2018 Seniors -First Graduating Class Born And Raised In The New Millennium.
What to expect from the youngest workforce generation and how to prepare your business.
The first day of senior year. For many of us, it’s a rite of passage. You became the oldest and seemingly, wisest in the school. You knew what halls would get you from one end of the building to the other the fastest. What teachers would let you slack off, what days to skip packing lunch because they were serving tacos. Ah, senior year. Can you remember the excitement? The fear of starting the last year of the rest of your life.
For students entering senior year this year ( 2017 / 2018 ), they have another title to claim their very own! For the first time in our lifetimes, students born after the turn of the millennium are starting the last year of high-school and will soon graduate and join us on the “other-side” as employees.
They have never known the primitive lifestyle we endured throughout the 1900’s. The struggle of rewinding a VHS to see a moment over again. Purple ink all over your fingers from a freshly printed assignment on a Ditto machine. In some cases, the idea of a computer lab, or revolving technology station (I’m looking at you 200-lb TV). No, today’s incoming senior class are the first of their generation and have come to age in a society of mobile and “smart” technology, rapid innovation and more cultural diversity.
In just one year they will enter the workforce, or further their education, but the inevitable is happening, Generation Z will need to be employed. So buckle up, sit back, and get ready. Here is a short list of what to expect from the first graduating class of the new Millennium.
1. Technology Wizards: Students born after 2000, have known a lifetime of connectivity.Though dial-up was around in their toddler years, most are accustomed to fast Internet, connection, and entertainment at the drop of a hat.
What this means for employers: Being constantly connected and adept to speed, Gen. Z can process information faster and see the big picture in a shorter amount of time. You may want to start recycling out and planning a new training program. I recommend one that operates in short modules and is interactive, to the point, and dare I say, entertaining.
2. War! What is it good for? Do you remember where you were Tuesday, September 11th, 2001? Ask that question to an incoming senior and you can probably guess the answer. For a majority of their lives, we have been at war or in conflict. The pending fear of terrorist attacks, a nuclear war, or even invasion and cyber hacking of foreign governments, are the norm they have grown up with.
What this means for employers: Generation Z have seen the Millennials come of age during the recession. Many got degrees and went right back where they started, at entry-level, minimum wage jobs. Generation Z is not messing around. If they can get to their career goals, the sooner the better. Why waste time on a formal education, when the Internet provides a free, immediate education to self-learn almost any subject or topic? Granted, we know not everything on the internet is the truth, but you get the idea. Growing up in a time where society as we know it could seemingly end tomorrow, Generation Z is looking to achieve their goals as quickly as possible.
3. You thought hipsters were annoying? Generation Z is desperate to be the most individual and unique generation as a whole than many before them. Long gone are the Joneses of the 80’s, or the collective grunge and pop culture of the 90’s. Gen. Zer’s have an eclectic style, taste in music, hobbies and interests than ever before. Their lifetime of Internet connection has produced a generation with so much coming at them, they are putting out multiple personas that can not be easily categorized or labeled as a whole.
What this means for employers: Preparing your workplace to be flexible to many work-styles, wardrobes, and perspectives. Spherion has conducted an annual survey over the last 20 years called the Emerging Work Force Study. Though their findings have shown a transition from the Traditional worker to the Emergent for years, the need to CHANGE the workplace to suit the desires of the Emergent employee are more important than ever for retention and overall productivity from the incoming employees.
This is just the beginning of the workforce of the new millennium. We are excited for the innovation, global-awareness and drive that the incoming generation of employees have to offer. I encourage you to start preparing your workplace now and be ready for the Y2K of the workforce (only without the potential network blackouts and end of the world mantra).