News Digest / World News / Challenges of Managing Gen Z: Workplace Dynamics and Hiring Trends Shift Towards Millennials

Challenges of Managing Gen Z: Workplace Dynamics and Hiring Trends Shift Towards Millennials

Lukas Schmidt
04:16am, Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Challenges of Managing Gen Z: Workplace Dynamics and Hiring Trends Shift Towards Millennials
Illustration by StockInvest.us

"Get ready for some surprising insights on the latest workplace dynamics! Recent studies highlight that Generation Z is proving to be quite the challenge in the professional sphere—so much so that even their peers in management positions find them difficult to manage. As a result, many companies are veering towards hiring more millennials instead.

The sentiment comes amid growing complaints about Gen Z's work habits. Remember Whoopi Goldberg's quip about the younger generation not giving it their all like their predecessors? Or Jodie Foster’s amusing yet pointed observation that Gen Zers don't start their workday until well past 10 a.m.? One particularly memorable incident involved a young candidate balking at a task, claiming it looked like ‘too much work.’ These anecdotes aren’t just the grumbling of baby boomers or Gen Xers; even Gen Z managers share these concerns.

A recent survey conducted by Resume Genius found that 45% of hiring managers consider Gen Z the most challenging group to work with. Astonishingly, half of the Gen Z managers also agreed that their own generation poses the greatest challenges. On the flip side, baby boomers are seen as the easiest to manage, though they are least likely to be hired.

Interestingly, despite the complaints, companies are still planning to hire Gen Z workers. According to the survey, while a scant 4% of hiring managers expect to bring on baby boomers, a full third anticipate hiring Gen Z candidates. Still, it's millennials who top the preferred hire list at 45%, significantly higher than even the 14% expected for Gen Xers.

Why exactly are Gen Z employees seen as more problematic? The survey didn’t go into specifics, but it's hard to overlook the pandemic’s impact. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z missed out on formative experiences like college internships and traditional graduation ceremonies. As a result, they often lack crucial soft skills when entering the job market. It's why global consulting firms such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and EY are offering extensive soft-skills training to their new hires.

Ian Elliott, Chief People Officer at PwC UK, sympathized with these young workers, acknowledging that missing out on face-to-face interactions has left them stronger in individual work but less confident in group settings. However, the survey also indicated that managing workers tends to become easier with age. While 45% described Gen Z as difficult to work with, this sentiment dropped to 26% for millennials, 13% for Gen X, and just 9% for baby boomers.

Perhaps being ‘difficult’ is a rite of passage. Millennials, once dubbed “work-shy snowflakes,” have now climbed into management roles and are facing the challenges of overseeing their younger counterparts. Rather than criticizing Gen Z, experts suggest that businesses should adapt to their strengths and innovative ideas. Geoffrey Scott, senior hiring manager at Resume Genius, believes that Gen Z has the potential to transform workplaces positively. They tend to prioritize candidates' hobbies and interests over professional experience, offering a fresh perspective.

So, while Gen Z might have their quirks, their capabilities should not be underestimated. They bring a unique blend of skills and bold ideas that can significantly rejuvenate any organization, provided companies are willing to adapt and embrace these new perspectives.

About The Author

Lukas Schmidt

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