Hiring talented workers across different generations requires meticulous planning and strategy, as each generation has different views on education and office work. Organizations need to understand each generation’s needs to develop an effective hiring strategy. Generation Y, also known as millennials, include workers born between 1981 and 1996 who will constitute the majority of the workforce by 2025. Those born between 1997 and 2010 constitute Generation Z, and people born after 2010 are part of Generation Alpha, which will enter the workforce in the next couple of years. Generation Alpha is considered to be “tech native” and “digitally literate,” as an increased reliance on social media and digital technologies has shaped how they approach their education and careers.
Millennials are the most educated generation, with most having college degrees. This generation is also called the “trophy generation,” as many millennials received expensive college degrees and entered into an inadequate job market. On the other hand, only 64% of Gen Z workers have considered a college degree compared to 71% of millennials. Gen Z is more eager to enter the workforce directly to avoid years of college debt and expenses. Gen Z understands education and career development as a symbiotic lifelong process that is not restricted to a 9 to 5 time frame. Generation Alpha might be the most educated generation, however they are redefining what “real education” means. Their education will include real-world simulations and highly personalized training that will prepare them to run specific workplaces in the future. Virtual learning will also continue to dominate their education.
Style of Work
As a generation, millennials are more collaborative and oriented toward teamwork. They want to work in an ethnically diverse environment where inclusion is prioritized and where people come together to approach an issue. On the other hand, Generation Z is more competitive and prefers independence to teamwork. They want to work alone and expect to be judged solely on their hard work. As such, Generation Z also wants more independence – an office of their own instead of collaborative workspaces. This generation is more vocal about their demands and wants the workplace to cater to them. Generation Z is also more open to continuous learning and career development as a lifelong process.
Generation Alpha has more resources and tools than the earlier generations, which gives them a significant competitive advantage. Being highly tech-savvy, this generation is learning about artificial intelligence and coding at the school level, potentially making them fit the labor demand in tech sectors in the coming years. Members of this generation have grown up with Siri, Alexa, and other chatbots as companions, and their distinction between real and virtual lives can often become blurred due to their over-reliance on technology.
What Should Employers Do?
Employers need to speak to what their potential employees want. For instance, flexibility is extremely important across all three generations. A recent study revealed that 71% of millennials would quit their jobs if their employers did not offer them flexibility. Many companies are already adapting to these demands as people are getting their work done when they have the time. Data shows that people tend to work more in the morning and evening hours while work over the weekend has increased by 200%.
Having seen their parents work from home during the pandemic, Generation Alpha will also not compromise on flexibility. They are also more inclined to have a job that gives them more control, even if the money is less. In addition, Generation Alpha expects its employers to support their mental and physical well-being and demand a robust system that helps them navigate mental health challenges. They are also more likely to decline a job offer if their social values do not align with those of the company.
At KangarooStar, we understand employee needs across different generations and support employers in developing the best hiring practices. We are your one-hop stop for data-driven job matching, career development, hiring trends, and professional assessment. Learn more about how to jump to the next level in your career today!