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The Greyhound

Students and Faculty React to Gen Z Employment Report

Students and Faculty React to Gen Z Employment Report
Rory Durso

When Eileen Hiebler isn’t at home with her three kids and her husband, also a Loyola graduate, she works on helping students launch their careers as the Director of Partnerships and Recruiting at Loyola’s Rizzo Career Center. As director, she serves as the liaison between Loyola students and employers who want to hire them, organizes career fairs and oversees other efforts to set up Greyhounds for post-graduate success. When shown an April 2023 article that revealed 74% of over 1300 managers and leaders have found employees from Generation Z harder to work with than other generations, Hiebler was somewhat surprised that the reasons did not match up with her experiences of working with members of Gen Z and assisting them in the Career Center.   

Figure courtesy of

“I’ve just had observations that they tend to be very black-and-white. They can’t always distinguish the gray area,” she said.

Hiebler’s challenges with Gen Z pertain to flexibility and the younger generation’s misunderstanding of a middle ground when it comes to workplace conflicts. She explains that if she tells a Gen Z employee to send an email today, Hiebler risks them sending it today with inaccurate information, because they were instructed to send it today. She would rather the employee tell her the email will be sent tomorrow and take the time to ensure accuracy, despite having a delay. 

Senior Elena Johnston, a double major in Communications (Advertising/Public Relations specialization) and Global Studies, has worked many jobs and internships that combine those two majors. On top of her 21-credit course load, Johnston, who is graduating this December, is interning at the U.S. Agency for International Development, specifically focusing on communications for the Europe and Eurasia region. She speaks highly of her boss there, who is close in age to her. However, her experience as a Gen Z member in the workplace has made her feel perceived as less important. 

“My direct supervisors have always been really wonderful, but sometimes the people above my supervisors have been challenging to work with,” Johnston said about her work experience. “When I work with [higher ups] directly, they’re generally respectful, but there is always that kind of [feeling of], ‘you’re an intern, you’re young,’ kind of vibe about them. That’s really frustrating because, not to be big-headed or egotistical, but I really pride myself in my work and I know I’m good at my job.”

When shown the ResumeBuilder survey, Johnston did not find any truth to the results.

“[Technology skills] are something that our generation really brings to the table…We know more about technology than older generations, we just do. I think that in particular…maybe shows some bias in the article. I also noticed that the article presented data saying a lot of superiors felt like the Gen Z workers they met with were easily offended, and I think that is a generational gap,” she said.

Johnston also noted that the sample size of Gen Z in the workplace is likely too small to tell if the results from the story are meaningful. Since the older members of Gen Z are only in their mid-20s, they are just now entering the workforce and are still learning how life outside of college works. Growing pains are to be expected from any generation in a transitional period.

Rory Durso

Hiebler sees the value of working with people from Gen Z over people from other generations. Because they are younger and don’t have as many commitments, they are more willing to adapt to and learn workplace expectations.

“A big word for me is ‘coachable.’ I will go to the moon and back for someone that is coachable and has a great attitude and can learn from mistakes and is willing to try again,” she said. 

Hiebler also mentioned an interview with Barack Obama where he talks about work ethic and how young people can succeed in the workplace. She agrees with his point that learning how to get things done and going the extra mile will make all the difference.

“I think with young people, you don’t always need to be so impatient asking for the plum assignment. A lot of times the best way to get attention is, whatever is assigned to you, you are just nailing,” the former president said.

For Hiebler, age is not a factor in determining if an employee will be successful in the workplace as long as they are willing to put in the work. 

“I will take anyone in any generation if they can get over their stumbling blocks, and just be a team player and be flexible and show initiative and not need their hand held,” she said. 

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