Move over millennials! The new kids are in town, and they’re taking over. Yes, there’s a whole new generation entering the workforce and they’re bringing a whole new set of rules with them! Well, sort of. The press likes to make sweeping statements about groups of people, and the current buzz is about ‘Generation Z’.
Gen Z is (by most definitions) made up of people who were born after 2001. This is the generation that was just starting school when the first iPhone was launched, and they’ve grown up with easily available technology. They never knew the pain of waiting until 3:30 pm to watch children’s TV, it’s always been on demand. They didn’t have to phone up for their pizza like peasants, they ordered it online. In other words, they are digital natives.
Recruitment news is now full of advice on how to target these Gen Z applicants, to make sure you get your fair share of the brilliance that they bring into the workforce. But experts will tell you, you can’t use the same old tactics that you did with Millennials. Oh no!
There’s a hefty document put together by The Guardian filled with truth and myths about this emerging group of employees. It’s worth reading because this generation will make up over 25% of the working population by the end of 2020. If you read it, you’ll notice that Gen Z are pretty much the ideal remote workers. If you prefer the TL;DR version, here’s why:
They’re Digitally Embedded
Technology is second nature to this group. When their parents needed to keep them quiet at around 8 years old, they handed them their phone and let them play Angry Birds. This is the generation that has watched more YouTube than terrestrial TV, and that texts (or Snapchats) more than they call. They have an ease with technology and the internet that previous generations struggle to match.
Which means they are used to communicating electronically, to being able to bond with their fellows even if they’re not in the same geographical location. They’re not phased by new technology or the idea of having friends on the other side of the world; it’s not the exciting novelty it was for Gen X. It just is.
It’s worth noting, though, that Gen Z do value experiences in real-life too. They might be happy to connect with friends over Xbox live or Discord, but they also want to get out and see the world. They want to travel, go to the opera, and collect memories. In other words, they’re likely to be digital nomads.
They’re Financially Motivated
Not in the 1980’, ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!’ sort of way. No, Gen Z have seen their Millennial friends and family struggle to buy their own homes or support their families and they don’t want to repeat that experience. For such a young generation, they have surprisingly old-fashioned financial values. They want a stable job and to be able to get mortgages. Gosh darn rebels!
This translates to many Gen Z-ers entering the workplace early. They don’t want to run up debt getting degrees, they’d rather start working with an apprenticeship or junior position and work their way up. This means you can hire them young and train them up the way you want things to be done.
They Excel in Hard Skills
Having been born expecting free wifi everywhere they go, these young upstarts have an edge when it comes to technology. It’s an innate understanding that helps them learn new tools and techniques far quicker than previous generations. In the same way that I have to explain to my parents how to use their smartphones, Gen Z will just ‘get’ new technology in a way that no one has before.
And that means they excel at learning new technologies and understanding their potential. And, because they’ve grown up with instant access to the internet, they’re used to working on the move. This is also the generation that has always watched TV with a smartphone or laptop by their side, letting them fact check movies on the fly, or join in Twitter events for live reactions. They’re used to multi-tasking.
They’re Family Oriented
Millennials were all about the message, looking for something to believe in. But Gen Z? They’re all about family. The global financial crisis of 2007 has marked them and left them wanting stability in a similar way to the Boomers. Work-life balance is going to be important to Gen Z going forward, and you know what gives a great work/life balance? Remote working!
They Will Job Hop
This is also the generation of instant gratification. Watch what you want, when you want it. Need something? Order it and get it delivered the next day. Don’t get what you want from a business or organization? Leave a scathing review on TripAdvisor and move on. So, if you’re not selling what Gen Z want to buy, they’ll move elsewhere.
But, as we’ve already said, their needs are relatively simple. They want to be well rewarded for what they do, and to have the freedom and flexibility to do it from anywhere in the world. Hiring remotely already improves staff retention, and it will do the same with Gen Z.
They Thrive on Collaboration
Not to belabor the point, but Gen Z are used to organizing their lives online. All the tools that you need to help your remote team communicate? They’re second nature to Gen Z. A great remote team needs to be able to collaborate online, and Gen Z have been doing this since they used Snapchat to organize who was wearing what to prom.
Rather than being a generation of lone innovators, predictions are that Gen Z will work together to overcome problems and create new solutions. Don’t believe me? Look at what Greta Thunberg has achieved by bringing young people around the world together to talk about climate change.
How do I Hire These Kids?
They do sound great, don’t they? If you’re keen to add some young blood to your workforce, you’ll need to look for them in their native environment, and if you haven’t twigged yet, that’s online. Gen Z will be trawling job sites from their phones, so put up an ad that appeals to their financially cautious but collaborative natures and see what happens.
Or, you could let us do that for you! We’re a specialist remote technical recruitment agency, we spend our days talking to companies like yours and matching them to digital natives who are ready to exceed all your expectations. If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can match you to the perfect, pre-vetted and remote ready, candidates in under two weeks, get in touch today.