The War For Talent – Generation Z in the workplace.
Generation Z employees have an abundance of choices when looking for workplaces to start their career. Is this the beginning of the “War for Talent”?
200.000 New jobs became available last year in the Netherlands alone. The FinTech, Payments, and eCommerce industries are rapidly growing worldwide and the expectation is that the amount of work in these industries will continue to grow in the upcoming years. Tech talent is already notoriously hard to find and the most recent generation, Generation Z, (mid-1990’s – now) has a surfeit of choice when looking for workplaces to start their career. This generation has grown up with the digital world as their playground and is, therefore, a crucial asset for companies active in our industry.
“For every 100 people that will retire, it is estimated that only 78 people will join the workforce.”
We currently have four generations working, namely:
- Baby-Boomers (mid-1940’s – mid-1960’s)
- Generation X (mid-1960’s – mid-1980’s)
- Generation Y/Millennials (mid-1980’s – mid-1990’s)
- Generation Z (mid-1990’s – present)
There are an estimated 400.000 active workers from the Baby-Boomer generation that are likely to retire soon, which will have a tremendous impact on the job market. Imagine this – for every 100 people that will retire, it is estimated that only 78 people will join the workforce. This, combined with the fact that the attitude, skill set and mindset of Generation Z employees will be infinitely different to those of previous generations, will require a potentially unfamiliar strategy and approach for attracting and maintaining talent.
“The growing industries of Software and Financial Technology services.”
Software and Financial Technology services are the industries that are expected to grow most rapidly in the upcoming years. The solutions offered by these services are becoming more and more focused on user experience, while the budding future technical possibilities are endless. Generation Z is the first generation that has grown up in the digital ecosystem and therefore has technology automatically integrated into their way of thinking and problem-solving. This makes it even more vital to attract and retain them. How are we going face these challenges and react to this “War for Talent”?
What is the Solution?
The answer is undeniably complex, but I would advise a clear focus on two concepts; challenging the mindset of potential candidates, and the future intellectual development of your employees. Generation Z has a high sense of autonomy and prodigiously different expectations regarding their future work environment than other generations.
Focussing on the mindset of people, instead of on the skillset acquired during their early development. A large portion of the newest generation see people like Mark Zuckerberg as icons of the entrepreneurial mindset. This type of mindset is often more important, in contrast with the past, than having a particular skill set that ticks some pre-defined boxes. This also tends to bring a wealth of creativity and ownership along with it.
Focus on the future development of your employees, making sure you communicate a clear growth path and give them the opportunity to expand their education. Creating such an environment, while entrusting employees with complex tasks, conforms more with their future outlook than, for example, financial incentives. It also provides a solution for the older generations to adapt to the fast-changing industry, through knowledge sharing and re-development.
The key challenge, I believe, is that this process is time-consuming. Companies need to explore the person behind the CV and start conversations with more potential candidates while challenging them on their ability to learn, adapt and take ownership. For recruitment partners, this means more dedication towards their partners as well as candidates and, possibly, a wholesale change to their business model.
As I like to believe: “Stop war, let’s make…”
Bram Vreugdenhil is a partner at PaymentGenes.
PaymentGenes is a world leader in Payments & FinTech recruitment and consultancy services. If you have experienced challenges in finding talented candidates from Generation Z, why not reach out for our help? If you’re looking for a new opportunity yourself, check out our latest jobs from around the world.