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After Generations X and Y, it is now time to make way for Generation Z – people born between the mid-1990s and late 2000s, who constitute the latter half of Generation Y (the millennial generation). Generation Z is therefore known as the ‘post millennial generation’ and is expected to make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020. Part of Generation Z is currently studying, and is increasingly being called ‘Generation F’ (the F stands for Facebook) by academics.

Consequently, the greatest challenge for organisations is to effectively manage Generation Z (also known as ‘Zs’) employees, who are often impatient and tech-savvy.

The following strategies will be effective in recruiting and retaining Generation Z:

Recruiting Zs. Organisations should establish a strong presence on social media and job portals to headhunt potential candidates and post vacancies. Managers should be open to accepting video resumes instead of traditional documents.

Developing a Z culture. A new organisational culture is needed to cater to the job expectations of Generation Z. Social media policies and office timings are areas of concern; more than 50% of Generation Z employees are likely to decline jobs that prohibit social media access in the workspace and have stringent working hours. Developing a Z culture entails offering flexible timings and implementing policies that allow tech-savvy Zs to use personal smart phones and iPads at work.

Retaining Zs. Engagement and retention of Generation Z will be one of the most challenging HR functions in the forthcoming decade. Research indicates that they are five times more likely than middle-aged employees to switch careers and organisations when jobs become repetitive. Job rotation and enrichment strategies need to be implemented to ensure a motivated and committed workforce.

Collaborating with Zs. Short attention spans, prone to multitasking and expecting immediate changes characterise Generation Z employees. While this may result in organisational growth through innovation, it also creates job insecurity among older employees who may fear change, leading to interpersonal conflicts. Achieving the right balance between implementing new ideas, initiating training programmes for older employees, and maintaining standard practices will be key to developing a collaborative and productive workforce.

– Zeeshan Lakhpaty
The writer is a professional corporate trainer. zeeshan@peopleexcellence.biz
First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 30, 2014.