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Gen Z: 4 Realities of Employing the Next Generation of Workers

August 11, 2016 3:00:00 PM EDT | By: Michelle Dopps

Generation Z workersThere’s a new generation entering the workforce, and it’s time to start thinking about what that means for your future talent pool. While it seems like we’re constantly hearing about millennials in the workplace, there hasn’t been as much talk about the younger Generation Z. Since they’re just now starting to make their way into offices, that makes sense, but thinking ahead can help prevent problems with this new group of potential employees.

According to an infographic from the Brighton School of Business and Management, members of Generation Z were born between 1994 and 2010, and the first wave will enter the workforce this year. So what makes this generation different from their predecessors, and what does that mean for global mobility?

Here are four interesting pieces of information found in that infographic that will be of special concern to relocation professionals:

1. They’ll be hard workers.

More than three in four members of Generation Z believe they will have to work harder than previous generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling professional life. That’s definitely good news if you’re concerned that your investment in a new, young employee will pay off. This group knows and expects to put in the hard work in order to succeed.

The infographic quotes Dan Schawbel of Millennial Branding as saying, “Gen Z has a clear advantage over Gen Y because they appear to be more realistic instead of optimistic, are likely to be more career-minded, and can quickly adapt to new technology to work more effectively. Gen Z has seen how much Gen Y has struggled in the recession, they come to the workplace better prepared, less entitled and more equipped to succeed.”

If you’re paying to relocate one of these young employees or sending them on an international assignment, generational trends indicate you’ll be rewarded more than you may have with Millennials.

2. They’re all about technology.

Unsurprisingly, members of Gen Z rely heavily on technology. As the first generation that has grown up with easy access to the internet and a number of increasingly sophisticated gadgets, Gen Z doesn’t know what to do when “disconnected.”

In fact, the infographic notes that four in five display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their personal electronic devices, and nine in 10 would be upset if they had to give up their internet connection. This is pretty much in line with what we’ve seen with Millennials, but to an even more extreme level.

Keeping your relocation up-to-date and using the best tools available will want to be your focus when working with Gen Z employees. Here’s a good guide to what companies are doing as far as mobility technology goes – are you in line with current trends, ahead of the game or a little behind?

3. They’re motivated by knowing how to grow.

The best way to motivate a Gen Z employee is by showing them a clear path to career progression. If you’re trying to get more employees to participate in international assignments or temporary relocations, working that into a model for promotion could help.

While 27% are motivated by more money, 34% want to know that there are promotions available to them. In a generation that also values work-life balance, the appeal of living in a new place or taking an exciting assignment may be as appealing or even considered to be a promotion. Use that to your advantage!

4. They’re educated.

This is one highly educated group of workers. Compared to the 33% of Millennials with university educations, 50% of Gen Z will have been to college. Plus, 64% of them include an advanced degree in their goals.

They like to share all of that knowledge, with 60% saying they do so online. This could be a useful quality to tap into as you develop these employees. Empowering them to take assignments to other offices or locations may appeal to this desire to share.

One other education-related note: with all of these degrees come a lot of student loans.  This group is concerned about that and willing to work hard to pay them off. Sounds like a motivated group of potential employees!

Having a good handle on the generational traits of this up-and-coming group of workers could prove valuable as you work to recruit and retain the best and brightest. Plus, you’ll have insight into how to use your global mobility program work for them and for your company.

By the way, if you’re still a few years out from hiring full-time Gen Z workers, it’s likely that you’ll soon have a few as interns. Are you offering internship relocation benefits? Turns out, this is a growing trend that could help you snag these hard-working Gen Z employees early!

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