The world of work must win back young people, but how? ServiceNow point of view

The world of work is going through a very difficult period and is struggling to find new specialized personalities. First, there is the problem of skills mismatch, i.e. the gap between the skills acquired by students and those that companies actually need. But the needs of young people have also changed, and they have become more demanding: they ask for a better work-life balance, greater organizational flexibility and expect to work with intuitive digital tools and simple to use. This is especially true for Generation Z, which includes children born between 1997 and 2012.

To better understand their needs, ServiceNow led a To research which sampled 3,024 Gen-Z exhibitors in Italy, France and Spain. The objective of the study was to understand what companies can do to attract talent from this specific generation.

How to involve Gen-Z in the world of work? ServiceNow review


The first key thing that sets Gen Z apart from the rest is a growing desire for work-life balance. Our research found that six out of ten people aged 18-25 in Italy, France and Spain would be willing to earn less to enjoy more of their free time“, he declares Philippe Gianelli, responsible for ServiceNow for Italy. “This merging of work and professional life also extends to values. Company image and positioning play a key role in terms of assessing Gen Z, with 94%, 92% and 89% of respondents in Spain, Italy and France, respectively, saying that the image communicated by the company on the Internet and social media is important.“.

In short, companies must learn to communicate better, especially by relying on digital channels, especially social networks, but above all they must convince young people that it is possible to find a reasonable balance between work and free time. But how to guarantee it? In the end, those who have a few years of experience know that the eight hours of the contract can often become longer, especially with the generalization of remote work, which has often almost canceled the separation between the private and professional spheres. According to Giannelli, one can think of “block emails at certain times of the day, increase vacation pay, or compensate overtime appropriately”. Not only; “companies should also work on their commitment to ESG activities (Environmental, social and corporate governance, editor’s note), loved by Gen-Z, to create a happier, healthier, greener and more sustainable workplace. Additionally, investing in diversity initiatives is a must to attract and retain as many people as possible.”.

Organizational flexibility: it’s time to review your processes

Hybrid working is here to stay and has been greatly appreciated by many workers. Not always from companies, which in some cases are pushing, in Italy and abroad, to return to the office as soon as conditions allow. A mistake, according to Giannelli: “business leaders should not try to force workers back to the office. The ideal is to set up an open and honest discussion about what the employees really want and to try to satisfy it. You could conduct a survey, organize a meeting or gather feedback to understand how to proceed. Working in hybrid mode should always be offered by default, regardless of the size of the company. By planning remote tasks from the start, they will be truly resilient and work as efficiently in the office as they do at home.“.

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Not only. “Hybrid working then allows you to cross geographic boundaries and expand the pool of potential hires to a much wider area, allowing you to seek out the best talent you can find, rather than the closest ones.“, continues Gianelli.

Digital tools: for Gen Z, they should be intuitive and easy to use

Generation Z was born with digital and is perfectly at ease with it. It is not surprising that research shows that 92% of the Italian sample considers digital tools as fundamental, as well as the adoption of disruptive technologies such as collaborative software and artificial intelligence. As long as they are intuitive and simple to use. “For companies, this means that it is essential to follow a continuous process of digital transformation and optimization. In a world where access to the latest technology is essential, transformation cannot be a one-time thing. Failing to secure the benefits of digital transformation will lead to a rapid loss of competitiveness“, explains the head of ServiceNow. Which concludes with a warning to employers: “It’s important to realize that Gen-Z’s wishes are non-negotiable. In general, the workforce is aging rapidly and a shortage of talent is already eroding the competitive advantage of many companies. Leveraging Gen Z talent is one answer, but under certain conditions. The choice is simple, companies willing and able to change their processes and ways of working to attract new talent will benefit from the wealth of ideas and new perspectives of young people. Companies that can’t or won’t risk losing hard-earned talent and becoming uncompetitive“.