Move over millennials, there’s a new generation in town.
Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, consists of individuals born after 1995. This new generation is about to take the workforce by storm and all of us must prepare. To put things into perspective, consider that this generation has an influence of nearly $44 billion in discretionary spending a year.
In seven years, half of our workforce will be millennials and Gen Z.
With more than half of Gen Z multi- or biracial, bigotry and racism should diminish.
More so than millennials, Gen Z grew up in a technology-centered, social media-filled world, making them true digital natives (they were a mere nine years old when the first iPhone was released in 2007).
Gen Z vs. Millennials:
- Gen Z multitasks across at least five screens a day and spends 41 percent of their time outside of school/work with computers or mobile devices compared to the 22 percent millennials spent 10 years ago.
- Gen Z expects loyalty from businesses, whereas millennials view loyalty as a nice bonus. If they don't feel loyalty from brands, they move on.
- Despite their tech-heavy upbringing, Gen Z prefers face-to-face communications over instant messaging or email.
- Gen Z is entrepreneurial. This generation is more likely to have worked on a craft than millennials at the same age (42 percent vs. 25 percent) and are interested in developing skills related to starting a business.
Additionally, Gen Z-ers are described as: private, diverse, hard working, responsible and practical. Overall, they want to change the world and are willing to put in the hard work to do so. But because they place such a strong emphasis on improving the world around them, they expect the companies they work for to do the same.
Here's how to welcome Gen Z into your workforce and to attract and retain the best and brightest:
- Live your company’s values. Highlight how your brand helps change the world for the better through sustainability practices, and community service projects and partnerships.
- Underline growth opportunities. A future-focused group, Gen Z desires an organization that offers a clear career advancement path, as well as mentorship opportunities.
- Be authentic. Always. This is not a one-size-fits-all generation. Tailor your messaging to appeal directly to them and underscore the authenticity and transparency of your organization. Thought leadership blog posts and articles hold a lot of clout with Gen Z.
- Go where they are. Be present on social platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat to connect with this generation.
- Narrow your focus. This generation moves quickly. While it’s important to be cognizant of the latest social media trends, place your focus on excellently executing a handful of channels, for example YouTube. Gen Z expects the best and values excellence over omni-presence in the social media sphere.