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Gen Z is Ready to Fail Forward

austin executive recruiters

Gen Z is Entering the Workforce

Great news! The youngest adults now entering the workforce are planning to fail! A recent study by accounting and advisory giant EY found more than 80% of Gen Z (young adults born after 1995) feel that failure is something to be embraced.

Why is this excellent news?

It has to do with what else the study reveals, which is that most Gen Zers surveyed:

  • Are not afraid to venture outside of their comfort zone when presented with a new challenge – with about a quarter (24 percent) being excited and honored for the opportunity.
  • Are receptive to receiving feedback on an ongoing basis or after completing a large project or task.
  • Welcome working with coworkers who can challenge and motivate them.
  • Feel it is most important to work with people with diverse education and skill levels.

Failure Embraced by Gen Zers

Other sources support these findings, with interesting nuances. Newsweek says, “the catchwords for Generation Z are practical and cautious,” and calls the generation clear-eyed and pragmatic. We asked Gen Zers among our own staff and here’s what they had to say:

“We aren’t afraid of failure because we understand that failure can lead to some of our greatest successes,” says The HT Group Staffing Manager Chelsea Bissell.

The HT Group Recruiting Coordinator Cassidy Smith agrees, adding that “growing up during the explosion of social media heavily shifted our generation’s conversations around success. It’s shown us that there are endless possibilities out there, but it takes trial and error to achieve what you want. This unlimited and instant access to resources has made our generation more competitive and progressive, but we see the work it requires to get there and not just the end product.”

“With the next generation of our workforce not afraid to fail in order to grow and innovate, organizations should create an environment that allows them to bring their ideas forward, fail fast, and then learn from that failure,” adds Natasha Stough, EY Americas Campus Recruiting Leader. 

Do you have more questions about recruiting and retaining your organization’s youngest talent? Ask us!


The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.

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