Generation Z: how to work with young employees.
Interview with Snezhana Kitaeva, GM8

Recent research by Manpower Group suggests Generation Z will make up approximately 24 percent of the global workforce by 2020. Snezhana Kitaeva, Acting Deputy General Director and Сhief of Staff of Rossetti-Lenenergo, answers the questions about whether companies will be able to go beyond the established rules and adapt to the needs of the new generation of employees:

1. How do you hire them? The standard hiring methods and HR tools do not work in relation to Generation Z.

Members of Gen Z have grown up with technology at their fingertips, they are the ones by whom and for whom primarily the new communication forms have been developed. They prefer emoji to words, and will rather use YouTube to learn about something than ask Google. If they're interested in doing something, they watch videos about how it’s done. It's all tied up in fast, intuitive communication, where accuracy is secondary to speed. They also understand the importance of protecting privacy, perhaps more than previous generations. They would rather choose anonymous communication apps without tracking news such as SnapChat, Secret, Whisper than Facebook.

Thus, while hiring people of this generation, you should be very mobile. The employer has to use different communication channels, use a lot of infographics in the job description, it is possible to create videos (with a demonstration of what the candidate has to do on the job). The employer needs to be active on those platforms that Gen-Zers use, but not too intrusive.

The company’s social media activity itself also becomes attractive to the younger generation: is it interesting or not, how the company positions itself on social networks and how it responds to the young audience’s inquiries and expectations. This requires companies to be more open and authentic, and then the young generation will certainly appreciate their efforts.

2. Gen Z representatives have a need for mentoring rather than leadership. Are X's generation leaders ready for this?

This is a very interesting time: we can see representatives of four or even five different generations in the same team. Knowing the specifics and understanding what is most valuable to each requires, first of all, a more thoughtful approach in team management. The person in charge constantly needs to keep up, be ready for changes, be developmentoriented, work on increasing his own social intelligence to build effective work in their unit, taking into account the interests of different generations. That’s where I see one of the main qualifications of a competent manager.

If we talk about representatives of Generation Z, they both work and learn at the same time. They do not feel awe towards the authorities, they are not afraid of managers and supervisors. They will not respect just the status - it means nothing to them. The leader’s personal qualities are much more important in this case. Gen Zer can as easily consult a hierarchical superior on an important issue by writing a personal message or two and not a colleague on the equal step of a career ladder. Do not be surprised if they follow you on social media, send "memes", and comment on photos and ask for advice in there. That is why it is much more important to become coaches for them rather than just bosses.

Generation Z representatives are socially active and responsible, they respond to any call for action quickly and enthusiastically, whether it's a garbage collection, tree planting or shelter assistance. This is really vital and important for Gen Z. They have the courage to take on the initiative. They like to combine several roles in the company, to participate in various projects that they find interesting. It is important to constantly capture their attention and keep them on their toes. For them, concepts such as "value", "awareness", "engagement" and "interest" come to the fore. If representatives of generation Z feel it is impossible to achieve progress and demonstrate initiative, their productivity decreases, motivation and loyalty to the company falls.

3. For the Generation Z long-term cooperation is possible if their values correspond to the values of the company. Which values of your company coincide with the values of the young employees? How to create comfort for a young specialist dealing with their existing older colleagues?

First of all, the values of the company itself should not be simply written in the corporate code, but should be "humanized" and made clear. Representatives of Generation Z READ the section "Our mission and values" on the company's website and, if they find it sincere enough, feel connection to the business’ values and goals, and then they want to understand how exactly their position is important for achieving the company's ideals and how their professional development within the organization will influence the achievement of business’ overall goals.

They easily integrate their work into their personal lives. Partly because of their constant presence on social networks (statistically, 50% are online 10 hours a day), partly because they perceive work as part of their identity. That’s because the choice of work is conscious and based on their own interests.

Whether we like it or not, the representatives of Generation Z formed by the new digital reality are different from Generations X and Y. Understanding their thinking patterns will help young employees to adapt and unlock their potential. Keep an eye on technology, don't ban gadgets. Use modern technology at work, keep up with trends, don't be afraid to change. Help them socialize. Don't leave young employees to their own fate. Focus on team involvement during the adaptation period.

4. Is the company willing and ready to grow brand ambassadors in social networks? How do you feel about hype accounts of conservative brands? (e.g., "fashionable" Instagram-account of "Magnet" (, or the Instagram-account of "Pyshechnaya" (

Rossety-Lenenergo has its brand ambassadors on Instagram. And the representatives of the new generation, young specialists of the company create content for them. To understand how the representatives of our industry treat hype accounts, it is enough to look at the account of the Ministry of Energy  How much do you like this account? Is your management ready for such interaction with the audience?

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Snezhana Kitaeva, GM8
Snezhana Kitaeva, GM8