Why CEOs are putting all their eggs into the Gen Z basket

Gen Z hold key to commercial success, according to the majority of CEOs, who believe the new generation of employees have the skills needed to grow their businesses.

Employers are enthusiastic about the impact Generation Z (Gen Z), those aged 16 to 21, will have on the success of their businesses, with two thirds of CEOs believing they’ll have a positive impact on their growth, a new study reports.

The research, carried out by Pareto Law on employers and Gen Z themselves reveals that, while the latter don’t feel valued in the workplace, nearly two thirds of CEOs say they expect this new generation will have a positive influence on the future of their business.

More than 60 per cent of businesses currently employ someone from this age group, and just under two thirds of those who don’t yet employ any believe they’d be a positive addition to their company. However, it seems not everyone is willing to pay for the resources to train this age group straight out of school, with nearly half of businesses not offering apprenticeships to school leavers despite the new generation saying they’re an effective way to build skills.

Technology and creativity were common themes throughout the research, with over a third of business owners agreeing that digital and social media knowledge is the high-reaching generation’s most valuable skill. A close second, however, was their ability to think creatively with 32 per cent stating it was the most valuable asset of Gen Z employees.

A mix of face-to-face and digital learning, also known as blended learning, has been shown to increase productivity by 50 per cent and more than half of Generation Z claim to prefer this training method above all else. The report shows that employers are taking this on board however, with nearly half employees gaining on the job training in this way.

“With CEOs thinking about the next wave of employees and how they’ll fit into their workforce, we wanted to discover how their expectations and training opportunities match up to those they’d be employing. Not only are Gen Z the future of business, they’ll be instrumental in revolutionising the working world as we know it. They’re ambitious, digitally savvy and passionate and businesses need to be ready for them,” Jonathan Fitchew, CEO and founder of Pareto Law, commented.

Additionally, a study by brand agency Sparks & Honey found that this age group generally seem highly resourceful and independent when it comes to information gathering. 52 per cent of Gen Z use social media websites like YouTube as research tools, and four in five believe they are more driven than their peers. They’re a generation of forward-thinking social activists, according to the report, which estimates one in four of them currently volunteering their time for charitable causes and a need to ‘make an impact’. Organisations that cotton on to the business value of these traits may be the winners in the long run.

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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