Future thinkers predict a sea change in the world of work. Gone are the days of a working life committed to just one job, or just one company, or even just one profession. As the UK’s manufacturing industries decline in the face of competition from countries with an ever-expanding, cheap labour force, following your parents’ workplace footsteps is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Generation Z, the technologically savvy post-millennials, might, according to some experts, work in anything up to 40 jobs during their lives. What’s more, many of those jobs don’t even exist yet, so rapidly is the global need for workers changing.
Not only are jobs changing, but the way in which workers are recruited is undergoing a transformation, too. Education and healthcare are just two professions already recruiting from overseas, as the falling UK birth rate hits hard. This kind of global recruitment is set to increase, not just to staff professions, but also to provide skilled and unskilled workers in industries such as construction.
So, what does Generation Z need to offer to this new world of work? And what should recruitment experts be looking for? It’s no longer just a case of matching academic qualifications or acquired skills with a particular job. Today’s employers are also looking for soft skills. The foremost of these is the ability to communicate, to listen and to understand how to work productively within a team. Flexibility and excellent time management are often cited by employers, together with creativity and skills in problem solving. Leadership is also a key skill for a more experienced worker. And all of these skills are, of course, transferable. The more developed your soft skills are, the more employable you will become across the range of jobs that the future holds.
And what does the future work force want? Evidence suggests that today’s graduates and college leavers are motivated by different concerns than their parents. They are often ethically aware; they see themselves as global citizens; they like to feel valued and trusted, and they understand just how flexible they will need to be to secure a lifetime’s worth of work.