Gen Z is entering the workforce at a rapid pace, with the eldest of them now 23. A far larger group than their millennial counterparts, youth and young adults born between the mid-1990s and late 2000s have aptly been named Gen Z. Employers should be excited as a flood of talent will be joining the workforce soon — comprising 36 percent of the workforce by 2020 — but be aware, they have short attention spans, even shorter than millennials, and expect a lot from their employers.
According to a Deloitte study, Gen Z values employment that allows them to live a balanced lifestyle even more so than Millennials, with a greater emphasis on physical, mental and social well-being. They want flexibility and control within their schedules. For example, they want to be able to go to an afternoon doctor’s appointment without feeling like it reflects poorly on their work ethic. Employers must investigate providing flexible work hours, the ability to work from home when possible, and progressive benefit plans that include a Wellness Spending Account. Shopify, for example, offers a WSA that includes eligible spending categories such as gym memberships, financial planners and house cleaning.
With this massive influx of new talent, the workplace is once again going to experience significant change.
Growing up with the Internet, teens are used to getting real-time feedback—and lots of it. Their education and co-curricular activities have also made them used to receiving constructive criticism and acting upon it to improve their chances of success.
“The big thing for employers to consider is that Gen Z actually wants to be mentored and managed,” says Tom Turpin, president of employment agency Randstad. “Gen Z places a tremendous amount of value on an employer’s ability to mentor and teach them.”
Gen Z, people born in 1995 and later, are protesters, social-justice marchers, and spendthrifts just like their hippie aunts, uncles, parents and even grandparents.
Demographers may debate the exact dates, but Baby Boomers were typically born between 1946 and 1964. Their parents grew up during the Depression and the nightly news brought into their living rooms images of a war fought in Southeast Asia.
Compare that with Generation Z. Some of the first Gen Zers were teens and adolescents during the Great Recession of 2008. They saw their parents or the parents of their friends struggle with foreclosures and joblessness. Meanwhile, the country was waging a War on Terror against a nationless enemy.
Traditional marketing doesn’t work for Gen Z. Marketers need to embrace technology and new ways of storytelling. According to an infographic from Upfront Analytics, Gen Z customers respond to edgy and visual marketing tactics. Videos—especially short ones like those created via the social network Vine—work particularly well with young customers.
The study revealed that 80 percent of Gen Z say finding themselves creatively is important. Over 25 percent post original video on a weekly basis, while 65 percent enjoy creating and sharing content on social media.