A Deloitte 2017 study described Gen-Z as “anticipated to bring an unprecedented level of technology skills to the workforce,” but the generation expresses concern about their own deficiencies in interpersonal communication. 

“In a study of 4,000 Gen Z participants, 92 percent are concerned about the generational gap that technology is causing in their professional and personal lives,” the study said. “Another 37 percent expressed concern that technology is weakening their ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships and develop people skills.”

What does this mean? Hiring managers should look for candidates with the communication, problem solving and logic skills that are hard taught.

Some companies are identifying these skills in job candidates by incorporating problem solving or team activities into interviews to evaluate the cognitive skills of each candidate. 

Gen-Z also wants flexibility and variety. The good news for employers? Gen-Z considers job security a top career goal, the Deloitte study said. One suggestion was to offer them small projects across various departments to give young workers a taste of new experiences while staying with the same company. 

And, like millennials, Gen-Zers crave feedback and coaching, which is a great way to train someone in the soft skills areas, or to review and learn from mistakes made. 

Focus on Gen-Z’s gifts

A Gallup study showed that overall only 13 percent of employees reported being engaged at work. But of the employees who agreed that their employers focused on their positive characteristics, 67 percent reported being engaged at work. 

“A focus on employee strengths proceeds from the simple notion that we are all better at some things than others and that we would be happier and more productive if we spent more of our time doing those things,” the study concluded.

Don’t try to make Gen-Z (and for that matter, us disgruntled millennials) what they’re not, make them better at what they are. 

And learn to manage that snarl. 

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