Is Generation Z changing the understanding of HR work?

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Matthias Bender


Talentmanagement, Employee Management, Generation Z


This article aims to determine whether and how an increased entry of Generation Z could impact HR work. To answer this, two hypotheses were formulated. Afterward, an extensive literature search was carried out on various databases, with the search results being narrowed down step by step using two selection criteria. The finally selected literature, focusing on German-speaking areas, was then evaluated through qualitative content analysis.

First, it was found that the research results on Generation Z are not as uniform as one might assume from the first impression, especially since there is also a tendency in the studies to prefer to interview students. However, it seems that the individual consideration of employees and communication with them will increasingly be demanded by them and thus become the focus of HR work, regardless of whether the employee is a talent or not. This fundamental claim could lead to the fact that the considerations regarding an exclusive or inclusive Talent Management approach are no longer expedient or even rather obstructive, especially since talent management in its current form has apparently not yet arrived at many companies even after more than 20 years. Considering the definition problem of the concept of talent alone, this is not surprising.

The advantage of Talent Management over HR Management is that some main tasks from HR management are linked together. However, due to the framework conditions, all employees must be considered individually, and it could make sense to rename inclusive Talent Management to Employee Management. In that case, exclusive Talent Management is understood solely as Talent Management (methodological level), and both terms could be summarized under the generic term Human Resources Management (didactic level). This would result in a hierarchy of terms in which the terms are clearly distinguished from each other. Furthermore, the sharpening of the terms and the concentrated summary of essential aspects of personnel work (see Figure 3) should also make it easier for managers who are inexperienced in personnel work to carry out Human Resources Management.

This article aims to contribute to the sharpening of theoretical concepts to facilitate their practical implementation. The article is suitable for entrepreneurs, executives, HR specialists, and academics.


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