How Employers Should Prepare for Gen Z

There’s a new generation of workers out there. Gen Z (iGen or Centennials) is the generation that comes after Millennials and is made up of those born after 1996. Some of them are now 21 years old and entering the workforce. This generation is set to challenge our expectations of employees and how they should be treated.

Early indicators show that the defining characteristics of Gen Z are:

  • Self-aware.
  • Innovative.
  • Goal oriented.
  • Self-reliant.

Generation Z is your new Customers

Gen Z has grown up on new technologies which have become a vital part of their life.

It is now a challenge for marketers and advertisers to devise innovative ways of attracting them. Part of that challenge is to continue to research new ‘hot apps’ and channels, as well as adapt their vocabulary to communicate and connect more easily with Gen Z.

This generation of ‘cloud natives’ will ask friends, research reviews and product comparisons online before making a big purchase.

Companies will find that they are more diverse than Millennials, leading them to increase their offers and leverage multiple marketing channels.

Marketers and companies will need to think long-term rather than obsess over ROI from the different campaigns. Because of their short attention spans, Gen Z decision making may be influenced only after multiple viewings of an ad on YouTube or similar channels.

Generation Z Employees

Like every previous generation, Gen Z will bring a different mindset and expectations to the workforce.

Their common trait of this generation of employees is their inclination to innovate and their entrepreneurial spirit. It is likely that they will challenge that status-quo and be unaccepting of the phrase “because we have always done it this way.” They will be of most value to your company when offered freedom for thought, flexibility, and autonomy.

Despite the inability to imagine a world without the internet and mobile phones, they appreciate one-on-one time. For this reason, take the time to have occasional private meetings with them to discover their strengths and find how they can help you build your company.

This generation has lived through two of the most painful events of recent decades, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Great Recession. Because of these events they’ve developed a need for security and would prefer working long term for one company over frequently changing jobs.

This can benefit your company and allow you to safely invest in their growth.

Companies That Target Gen Z

In a recent survey asking what companies members of Generation Z aspire to work for, Google was found to be the US company most valued by Generation Z. This was followed by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Disney, FBI, Apple, CIA, 3M and BuzzFeed.

In order to take advantage of Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit and multitasking skills, companies will need to find new ways to regularly motivate and challenge them. If not, these workers will likely become bored quickly from doing the same thing over and over.

Even the job application process is undergoing updates to embrace the cloud and other technologies used by this generation.

Many companies, marketers and entrepreneurs are currently conducting research and surveys of Gen Z in order to understand this generation and prepare for the new wave of professionals entering the workforce in the years to come.