06 March 2024

Generation Z: the pariahs of the job market?

Tom Martin Senior Associate
Young people in meeting with business documents

The website resume builder surveyed 1,344 managers and found that 3 in 10 hiring managers say they avoid hiring Generation Z candidates. Generation Z refers to those born between 1997 and 2012.

Hiring managers say Generation Z candidates ask for too much money (42%), lack communication skills (39%), and don’t seem engaged (33%). Gen Z candidates don’t dress appropriately and struggle with eye contact according to the survey results. They exhibit entitlement (60%) and are too difficult to manage (26%). A third of hiring managers say they’ve had to fire a Gen Z employee within a month of their start date.

Whilst these statistics make for interesting soundbites, it is important that employers do not have any generalised policy of avoiding the recruitment of people from ‘Generation Z’. To do so could risk claims of age discrimination. Direct age discrimination occurs when an employer treats a job applicant or employee less favourably than others because of age. Unlike other forms of discrimination, it is possible to justify direct age discrimination if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

However, a policy of not employing anyone from Generation Z is not going to be easy to justify! All candidates should be looked at on merit and hired on a non-discriminatory basis – not sidelined because of the demographic that their age happens to place them in.

Tom Martin, Wilkin Chapman LLP
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