Generation Z has officially entered the American workforce. Anyone in the workplace is aware of this, as publications continue to trumpet their arrival and the inevitable impact they’ll have on how businesses operate. Gen Z accounts for more than 60 million people , making up over 30% of the U.S. population and outnumbering millennials. This generation grew up on Google Maps and SnapChat, and their expectations of employers vary more dramatically than perhaps any generational shift before.
With an always-on mentality and a globally connected upbringing, it’s no surprise that Gen Z expects the same easy access and instant gratification at work as they have in the rest of their lives. Artificial intelligence (AI) designed to offer instant access to workplace information is not just a luxury but an expectation. Gen Z likely expects AI to automate the daily grind of tedious tasks and streamline the necessary evils of the paper-pushing world because 88% believe it will improve their jobs. They have operated in a primarily paperless world throughout their education, and the notion of filling out a TPS report would raise eyebrows.
Technology is crucial in order to transform your business into a place where Gen Z wants to work and would like to stay.
Outdated Technology Could Be A Pain Point For New Employees
As members of Gen Z join your company, outdated technologies that might have been tolerated by previous workforce generations may quickly become a thorn in the side of younger staffers and, in turn, drain employee morale.
In fact, the Center for Creative Leadership, which surveyed 483 executives, managers and professionals, found that at least three-quarters of respondents complained about how their company had unnecessary meetings and emails and inadequate technology. A 2016 survey from Paychex polled 2,000 U.S. employees to see what affected their decision to stay or leave a current employer. Unsurprisingly, reason No. 2, with 63% of respondents agreeing, was constantly being overworked. This could largely be due to those mundane daily tasks that end up eating away workers’ days.
Current Technology Is Critical To Recruiting Gen Zers
Technology-focused employment opportunities have seen a huge surge in recent years, gaining about 200,000 new tech jobs each year since 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (via Business Facilities) indicates tech occupations will increase by 626,000 jobs by 2026, with the total potential tech workforce reaching almost 1.2 million.
With Gen Z making up the bulk of new workers, it’s not surprising that the vast majority want to work in the tech field. And regardless as to which field a member of Generation Z enters, 80% of Gen Zers want to work with cutting-edge technology. When technology professionals search for a job, they ask and consider what technology companies have adopted, which is why businesses need to constantly strive to meet and exceed the tech expectations of Gen Z.
What Tech Should Your Firm Consider To Recruit And Retain Gen Z Workers?
Streamlining work and providing the most innovative technologies available is necessary in order to appeal to Gen Z. Today’s fully integrated workplace means there is a multitude of opportunities to show tech prowess and prioritization, from operations to culture-driven initiatives.
The first thing you can do to attract (and keep) talent is by making sure you have a smart-enabled office. This means incorporating internet of things (IoT) and machine learning technologies to help boost productivity and reduce energy consumption. Virtualized onboarding and digital benefits platforms would also be great additions to attract tech-savvy Gen Zers.
Chatbots and virtual teammates could also help alleviate frequent pain points and mundane administrative tasks, ultimately freeing up employee time, increasing productivity and a company’s bottom line. And there is a connection between automating administrative workloads and a company’s employee retention. According to a 2018 study by Harris Interactive and Eightfold.ai, which surveyed 1,000 C-Level executives (including chief human resource officers), 44% of respondents cited AI as the solution to improving both the talent acquisition process and talent retention.
The truth is, your company needs to implement new technology to recruit and retain new talent. Businesses can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines when it comes to implementing technology in the workplace. Make the most of your employees, and give them the best tools to get their work done quickly. The right investments will pay for themselves in increased efficiency and employee retention.
As the talent war continues, and Gen Z keeps demanding a great enterprise experience, a company that ignores tech tools in the workplace does so at great risk. But don’t take my word for it — ask your youngest employee if they have more experience with WhatsApp or TPS reports.