Executive Summaries » Gen Z Joins the Workforce

Gen Z Joins the Workforce

July 9, 2020

A fresh crop of entry-level workers is about to join the workforce. “Generation Z” is currently the term most accepted to define those born in the late 1990s and after, with the oldest born around 1995. They are expected to account for one fifth of the workforce this year. It is only a matter of time before nearly all employers have an employee from this latest generation.

They are the most racially diverse generation in U.S. history. According to a 2018 study by YPulse, they list racism as the biggest problem facing their generation. Over half believe racism is getting worse. Their outlook is framed by major events in their childhood — the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the sub-prime mortgage crisis that led to the 2008 recession.

Research shows them to be pessimistic, anxious, and skeptical. A high percentage list honesty and integrity as the most valued characteristics in a boss.

Over half will not complete a job application if the recruiting methods are outdated, and 26 percent say that lack of technology throughout the hiring process would deter them from accepting a job offer.

When Gen X came of age in the early 1990s, they expressed a desire to influence social values, address global issues and promote racial understanding. Whereas the prior generation values collaboration, Gen Zers tend to be independent and competitive. Over half plan to leave their current employer within three years, and the same percentage aspire to hold management positions.

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