Brace for the new-wave workforce: The Gen Z

Your future workforce will come equipped with digital nous, but will they be workplace-ready?
16 November 2018

Writer and Gen Z activist Mina Enayati-Uzeta. Source: AFP

It hardly seems long since we started talking about the jarring idiosyncrasies of ‘millennials’ when it comes to working habits and career expectations— often drawing stark contrasts with ‘baby-boomer’ peers.   

But, just as employers have managed to strike a well-oiled balance of expectations and productivity, a new generation of workers is entering the fray that requires its own demographical understanding; The Gen Z.

Aging between 19 and 23 years old, this group of digital natives represents “the youngest executives” joining the workforce today, and it’s on track to account for some 20 percent of your employee-base by 2020.

According to a new study, Gen Z could be a tough group to manage — after all, their confidence in their tech skills doesn’t equate to workforce readiness.

However, being digital natives, they may have a unique edge compared to their seniors and could provide significant support to the digital transformation agenda and accelerate the journey to digital maturity in most industries.

The study found that not only will great technology entice Gen Z job candidates but will also fulfill their need to be in a workplace that invests in cutting-edge technology where they can share their knowledge.

When evaluating the responses of the Gen Z workforce as a whole, it seems as though they’re much more prepared for an automated and AI-powered future where their role is to add value rather than to perform repetitive tasks like their predecessors.

Ninety-one percent of the 12,000 Gen Z-ers surveyed said that the technology offered by an employer would be a factor in choosing among similar job offers and 80 percent said that they believe technology and automation will create a more equitable work environment.

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z-ers are more conscious of the impact that their social media profiles and online presence can have on their career, and are also aware of data security and privacy than most other generations.

The study found that 95 percent of respondents said that they are careful about what they post to social media because it could impact their future career and that 73 percent rank data security as a high priority.

In fact, 31 percent of Gen Z-ers even said that they’re doing everything they can to protect their data.