Workforce Expectations of the New Generation: A Case Study of Thai Social Science Pre-Graduates
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the expectations of the new generation workforce (also known as ‘Generation Z’) has become a major concern for companies, large or small. This is especially the case in Thailand, where, due to a persistent low fertility rate, companies are experiencing a shortage of labor and fiercely competing for graduates. Focusing on social science pre-graduates and using a phenomenological approach, this qualitative study aims to investigate their work expectations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 groups of pre-graduates, each one with a different major in social science. A thematic analysis was conducted, and a new conceptual framework developed. The findings indicate that the Thai new generation value an empathetic and fair work environment. They also anticipate receiving psychological and physical support during onboarding in the form of two-way communication and mentoring and are extremely keen on maintaining a work-life balance. Moreover, they expect fairness in terms of workload distribution and compensation. The results of this study have implications for onboarding and new generation employee development, and the recommendations made can benefit both SMEs and larger firms.