Gen Z: Productivity in the new work place

Generation Z (Gen Z) will quickly become the backbone of your workforce, but what does this generation of candidates look for in an employer? How do you effectively support them entering the workforce to maintain productivity? How do you attract and engage Gen Z in your organisation?

Since 2015, Gen Z has been moving into the workforce, and as they do, they are bringing change. They will they challenge the way we work and bring new demands to the labour force – which already consists of four generations. Justine Ferrer, Director of Teaching

Gen Z: How different are they really?

  • The environment that has shaped them: Gen Z grew up through the GFC, our own mini recession and they saw their parents go from stable to unstable. They saw how quickly things can change that are outside of their control.
  • Brands mean less, individualism is king: Gen Z are not focused on being loyal nor are they driven by brands. They are focused on what suits them, when it suits them.
  • Authenticity and values mean more to Gen Z: Millennials started the push to be more authentic, but Gen Z are taking it one step further. In an era of fake news, misdirection and half-truths, who can argue with them.
  • A thirst for learning and development: Gen Z value self-development and learning new skills. Technology is at the heart of everything they do and they have seen it change at such a rapid pace, they know they need to keep up to be of value.
  • Most socially and politically engaged generation: Decisions made by their parents and grandparents at voting booths across the world have caused this passion. Gen Z want to make a difference with over 60% saying they want to impact the world in some way shape or form. Over 25% of them volunteer in their spare time already*

Future Gen Z workforce

Gen Z seek loyalty, development opportunities and the preparation for their next role. They are focused on ‘what do I get’ and ‘how will you help me?” and this is enhanced for Gen Z as they are coached through school to be independent decision makers and in control of their own destiny.

Gen Z are looking for:

  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Doing something important
  • Responsibility
  • Opportunity to use special aptitudes and educational background
  • Challenge and adventure
  • Opportunity to be creative and original (reality is that they are potentially innovative but must be ‘broken in’ first)

Attraction of Gen Z, keep the messaging simple and clear

  1. Keep is snappy! Gen Z may be tech savvy but they want the core information quickly. Deliver your value proposition as quickly as you can in your marketing as Gen Z won’t read lengthy text to find a hidden point, it needs to be up front and easy to digest. Gen Z only have an average attention span of just 8.25 seconds, so be blunt and honest with them!
  2. What’s in it for me? Gen Z want to see where their hard work and dedication will take them:
  • Where will their career take them? What skills can they hone? What impact they will have?
  • Show them you value them as people. Try to offer workplace flexibility, gym subscriptions, volunteer leave, childcare subsidises, as well as transport subsidies.
  1. Make it look good. Go to your audience and pitch your brand. Gen-Z have a short attention span and are more drawn towards instant live videos and ‘disappearing digital content’. Video is a key tool but only if you use authentic messaging aligned to your brand. You need to make your organisation look exciting, diverse and different, in a short and snappy way. Not a monologue speech by your CEO.
  2. Be authentic and transparent. Gen Z seek answers instantly through peer to peer reviews, whirlpool, glassdoor and social media to help them form assumptions and make decisions about your job roles and sectors. If you are not being authentic to your employer brand and company values, Gen Z will work it out and won’t be afraid to self-select out of the process at any point.

This article was a collaboration between Justine Ferrer, Director of Teaching in the Faculty of Business and Law and Gavin Walker, Manager Graduate Recruitment Services.

What next?

Digital Natives are here, they are sophisticated activists for change, with an alternative worldview. Harness and leverage this to the advantage of your business, and connect with Deakin Gen Z’s!

Talk to your Account Manager about how to connect with Gen Z while they study to build your brand awareness and the target marketing for your graduate campaigns. Our Recruitment Consultants can help you develop job advertisements that make an impact with your target group of candidates:

Phone: 03 9244 6002




*research conducted by FYA