What Generation Z Expects from Their Employers

What Generation Z Expects from Their Employers

There are many speculations about generation Z, the generation that is now 10-25 years old. Currently they are still attending schools and universities but soon they will be entering the labour market. In an interview with the consulting firm Universum, Tim Kaltenborn, Director of Study Advisory Services at IUBH, talked about how he experiences this young generation on campus and what employers can anticipate.  

Universum: What do employers need to know about today’s students?

Tim Kaltenborn: At this point about half of the student population was born between 1997 and 2010 and belong to generation Z, the successor generation of the Millennials. This generation has been very influenced by the socioeconomic environment they grew up in – from the economic crisis in Europe and the recession in the USA to intensification of military conflicts. They are very aware that there cannot only be winners in life and that the value of “higher, faster, farther” has limits. At the same time, this is not a generation of “digital natives”, rather, one of “digital aborigines”: they would be completely lost in the world without internet. While generation Y used three devices on average, for generation Z it is five: smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop and music player or tablet.

Has student behaviour changed dramatically in the last years?

Yes, it has indeed! We observe that students are not as actively engaged on campus as they used to be. The number of students who participate in extracurricular activities and join committees, clubs or societies for their classmates has decreased rapidly. This is a harbinger for what employers can expect. According to a Gallup study, today already 85% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged”. In lectures, we need to adapt more and more to the “digital reality”.

Interview conducted by Bettina Kaus. The complete article can be found on the Universum blog.