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16 January 2017

Generation Z – agents of change

How the workforce’s newest entrants can spark business transformation.

For years, demographers and trend forecasters have been alerting employers to the imminent influx into the workplace of a new cohort of employees with a set of perceived characteristics that differentiate them from any generation before them.

Generation Z is widely defined as those born from the mid-to-late 1990s. They’ve grown up with instant and continuous access to almost unlimited educational resources. They’re accustomed to seeing start-up companies become global giants in months and years rather than decades. And they’ve only known a world defined by exponential technological development.

Such environmental influences inevitably differentiate Gen Z employees from those that have gone before them – shaping both their employment needs and the benefit they can bring to businesses. But how unique are they really? And how much time and resource should your company invest in attempting to accommodate these needs?

Capita Resourcing has commissioned independent research to answer these questions. They looked at the aspirations and expectations of 1,000 Gen Z-ders (16-20 year olds) and compared the findings with the view of 100 senior HR leaders to discover what makes this generation tick and the triggers which ultimately serve to attract and inspire them.

It reveals that, far from facing an overwhelming resourcing challenge, HR departments are better prepared than they might imagine to assimilate Gen Z into the workforce. In fact, the process of addressing the needs of Gen Z is congruent with the steps many businesses must take to thrive in the modern business world.

The research validates the fact that Gen Z recruits can serve as invaluable agents of change for businesses and become a driving force behind initiatives that will benefit every generation of employee – from Baby Boomers to Millennials – and bring substantial business value.

However, to fully capitalise on Generation Z as agents of change, this research indicates that there’s a crucial 500-day window after hiring in which to meet their new recruits’ immediate needs and aspirations. Failing to capitalise in this period will lead to falling staff retention and a subsequent loss of the wide-ranging benefits Generation Z can bring to businesses.

This paper sets out the research findings and discusses actions you can take to successfully attract the best Gen Z recruits – then ensure they thrive during the crucial 500-day window and beyond. It is hoped that by following these steps, business leaders will be in a good position to harness Gen Z employees as catalysts of long-term, over-arching business change.

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