As soon as the world adjusted to millennial expectations of the workplace (ethically aware, socially responsible, employee-centric), a new generation of wide-eyed, eager careerists came of age and to the fore of employer priorities: iGen, or GenZ as they’re traditionally known. The iGen cohort is those of you who were born between 1995 and the mid-2000s and are entering an employment landscape very different from that which your grandparents experienced, thanks to your predecessors. Known as the fabled ‘millennials’, this demographic changed the face of work from something which dictated itself to you in all its rigid, uncompromising glory, into something which the labour force could *literally* inject a little life into. Gone are the days of employment being a separate element from every other aspect of an individual’s life. Millennials demanded integration, and so came the emphasis on work-life balance. Foosball table for rainy lunch breaks? Check. Open plan offices which encourage interaction and collaboration? Check. Philodendron in every corner, Friday beers and flexible hours? Check, check and check. But iGen brings a fresh perspective to the table.
According to studies, and following the correlation of trends, iGen grew up more slowly than any previous generation. Thanks to parents who, with every passing decade, increasingly turn their backs on the draconian ‘I never had it, so neither can you’ approach to raising children, iGen come from largely supportive households. Many (not all, but many) of you have been gifted the time to take longer to get to your first job, a pink driving license, and even enter the dating scene. Perspective is everything, and sometimes this stroll into adulthood is a wholesome thing. It reflects how unwilling your generation is to rush into responsibility, as well as how focused you are on yourselves as individual units – a trait which transcends the dating sphere and is mirrored in your mass influx into higher education.
In 2017, a record proportion of 18-year-olds from across the UK gained a place at university, meaning combined assumptions would predict that first jobs for members of iGen are placement jobs, seasonal work or part-time positions once they’ve hit the big One-Eight. However, this does imply that younger employees are arriving into the work pool with a notable lack of self-confidence, according to Jean M. Twenge PhD. After all, how does one approach a new challenge with bucket-loads of self-assurance when they’ve never had to tackle one of these ‘job’ things before? In response, employers should be reactive of this and provide more hands-on management to train, teach and lead their newbies, because what this demographic lacks in confidence, it compensates for in work ethic.
As a recruiter, it’s important for us to understand our candidates, and this comes from observing the nature of the world you grew up in. Considering the fact that iGen get their first job later than previous generations, these individuals are more likely to have a clear career path in mind by the time they enter any kind of temporary, study-supplementary employment. This means the desire for this first experience to deliver more of the facets necessary to prepare them for the career they’ll pursue is higher than ever. ‘GenZ changes the rules for employment,’ writes The Media Post, and it’s hard to argue otherwise, all things considered. Where Generation Y is pacified with ‘job perks’ like fun-facilitating office environments and a manageable work-life balance via flexi-hours and birthdays off, GenZ wants more meaningful investments from their employers.
Why? Well, you grew up under the shadow of the early 2000’s recession and 2008 financial crash. Unlike your older colleagues, you were never under any illusions (aka childhood in the carefree nineties) about how arduous the job market could be. These circumstances raised a crowd of mindful, competitive individuals. You want secure positions which continue to provide progress, challenge and growth. With role attributes like these, ambitious young adults can extract satisfaction and a sense of ownership from their first paid positions, no matter how part-time or temporary they may be. In this way, summer jobs have become more than a convenient, quick-fix-for-cash between semesters. iGen has stepped up the game – seasonal employment opportunities need to meet you on your level.
Every summer in the UK, Kings Camps, a not-for-profit provider of children’s activity camps in the school holidays, opens up 700 seasonal job opportunities to students nationwide. The roles range from Multi-Sports Coaches to Site and Regional Managers, and are all attainable positions for the passionate sports and childcare undergraduates of iGen. A place on board the Kings Camps mission is more than just a summer job. Despite the seasonal nature (which conveniently slots between university terms to allow for full commitment to studies), performance is enthusiastically monitored to ensure that good work and enthusiasm are rewarded. Kings continually promote from within and are passionate about staff development – no Red Top is ever left feeling de-motivated or stagnant in their role. Full training regarding sports camp delivery and child safeguarding is attentively delivered, so the experience is a perfect introduction into a sports or childcare-related career, or anything requiring management and leadership experience.
A summer on camp delivers all the coveted variables for the GenZ candidates we recruit: an unexpendable pre-career resource to add to CV’s, a challenge which continually adapts to the energy of the individual, and a clear path of progression within an organisation which appreciates what each person contributes to the cause.
iGen – We want you! Interested in joining the mission? Apply for a summer job unlike any other.More Kings Recruit case studies