The workplace is undergoing a massive transformation on several fronts. Just as the arrival of the millennial worker prompted significant changes in the management of teams and employees, the introduction of Generation Z again alters the way we think about "business-as-usual" forever.

While generational cut-off points aren't an exact science, anyone born between 1997 and 2012 is generally considered to be part of "Generation Z". This group is the cohort preceding "Generation Alpha" and succeeding the millennial workforce.

In this landscape, Gen Z employees are likely in high demand. These fast-paced, highly educated, and motivated individuals are already developing a reputation as hard workers. However, they also have unique priorities and expectations, which can confuse business leaders.

Some of the key characteristics defining Gen Z include:


Focus on Health and Empathy

Gen Z has grown up in a difficult world, exposed to significant stress levels and economic turmoil. As a result, according to a recent McKinsey report, many would choose a job promoting a healthy lifestyle over a role with a high income. Gen Z employees want a high level of empathy from their employers, and they expect  leaders to be invested in protecting their physical and emotional health.

Indeed, mental health is a major concern for Gen Z employees. More than 1 in 3 working Gen Zers say they find it difficult to cope with excessive pressure and stress at work. Around 91% of Gen Z employees already experience at least one symptom of stress. These team members expect significant support from their employers. Failing to give this level of help could mean you lose your team members, as burnout and lack of work/life balance are common reasons for Gen Z to quit their roles.


Technology Savvy

Gen Z has been brought up in a world surrounded by technology. They spend a huge portion of their time on social media and browsing the internet. According to a global survey, around 98% of Gen Zers own a smartphone, and half spend about 10 hours a day using it.

They expect to work for firms with a strong investment in the latest tools and services. Companies in the sector with outdated tools and software will quickly lose the interest of Gen Z team members.

However, companies can improve their chances of attracting new employees by providing them with access to the latest solutions, from AI and extended reality to messaging apps and business social media networks.


Cultural Diversity

Gen Z is the most welcoming, accepting, and diverse generation so far. Hailing from countless different groups and orientations, this group believes everyone should have the freedom to "be themselves". Many of these employees are more at home in a diverse workplace.

Gen Z will prioritise companies that commit to strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices. Additionally, around 68% of these workers say they think it's important to work for a business with an active commitment to supporting social causes.



Gen Z is naturally ambitious. Although they want to befriend people at work and build personal relationships with their colleagues, they're also highly driven and competitive. Generation Z has strong goals and a clear vision of what they want to accomplish in the industry.

Companies with their own gamification strategies can take advantage of this natural sense of competitiveness to encourage and motivate team members. It's also important for employers to adhere to the aspirational nature of their staff by providing regular training opportunities and chances for ongoing development.


Desire for Stability

Generation Z grew up in a time of significant economic recession and turmoil. As such, they're far more risk-averse than millennials. While they're still motivated by benefits and a good salary, they're also looking for clear evidence that they have a strong future with their chosen business. Stability is crucial for Gen Z.

When advertising roles to the Gen Z population, groups must carefully outline a predictable, stable, and long-lasting opportunity for their staff, working with Gen Z employees on plans for long-term growth and development will help them to feel more at home.


Can We Help?

Here at Lucy Walker Recruitment, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and job seekers find their ideal roles for over 30 years. We have placed thousands of candidates and filled thousands of roles for our clients; if you want to find out how we can help you call us on 0113 367 2880 or email us here.



About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry