Pub Skills: HR Summit

Gen Z: future pub employees, what you need to know

By Claire Churchard

- Last updated on GMT

Gen Z: they love their tech, but why are they important for pubs?
Gen Z: they love their tech, but why are they important for pubs?

Related tags Generation y

Ahead of the Pub Skills: HR Summit on 27 February, The Morning Advertiser chats to Generation Z expert and speaker at the event Josephine Hansom, director at Youth Research & Insight, to find out more about this very different group of future employees, and pub customers.

How do you define Gen Z?
Everyone disagrees, so defining this group is more of an art than a science. Our chosen definition is people born from 1995 to 2010.

What kind of research do you do with/on this group?
As an agency we focus our research on Generation Z and Millennials. So the age group we work with are 13 to 30-year-olds, teens and people in their twenties. We work with lots of different clients from Spotify to Tinder one minute, to Thomas Cook and Peroni the next. What makes us different is that we only ever look at the same age group, we’re only ever looking at youth.

What research findings have surprised you?
Gen Z’s attitudes to alcohol are different from previous generations. In the research that we do, the reasons they give for not drinking alcohol are religious or because they don’t like the taste. But there’s also a big group that doesn’t like the affect it has on them. That’s an interesting one because it ties into social media, photos, being seen to be drunk.

When it comes to employment, how does Gen Z differ from older employees?
Work-life balance is really important for this age group, they’re not shy about going freelance to get that work-life balance.
And as Millennials (broadly defined as people in their mid-20s to mid-30s) were entrepreneurial in themselves and wanted to be able to love what they do for work, in a similar way, Gen Z are willing to have what they call a ‘side hustle’. This is the thing that they are passionate about, then they have other work that pays the bills. That is interesting for the pub sector because people might be taking different jobs and shifts to facilitate the side hustle.
They also tell us that they are more likely to play by the rules, so they say they are a bit more traditional.

What do they want from a career?
They do want to be paid well - there’s a misconception that you can get away with not paying the younger generation well if they’re doing something that they’re passionate about.
Feedback on their work and a career path progression is really important to them.

Why should employers take the expectations of Gen Z more seriously?
Employers need to take this group seriously because they are going to give a lot to your organisation in the future. To get the most out of them you want them to be able to buy into what you are doing and why you’re doing it rather than just seeing the role with you as being very transactional. Isn’t that everyone’s HR dream?
Understanding how young people draw meaning and closeness to brands and employers is quite important and that’s all about values and what you stand for. So shared values are very important and you can’t really fake that. Authenticity is really important to young people, so if they are not really buying what you’re supposed to be selling in terms of your organisation, they’re not going to be very committed to you.

  • At the Pub Skill: HR Summit event Josephine Hansom will be speaking about Gen Z in the workplace, how to attract, retain and manage them and what they’re like as managers themselves.
  • Want to know more about Gen Z and getting the most out of all your employee? Then check out our Pub Skills: HR Summit, for employers in the pub sector.​ 

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