Recently Pegasus released the findings of its study into the health behaviours of Generation Z. Sophie Middleton, Account Manager in our Animal Health team goes on to ask, what does this generation hold in store for the agri sector and for future farmers and farm vets in the UK?
According to a recent survey by Farmers Guardian* of 1,800 16 – 35 year olds, over 59% were interested in careers within agriculture. Compared to previous generations, where recruiting talent and keeping a workforce motivated has been challenging to say the least, this is a significant shift.
Attracting Gen Z to careers in agriculture and farming has the potential to change the shape of the industry. So, inspired by our own findings and the #ThisIsAgriculture campaign from Farmers Guardian**, we share the top three things agricultural recruiters need to keep in mind:
1. Striking a balance
Despite what some may think, Gen Z do believe in hard work with 68% saying they believe it’s necessary to get want they want in life. However, nearly half don’t believe it will be an easy path to their chosen career. And job satisfaction isn’t always a motivator – a quarter said it’s not necessarily important as long as they are paid well. Whether they’re looking for job satisfaction or a well-paid role, more than half agree that work-life balance is important to them.
2. Flexible solutions
This generation are looking for a work culture that welcomes open discussions and collaborations. They come with an entrepreneurial spirit and aren’t comfortable simply falling in line with the industry status quo. This agile attitude extends to the way they view their ‘working week’. A quarter of Gen Z say they would always want to work flexible hours, and this generation is more likely to request more dynamic working formats, locations and arrangements.
3. Digital natives
With Gen Z having never known a world without the internet, there is a massive shift towards digital. In the workplace this means that they can adapt to new tech and platforms with ease. And while their predecessors choose to communicate via email, Gen Z’s prefer quicker, more personal channels like instant messaging and video calls, using Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime. This is critical when recruiters consider the right ways to reach out and communicate with this audience.
So, to entice them into the world of agriculture, the industry will need to understand this generation better, and learn from them. Just as much as recruiters want to attract them to the diverse and exciting opportunities available in farming, so they too need to adapt and make way for these new Gen Z ways of thinking and behaving.