Coaching Generation Z for Job Success
Younger generations and technology continue to shape many businesses, making change the only constant. Although it’s hard to pinpoint the evolution, some cite Generation X as a place to begin. Gen X was one of the first workplace generations to champion work-life balance in response to the challenges of balancing full-time work, raising a family and caring for aging parents. When Millennials entered the workplace, cultural shifts became even more pronounced with different communication preferences and the prevalence of social media, challenging employers to redefine.
Raised on the Screen
Such changes will continue as Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration, Post-Millennials or the Homeland Generation, come on the scene. Generation Z, the most technologically advanced group to date, could soon be introducing some changes of their own. Able to swipe a screen before they could walk, the iGeneration may be best known for having more comfort in communicating screen-to-screen than face-to-face, which could indicate candidates will require a new level of assistance in mastering the basics of interviewing and appropriate workplace behaviors.
Role models such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have made the hoodie and top-line sneakers acceptable work attire. With further influence coming from Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and social media icons, iGeneration job candidates may lack the work culture sensibilities of prior generations. While many workplaces are noticeably more casual than even a decade ago, iGen candidates could still need a reminder that dressing to impress never goes out of fashion.
The rise of the smartphone and 4G systems using Siri and Alexa make it easier and quicker to ask questions and get answers on the fly. Such ease also has the potential to create an unfortunate side effect of laziness. Tech-savvy candidates used to such assistance may not see the point of spending time digging into a company’s website. This unfortunate misstep could rob a potential candidate from finding the meaningful questions that could catch the attention of a hiring manager.
Much like their Millennial counterparts who continue to reconfigure the workplace, the iGeneration is similarly ambitious and ready to make their mark on the world. Yet this desire to make immediate and sweeping changes has the potential to create a disconnect. For iGen, it will be important to find ways to channel the passion for change within the reality of day-to-day task work. When working with iGen candidates, recruiters will need to demonstrate the advantage of making long-term goals and building experience while working toward a game-changing dream.
Much like the generations that came before them, the iGeneration has great potential to shine in the workplace. With a work culture that’s continually in flux, it will be up to members of the iGeneration to find their niche working among Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennial workers. Successful recruiting of the group will be about finding a balance of skills and technology with a long-term investment in the learning process and milestone achievements along the way.