Only one year ago, employers were grappling with the tightest labour market in fifty years; today, due to the pandemic, tens of millions of people find themselves out of work. More still, the workplace’s demographic dynamics are also changing, as baby boomers retire in record numbers and younger generations with different priorities begin to reshape the workplace.
While the pandemic will not last forever, its effects will certainly leave a lasting mark on the future of work. The resulting shifts are indisputable: workers are navigating new safety and health protocols and struggling to balance an always on culture in remote settings. Expectations of leadership are evolving in response to world shifts — employers are renewing their efforts to create equitable workplaces that promote an authentic and sustainable sense of belonging.
Survey conclusions: How young workers are reshaping businesses
To help employers understand how their demand aligns with career aspirations of workers, and to help them quickly ensure that hiring and recruiting approaches reflect the priorities and objectives of the groups that are quickly becoming the largest sectors of the economy (Gen Z and Millennials), the Adecco Group’s General Assembly surveyed in late 2020 and early 2021 2,000 U.S. adults.
The survey called Technology & the Future of Work: Next Gen Perspectives developed with the author and multigenerational work expert, Lindsey Pollak draws these conclusions:
#1. Young people look for purpose in tech
Despite unprecedented change and volatility, demand for highly skilled tech workers has not abated. Prior to the pandemic, U.S. companies had nearly one million unfilled tech jobs. Today, those trends have only intensified. But companies should be aware. To fill those tech jobs by younger people requires a different approach than what they’re used to.
According to the survey, purpose is at the forefront of career decision-making for Gen Z’ers. Young people are far less interested than older workers in pursuing skills or careers solely related to technology. In other words, tech for tech’s sake is over. Gen Z’ers look for a purpose in technology. This means that while they remain interested in technology, it’s usually in the context of fields that prioritise the “human element” such as UX design, and digital marketing.