For most talent scouts, the marketplace has changed. If you’re a recruiter searching for candidates to support your clients, or an employer looking to fill a gap in your team, there’s more than just millennials to consider when imagining what the workforce of the future will look like.
Gen Z is rapidly beginning to make its way into the workforce too. It’s important to prepare yourself to support the professionals of the future.
In 2020, members of that age group already made up more than 24% of the workforce, and they’re currently entering the professional world in large numbers.
Today, we’re going to look at what the workforce of the future might look like to your organisation, and what you can do to prepare.
They’ll be prepped for creativity
Today’s Gen Z employees are ready to think outside of the box. They’re comfortable questioning the status quo and exploring new alternatives to how things have always been done.
With that in mind, it’s worth looking for ways to build an agile business environment, ideal for team members, who can shift and pivot at record speed.
Look for ways to let your Gen Z employees showcase their creativity by giving them plenty of reliable ways to leave feedback on how your office can evolve.
Be open to the ideas that your team members have, too, as they might be able to solve problems with their intuitive mindset much faster than you’ve been able to before.
Remember to give your employees more freedom to try new ideas and experiment with different ways of working.
You’d be surprised by what the workforce of the future can accomplish with a little freedom.
They want purpose and meaningful work
Just like the millennials that came before them, Gen Z employees are all about ethical living. The employees of the future care about issues like inclusion, diversity, and environmental awareness.
They’re also likely to be more vocal if they feel that your brand isn’t delivering on its promises.
The good news is that if your employees fall in love with your brand and what it stands for, they’ll also become some of your biggest advocates.
Help your employees get a sense of meaning from their tasks each day by letting them see how your company is making a difference in all the ways that matter most to them.
Focus on transparency in everything you do and find causes to fight for that your employees can get behind.
The more you show that you care about more than just profits and money, the more you’ll attract the best talent to your team.
They’ll be keen on growth
Just as the workforce of the future wants to see meaning in their work, they also want to know that their effort is heading somewhere.
Gen Z employees are competitive and ready to work hard to make their dreams come true.
If they can’t see a future where they’re constantly improving themselves and getting ahead in your organisation, they’ll lose interest.
Besides giving your future employees plenty of opportunities to promote and get better roles from the inside, you should also be looking for training and development opportunities to help them grow their skills.
Although Gen Z and younger employees are driven heavily by monetary bonuses, they’re also keen to get feedback and learning opportunities to help them grow on a deeper level.
Remember, training and educating your team members also means that you can take advantage of their skills in your workplace for longer.
Your happy and motivated team members will put their newly acquired skills to work in your team.
They want independence
Although younger generations find feedback and recognition importance, they also want the autonomy to do things the way they feel is best.
In an age where remote work is more common than ever, your employees are used to completing their tasks without having someone looking over their shoulders at all times.
Try to avoid making your employees feel like you’re always watching them, or you could chase them away.
Instead, give your employees more freedom to choose how they want to do things.
This could mean providing your team members with the option to choose their working hours as long as they hit their deadlines.
It could also mean allowing for a good combination of remote and in-office work to suit different working styles.
Check-in on your employees from time to time but trust them to do their tasks diligently and give you feedback if something is missing from their work experience.
They’ll be tech-driven
Finally, the youngest generation is now the most tech-focused of all. This is the group that’s grown up with the most access to technology for everything from school, to family life.
In the future, your workforce will be 100% comfortable using technology for all kinds of interactions.
They may even expect you to keep up with more advanced devices, technologies, or methods. Being ready to explore tech innovations as they arise and ensuring that you have the right tools in place will be essential.
The new generation doesn’t see automation and AI as a threat to their employment, but as a way to implement further improvements.
The future is driven by tech. The benefits of Industry 4.0 will be a crucial consideration in the investments that businesses make into the technology for their teams.
Therefore, don’t underestimate the value of tech for the workforce of the future.
Get ready for the workforce of the future
The workforce and the talent within it are constantly changing. If companies want to continue attracting the right candidates for their teams, they need to adapt to suit evolving expectations and demands.
Knowing what to expect from the workforce will ensure that you’re prepared to attract the next generation.
Don’t overlook the importance of the factors we mentioned above when making your business more appealing to candidates.
By Lisa Michaels, a freelance writer, editor, and thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.