Generation Z is here, and it is time to adapt. Thanks to a massive boom in birth-rates since the dawn of the 21st century, Generation Z is soon expected to overtake millennials in numbers By 2020, it is predicted that approximately 50% of the world’s workforce will consist of Gen Z. Due to a rather prominent gap in upbringing between Gen Z and millennials, companies will have to adapt their HR if they intend to make full use of this new talent.

Generation Z is earnest, hardworking and traditional but favours liberal views on race, gender, identity and more.  Socially and technologically empowered, companies who ignore this run the risk of being ignored. Companies who embrace these ideals will gain their loyalty.

This new generation are also the first true digital natives. While millennials are technologically savvy, Gen Z-ers are truly one with technology, having grown up in the digital age and being intimately familiar with the internet and social media. They are also inclusive in their mindset and more focused on individualism when it comes to work.

Gen Z-ers place a heavy emphasis on actions over words. Companies can no longer just “tick the boxes”. We’ve entered an era of transparency that companies are still trying to adjust to.  As a result, the visibility of an employer’s brand is increasingly more important in the HR strategy. Promises made are expected to be fulfilled and when companies fail to live up to their stated corporate social responsibility (CSR), they will suffer against Gen Z’s unshakeable morals.

Apart from transparency, flexibility plays a key role in satisfaction of Gen Z. They enjoy a sense of control, especially around the work-life balance. Companies can accommodate this via flexible work hours or remote working capabilities.

However, Gen Z-ers realise money is still of significant importance. Generation Z lived through the great recession.  Many may have had to live through either one or both parents being laid-off from work during this time.  It goes without saying, such an ordeal would have left a real mark.  As a result, members of the Generation Z group look for sensible, stable careers.  They want more security, safety, and privacy.

Despite this, members of Generation Z can get restless.  If their self-improvement needs are not being met, Gen Z-ers may walk out the door looking for a new employer rather than sticking around to see if the current employer will live up to their needs. Therefore, a company’s employee engagement activities are more important than ever before.

Face-to-face communication can be immensely helpful in terms of employee engagement. However, letting Gen Z-ers contribute and be heard would work even better. HR should reach out and ask for their opinions in meetings or through an online group chat application.  This must also extend to the management level and beyond.

Members of Gen Z are more self-motivated than their predecessors. They’re self-starters and entrepreneurial, no being afraid to take control of their careers. They want jobs that are meaningful. As digital natives, they have access to more resources than ever before, and they can network. This significantly improves their chances of succeeding.