Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 key facts about the next generation of employees entering the workforce

generation zFor good reason, many talent management leaders in today’s business world are focused primarily on recruiting. It’s not hard to see why – if you can recruit superior talent compared to your competitors, you can build a more productive and engaged workforce. For this reason, companies put a lot of time and energy into learning what candidates want and how to woo them.

For the most part, they’ve got the process down when it comes to the current working population. With Generations X and Y, the HR community has a good understanding of the types of benefits offerings, work styles and corporate cultures that appeal to candidates. But one question still remains – what about the next generation?

“Someone born in 2000 is now already in high school, preparing to enter the workforce.”

It might be time to begin thinking about how to recruit the candidates of the future – those who haven’t entered the applicant pool yet but soon will. Generation Y is generally considered to cut off around the turn of the century – but someone born in 2000 is now already in high school, preparing to enter the workforce within a few years. What does that individual want?

According to a CareerBuilder news release, there are plenty of similarities between the current recruits and the future ones. For example, they both thrive on learning and collaboration. But Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, says it’s time to dig deeper and find some key differences.

“With the next generation of workers preparing to enter the workforce, now is the time for companies to adjust their recruitment and retention strategies to guarantee the success of all workers and strengthen the bottom line,” Haefner said. “While workplace expectations can vary widely among different generations, one thing they have in common is the want to be successful in their positions.”

Today's students are tomorrow's employees.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s employees.

So what does it take to turn today’s high school student into tomorrow’s successful employee for your business? The following four facts are important to keep in mind:

Salary demands increasing
One key trend to watch is that today’s youngsters value money. When asked what salary they need to “feel successful,” a plurality of current workers said between $50,000 and $70,000. In the next generation, the range from $70,000 to $100,000 is the more common target.

Changing views on success
Success isn’t just about money, though. Today’s high schoolers say they’ll feel successful if they can achieve a variety of things, such as having a sense of accomplishment (cited by 78 percent) and making a positive impact on people’s lives (also 78 percent). Not very different from what the current workforce needs to be satisfied. 

An urge to get ahead
Today’s high schoolers are optimistic about getting promoted at work – 87 percent say that if they’re doing a good job, they want to rise in their organizations every two to three years. The office is about to get very competitive.

Job-hopping culture intensifies
Don’t expect the employees of tomorrow to stick around for long. About 32 percent of today’s high school students say they expect to work for 10 or more companies during their careers. Loyalty is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and employers need to find better ways to not only recruit the next generation of employees, but retain them. 

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