May 19, 2020

How to attract Generation Z talent

Generation Z
Gen Z
Tony Bailey
4 min
How to attract Generation Z talent

As students get their A-level results and graduate from university this summer, a new tranche of young people will enter the workforce. So what do their prospective employers need to do to attract and accommodate the best and brightest ‘Generation Z’ talent?

These digital natives were born into a world rapidly transformed by technology and where mobile phones, the internet and social media were already a part of everyday life. As a result, they bring with them different expectations of how they want to work.

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To help businesses of all sizes get ready for the latest batch of Gen Z employees and to make sure they’re able to work most productively, we commissioned a study examining the attributes that matter most to post-millennials entering the workforce. In particular, five core attributes stood out:

  1. Team – with the average person spending a staggering 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, it’s no wonder that Gen Z list the team around them as the number one motivator for keeping them productive in the workplace 
  2. Training – having the opportunity to brush up on their skills and expertise, ensuring these remain relevant in changing environment, is clearly key to Gen Z with over three-fifths (63%) stating a sufficient level of training is needed to keep them productive 
  3. Quality of tech – as we continue to hurtle into a digital landscape, the quality of technology and devices provided by employers will be critical in ensuring the younger generation is properly equipped to work at their best
  4. Flexible working – of those who have a flexible working policy in place, over half (56%) stated flexible working makes them more productive. It’s clear that Gen Z doesn’t feel it’s necessary to be in the office all the time, meaning employers need to think about how they upscale and modernise their working policies and technology
  5. Workplace culture – workplace culture helps to create exceptional, high performing workers. And with over half (55%) highlighting the impact that workplace culture has on personal productivity, employers need to be fostering a positive workplace environment

What we learned is that while Gen Z cares about tech (as you’d expect) – 61% agreed the quality of devices available makes them more productive, compared with a UK average of 55% – they care even more about the team around them. Indeed, 74% said their team matters, compared with 60% of Baby-boomers. Gen Z also said the level of training provided is important to them: 63% said training makes them more productive on a daily basis, compared with an average of 56% amongst the wider workforce.  

The study also suggests a number of practical things that UK employers can do:

  • Investing in your team is paramount, especially given the importance of information sharing in today’s workplace. Businesses need to ensure they have the right technology in place to help teams feel connected to one other, even if they’re not physically in the same working location.
  • Quality tech matters to Gen Z, meaning that companies need to also think how they can best invest in the right technology and devices.
  • Investing in training and considering how tech can help make a considerable difference is vital. After all, Gen Z employees will expect training materials to be available online, and accessible 24/7.

As a new generation of digitally savvy young people enter the workforce, British businesses must be ready to adapt to their needs. This research highlights the importance of technology, but also the value of teams and training. With the UK’s productivity already in question, businesses should not be relying on a one-size-fits all model to support such a diverse workforce if they’re to boost productivity. And as Gen Z are the leaders of tomorrow and key to Britain’s future, it’s vital that businesses look at how to attract and retain this new pool of talent.

The five key attributes point towards a simple truth – making efforts to cater for the needs of the new generation of candidates entering the workforce can boost a business’ overall productivity. Indeed, it was the London School of Economics ‘Power of Productivity’ report, commissioned by Vodafone UK, which found that an organisation can unlock productivity by looking at three key levers: management practices, the use of technology and workforce flexibility. By focusing on these three areas, businesses will enable their new Gen Z employees to be happy and productive at work, now and in the future.

Tony Bailey, Head of Regional Business, Vodafone UK

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Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


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