Will Gen Z talent feel the squeeze in 2023?

Una McGuinness our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 21 February 2023
Organisations that want to attract (and retain) the best of Gen Z talent need to have a real focus on DE&I, offer strong personalised development programs and provide a degree of flexibility that provides a true work/life balance. 

- Una mcguinness, marketing & strategy director

Here is another of our predictions for 2023... Una McGuinness explains how Gen Z talent, the first true digital generation may have to compromise if wanting to both advance in their careers and ensure job stability. A positive outcome though is that employers are starting to change how they attract, hire, develop and retain talent.... Read more of Una's prediction below. 

There’s been a lot of movement amongst Gen Zs, who are demanding roles on their terms and with flexibility. However, this has been limiting their learning opportunities, ability to network and get involved in exciting projects. I predict this will change as we move into a recession and the job market becomes tighter.

Gen Z tends to prioritise roles in which they can expand their skills and broaden their talents and experience. They need to feel like they are constantly learning and developing - and that’s admirable. However, their drive for roles which offer flexibility in terms of hybrid working can also be self-restricting, especially in the current climate where job security is becoming more of a priority as the market tightens. 

This generation may have to make some compromises so that they can both advance in their careers and ensure job stability. For employers, the challenge comes in balancing the return to the office and inter-generational needs and requirements.

But a positive outcome of all this is that employers are starting to change how they attract, hire, develop and retain Gen Z (and all) talent. This is the first true digital generation, so brands that can embed platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok into their application processes - as well as communicating through these channels - will meet Gen Z where they are.

At Hanover, we consistently hear that Gen Zs want to move and be promoted quicker than previous generations, and have expectations that they can advance rapidly. But they’re not - so what is it that employers can do to meet these needs and keep this generation engaged? They are typically a hard-working segment, so perhaps one answer is to give them additional responsibilities, delegate new projects to them or move them between different departments so they learn new skills. This change in outlook from employers could have knock-on benefits for future generations, too - after all, Gen Z will make up almost 30% of the total workforce by 2025.

Another important factor for this generation is DE&I - diversity and inclusion matter a lot to Gen Z. This isn’t limited to race and gender, but also to sexual orientation and identity. 

They seek truly sustainable, inclusive companies, both to work for and buy from, and this could drive a really positive shift in companies’ mindsets and strategies. It also impacts the workplace, as companies that are more diversely represented in their branding also tend to have talent from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and orientations in their workforce. 

In turn, these types of companies have better employee engagement and retention, are better able to innovate and have an improved and more well-rounded understanding of their customer base. After all, if you invest in your employees, they are much more likely to invest in your business.

If you’d like to discuss this topic further or find out how Hanover can help you, please  contact me directly and let’s set up a meeting.

Want to hear more of our 2023 predictions - read our UK & European CEO's thoughts on more predicted movement at senior level.

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