Why Generation Z Does not Want to Work for Big Corporates
As a small but growing consultancy, we receive an increasing amount of applications on our vacancies with an increase in the quality of applicants.
This is an interesting trend and constitutes a shift in the perception of applicants towards big multinational corporates. As Maslow outlined in his famous Hierarchy of Needs, the need for self-actualization is most highly desired but often not fulfilled in a junior position within a large corporation. Generation Z, 18-30, tends to value this criterium with an increasing importance. This is one of the reasons to choose a startup with all its risks over the safety of a big MNC because you are often given freedom in how you are doing things and often partly what you do, e.g. Google’s 20 per cent set aside time per employee for own projects.
During the last Eleven Canterbury event ‘New Technology Trends – Risks and Opportunities for Non-Executive Directors and Boards’ we have also elaborated on this problem and summarized three main aspects:
1. Generation Z wants to work on new and innovative challenges.
2. Current generation of corporates needs more young talent to pass on knowledge.
3. Large corporates becoming at risk from talent switching to innovate in smaller competition and/or actively devising threats.
Deloitte has noted in their 2013 report ‘Exploring Strategic Risk’ that the valuation of the strategic value of human capital is decreasing with the outlook to 2016 (title picture left). Drawing on this, we see a further shift between the executive view’s and generation Z’s view on the topic and would like to share some possible opportunities how to create a winning relationship with the paramount generation Z.
One way to tackle it is to offer self responsibility and a clear decision competency even for lower level positions. The younger generation is eager to try out their skills, develop their own project portfolio and make their way towards the top. As a senior manager, you can reach out and offer the foundation to achieve this. Another possible measure is to set aside a reasonable budget for an individual’s projects. This can be used for trainings, seminar, innovative projects, etc.
Basically what this does, is to give a junior budget responsibility and simulate the quick decision process usually found in startups by giving them direct control over something.
Some readers will probably be concerned about the overall cost because it is not only the budget but also the time which needs to be considered. We however would like to pose the question whether the cost of loosing a well trained junior after 1-2 years is higher than this measure as well as the benefits on personal development, thereby justifying this investment with a rapidly increasing skill base, motivation and dedication.
Another strategy we encounter more often, is the indirect outsourcing of the innovation processes by simply waiting for interesting startups and acquiring them at (huge) cost. It is obviously costly but the advantage is that you do not necessarily need a culture change at the main organisation to facilitate innovation and can buy-in “tested” innovations.
Further information on this topic and how strategic risk is overall changing, can be found in the 2013 Deloitte Report.