July 29, 2022
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It seems like every week, there is a new headline about Gen Z, and no wonder. This generation is changing up how other generations live, work and play. Commonly including those born between 2012 and 1997 (making them 10 to 25 in 2022), they are tech-savvy, tuned into social media, diverse and concerned about climate change, social justice issues and more—and not afraid to say it.
Since the oldest members of Gen Z, sometimes called Zoomers, are in the early years of their professional career, the impact of this group has been especially felt in the work world as the job market and work in general is rapidly shifting. Read more about how Gen Z is changing up how they (and the generations that came before them) work.
It is no secret that the job market has been rocky since COVID-19 hit in March 2020. Since there, there have been layoffs, hiring freezes, budget cuts, company reductions and closures and more. There was a bright spot in summer 2021, when companies were eager to hire again and workers were thrilled to take on new roles.
Since then, the general dynamic of the workforce has varied heavily by region and industry. While some are still hiring in masse, others, such as tech, are seeing companies pulling offers and instituting company-wide layoffs. This impacts Gen Z because, much like the Class of 2020, first job plans are getting shattered, they are entering a work environment that is fragmented and it might be harder to make connections than before, when everyone was guaranteed to be in the office.
But, consider those who are on the job search, who have not landed that first role yet. How are they shaping how work is done? The answer lies in recruiters.
Recruiters, who often serve as the first point of contact for job applicants, and who subsequently lead people through the recruitment process and, if they get offers, onboarding, are burnt out. Especially those that recruit for roles that are filled by junior-level talent. In this new era of work, some older members of Gen Z are requesting salaries higher than employers can accommodate, opt to take wellness days without notifying their team and feel that when, where and how they work is up to them.
These requests can come as early as the initial interview or phone screen, leaving many recruiters and teams confused with whether or not to move young candidates through the hiring process. Even if they manage to make it onto the team, a lot are jumping ship fast, even if the work environment and team are fine.
In recent surveys, more than 50% stated that they wanted or intended to leave their employer within a year of starting, making many Talent Acquisition departments question what it takes to get younger employees to stay—since they are crucial members of the team—and if they really wanted the job in the first place. The demands younger people have are changing, and recruiters are not always ready for them.
It is a common thought that members of Gen Z, along with Millennials, want to abandon the office and opt for all-remote work. After all, they have been attending Zoom University for years and prefer texting to calls! But, in a recent Business Insider Survey, less than a quarter of workers in their 20s wanted to work virtually.
That number increased to about 40 percent for those in their 50s and 60s. A May 2022 survey found that while remote job openings are up nationwide, young people do not always apply for them. More and more of them want to go back into an office. After years of feeling isolated, some want to go back in. Like many things, feelings about this vary.
All of this is to say, how will Gen Z continue to shake up how everyone works. Keep reading the news and keep an eye out—only time will tell. It is impossible to ignore how Gen Z approaches work. They are the future, after all.
If you know someone who is interested in all things Gen Z, share this with them to spread the word. Did you find this useful? Feel free to bookmark or post to your timeline for reference later!