Generation Z enters the workforce

Generational and technological challenges in entry-level jobs

With Generation Z entering the workforce and the nature of entry-level jobs changing, how can organizations redesign these jobs in a way that can both attract and engage Gen Z and ensure that these jobs continue to generate a pipeline of future talent?

Generation Z enters the workforce


DO you remember your first job out of college? For many of us, it marked the turning point from adolescence to adulthood. It was a time to experience firsthand how the business world actually worked while putting in the necessary time at the bottom of the corporate ladder to learn professional skills. The entry-level job was often considered a rite of passage for a long-lasting and stable career at an organization. However, times seem to have changed. In many cases, corporate ladders have shortened, career path options seem to have ballooned, entry into the workforce is frequently delayed, and entry-level workers often leave an organization after a couple of years on the job.1All of these changes compel us to take a closer look at whether our entry-level roles are designed to withstand the forces shaping the future of work.2

Across the entire US-based workforce, increasingly sophisticated value chains have caused the nature of work to shift away from relatively routine work environments to ones filled with growing diversity and complexity. In particular, there has been growth in highly cognitive non-routine work (including professional or managerial work).3 The economist, Robert Gordon, notes that from 1970 to 2009, highly cognitive non-routine work grew by 60 percent, while repetitive work declined by 12 percent.4

No group has likely been more affected by this change than entry-level workers—mostly composed of the next generation entering the workplace.



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