Gen Z (iGen or Centennials) is the generation that comes after Millennials and includes people that have been born after 1996. Some of them are already 21 years old, therefore entering the workforce and challenging all of our assumptions of how to treat employees and what to expect from them.
Their defining characteristics, as shown by early indications are:
- Being self-aware.
- Goal oriented.
Generation Z as Customers
More so than previous generations, Millennials are all about new technologies which play the most important part of their life.
This becomes a challenge for marketers and advertisers because they have to come up with innovative ways of attracting them.
They also have to continue to research new ‘hot apps’ and channels through which to connect with Gen Z, and adapt their vocabulary to communicate with Gen Z easier.
Being ‘cloud natives’, they will not buy anything significant before asking their friends online, searching for reviews or quickly comparing dozens of products at the convenience of one click.
As they are more diverse than Millennials, companies will need to expand their offers and leverage multiple marketing channels.
It is crucial for marketers and companies to think long-term and not obsess over ROI from the different campaigns because Gen Z have a short attention span, and they might be convinced to take a decision only after seeing an ad multiple times on YouTube or similar channels.
Generation Z as Employees
As it is the case with all the other generations, Gen Z will bring to the workforce a new mindset and will have different expectations.
Their main trait as employees is their willingness to innovate and their entrepreneurial spirit. They will most likely challenge the status-quo and will not accept the answer “because we have always done it this way.” For them to create the best value for your company, make sure to offer them freedom for thought, flexibility, and autonomy.
Contrasting with the fact that they cannot imagine the world without the internet and mobile phones, they appreciate the one-on-one time, therefore, from time to time you should have private meetings with them to discover their strengths, and they will help you change the world.
They wish to work for one company for long-term and will not switch jobs so often. The reason for this is their need of security since they have lived through the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and have been raised through the Great Recession, two of the most dramatic events of the past decades.
This means you can safely invest in their growth, as this highly benefits your company.
Companies Appreciated by Gen Z
A recent survey was conducted to find out what companies Generation Z aspire to work for.
The most appreciated company in the US by Generation Z is Google, followed by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Disney, FBI, Apple, CIA, 3M and BuzzFeed. Quite a varied selection for sure.
Because of their entrepreneurial spirit and multitasking skills, companies will need to find new ways of stimulating them consistently and challenge them. Otherwise, they can quickly become bored of doing the same thing for a long period of time without seeing any improvement.
Trying to understand the new generations, more and more companies, marketers and entrepreneurs are doing research and surveying Gen Z to adapt their businesses for this new wave of professionals that will change the workforce in the years to come.
The job application process, together with all the documents needed when applying for a job will need to update as well, embracing the cloud and the new technologies.