Generation Z offers unique challenge for employers
Gen Z driven by social conscience, not money
The newest crop of workers, born after 1994, have been called Generation Z. They are defined as being more industrious and technologically astute than any generation that has come before.
As the director of one the longest running summer camps in Canada, Duncan Robertson has plenty of experience hiring young people. Most of his summer staff members at Camp Onondoga in Minden, Ont., are under the age of 21. He said the way he communicates with his workers has changed dramatically in the last few years.
"If you want a quick answer, Facebook or texting," he said. "Snapchat, Facebook, it's all social media. Anything but a traditional way of getting in touch."
This generation is looking for work that excites them. They are looking for work that they feel is helping others.- Jennifer Posthumus, Employment and Social Services
Robertson said the only time he emails his staff is to send a formal contract or offer letter. He laughed at the idea of leaving a voicemail, because most of his staff members don't have voicemail activated on their phones.
Dan Schawbel is the Founder of WorkplaceTrends.com and an expert in hiring from Generation Z. Schawbel said to attract the best from Gen Z, companies need to be visible on social media.
"One thing is you can post pictures of your office, your employees, your work events that your company participates in. These pictures really create the transparency that Generation Z is looking for," he explained.
Just like generations before, it's current events that are shaping how Gen Z thinks about their work and community, Schawbel said. And he said Gen Z is less motivated by money and more socially conscious.
"Generation Z is more defined by all these protests and riots and the whole idea of equal rights is becoming a huge part of that generation," he explained. "And seeing and sharing that in their peer network is becoming more prominent then we have ever seen before."
Jennifer Posthumus, with Employment and Social Services in Toronto, helps connect youth with employers, often for their first job.
"This generation is looking for work that excites them. They are looking for work that they feel is helping others. They are diverse group, they have a global mindset," she described. "They are used to online networking connecting with people all around the world. So they bring that passion, and that passion for social justice and global issues to the workplace," she said.