. The advent of the smartphone means they need never seek the advice of others. Google is their guru, and the limited ‘face-to-face’ contact they have sees them at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the workplace. There has also been a tendency to overprotect this generation. Anxious parents have wanted to shield their Gen Z children from an unpleasant world, which in turn has affected their development of communication skills from an early age.

What am I going to get when I employ Gen Z?

Generation Z is a new breed of hardworking, conscientious young people who know that good jobs, a house, and a holiday in the Maldives aren’t going to just drop into their laps. They have a high level of the right education, after all, Gen Z doesn’t want all that debt with no job at the end of it, and they have an enthusiasm that outpaces other generations. They have a more inclusive approach to the world they live in; race, religion and sexual orientation mean little to them when it comes to working and living together. With their more cautious and optimistic approach to life combined with their 21st Century skill set, Gen Z will bring a new wave of ambition and enthusiasm to our ailing industries.