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Is Your Workplace Ready for Generation Z?

Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as anyone born in or after 1997. That means this generation is just now beginning to enter the workforce, with more to come as college-bound Gen Zers begin to graduate. What do employers need to know as members of this generation come knocking?

1: They are not just digital natives, they’re mobile natives.
Millennials are also called digital natives, but Gen Zers were only 10 years old when the first iPhone was released in 2007. This generation has grown up in an app-ified world of mobile and smart devices. Further, nearly half of Gen Zers are connected online for 10 or more hours daily, according to a study by Goldman Sachs. That may be good news for employers. Nine out of ten IT executives told application platform developer Appian that mobility is critical to business growth, productivity, and competitiveness.

2: They are diverse.
According to the Census Bureau, 50.2% of children under the age of 18 will be members of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020. They will be the first generation in America to be majority non-white. Fortunately, many employers seem to be already gearing up for this new world: LinkedIn has found that 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture. Even better, diverse hiring is positively correlated with business performance by up to 35%, reports Gartner.

3: They will soon outnumber Millennials.
With a population of 72.8 million individuals (and growing), Generation Z is on track to outnumber Millennials. That translates into about $44 billion of their own spending power today, and that will only grow. As a result, they are likely to wield greater economic and market influence than even Millennials. Perhaps that means they will put an end to Millennials “killing” industry after industry.

4: They want work to provide opportunities for growth.
Inc Magazine reports that the most commonly cited desire for their first job, according to 36% of Gen Zers, is the opportunity for growth. This is noteworthy given that, out of today’s workforce, Deloitte reports that only 18% of employees feel that employers give them the ability to develop themselves and chart new pathways for their careers. If that number doesn’t improve, employers could struggle to recruit and retain Gen Zers.

5: They are not a monolith.
Here’s something Generation Z shares with every preceding generation: they’re not all the same. While all generations tend to be regarded and discussed by other generations as undifferentiated masses, this is simply not true. No generation is uniform in composition, preferences, or worldviews. When interviewing or managing members of Generation Z, as with members of all generations, make no assumptions or pre-judgments: do not judge the individual by the group, nor the group by the individual.

 

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