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GEN Z: Emerging Talent

Download: GEN Z: EMERGING TALENT Full report

Imagine the world a decade from now. Where do you live? Where do you work? What does your workplace look like? How is it different from today? How do you travel? Are you actively involved in some form of sharing economy?

These questions may be difficult to answer given the unprecedented rate of technological and social change we are experiencing, but they are worth considering. Why? Because the people who work for AtkinsRéalis today are focused on finding solutions to the challenges of tomorrow. As a company, we are building what matters. We are involved in the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of major infrastructure assets around the world and our people are using their expertise to help our clients create a sustainable future for us all. To do this, we need to ensure we have a talented and diverse team. To help us attract the best people, we are looking closely at what future job seekers expect in an employer. We gathered research from across the globe and asked more than 8,000 Millennials (people born early 1980s to the late 1990s) and representatives of Generation Z (people born after the late 1990s) to tell us what they think about work, technology and the world around them. We also tapped into the expertise within our own organisation and networks as we aimed to identify some of the issues and trends that will shape people’s lives in the years to come.

Working & Learning

Many representatives of Generation Z want to work for a company that will give them a chance to prosper in line with their values and beliefs. They are keen to seize opportunities for personal growth as well as be involved in challenging work of which they can be proud. Our research suggests they have a global outlook and a commitment to ongoing education, whether it is through formal channels or learning new skills via video channels such as YouTube.


Members of Generation Z are digital natives. They are hyper-connected and create, as well as consume, content online. But despite being tech-savvy they also want to collaborate, in person, with colleagues and partners instead of relying on digital systems to do that for them. 

Values & Behaviours

The newest members of the workforce are driven, passionate, open-minded and optimistic about the future. They care about their environment and believe more needs to be done to protect it. Generation Z has the potential to make a difference to the way we live and work through an ‘always on’ approach. Technology has already changed the way we work, learn, shop, relax and move around our urban environments.

"We expect even more dramatic digital transformation to provide the backdrop for the generations working in our organisations today."

The insight from this research is helping us to devise appropriate attraction and recruitment strategies, develop rewarding work-related choices and provide an engaging and fulfilling experience for our employees. As a representative of the wider engineering and construction industry, we want to promote the extraordinary opportunities available to you when you consider a career in our sector. We are also hoping to demystify design and engineering as a discipline and think of new ways to encourage students to choose science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. As we look ahead, our ongoing research and insight will continue to evolve in line with the fast-moving world in which we live. We look forward to welcoming a new generation of innovators to our company and watching them shape the future.

The generations

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Generation Z (Gen Z)
Millennials (Generation Y)
Generation X(Gen X)
Baby Boomers

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  • Born after the late 1990s
  • The first true digital natives
  • A ‘do-it-yourself’ generation
  • Attracted to employers with a strong social purpose
  • They want to make a difference to their world

  • Born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s
  • Eager adopters of new technologies
  • They have different priorities to other generations and value access over ownership
  • Portrayed as job hoppers who expect swift career progression
  • Tolerant, honest and want a ‘fun’ place to work with their colleagues

  • Born between the mid 1960s and the early 1980s
  • Some say they’re a work hard, play hard generation
  • Seen as being career focused and independent
  • They often have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • They embrace technology

  • Born between the mid 1940s and the mid 1960s
  • A post-war generation
  • Challenged the status quo in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Reported to be ambitious and hard-working
  • They remain active inside and outside the workplace much later in life than previous generations

Graphic depicting that 59% of the workforce will be composed of millennials and GenZ in 2020, 24% will be Gen z and 35% will be Gen y. Between the two groups they will account for more of the population than baby boomers

Source: Park Communications Ltd – Millennials to Rule the Workforce by 2020

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