Generation Z or Gen Z, also known by a number of other names is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. Generation Z was born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Employing this demographic requires a different outlook than previous generations.
“Generation Z was born into technology,” says Maria Bailey author of Millennial Moms, and a soon-to-be-released book on Generation Z. Most of Generation Z have used the internet since a young age and live and breath technology and social media.
“When employing Generation Z, it’s important to consider that many of these young people have built their own social media brands as teenagers and learned to make money with social media or other technology platforms,” says Bailey.
Next Generation Entrepreneurs
Gen Zers have grown up in a multi-task, fast-paced technology environment. They aren’t the typical 9-to-5 employees, reveals Robert McGuire, publisher of Nation1099, a career and business advisor. “This generation is much more likely to be interested in freelancing and working independently,” McGuire says.
“When employing Generation Z members, don’t be surprised if they have their own side gigs,” says Susan Fierro, head of people and culture success at Evisions, which creates higher education software solutions. “They’re a multi-talented, fast-paced generation ready to dive into work. They can process information quickly, are self-aware and have high standards due to the many options they have.”
Work is more than Work
Generation Z desires more than just a paycheck from their employer. “To attract Gen Z as employees, work has to serve a higher purpose,” believes Ashira Prossack, who specializes in advising companies on Millennial and Generation Z engagement in the workplace.
“This latest generation is the most purpose driven to date. Members want to make a difference in the world,” says Prossack. “Social impact is as important as salary to them. Corporate social responsibility programs must be in place to show Gen Z that your company is truly dedicated to giving back.”
And They Want a Life Too?!
Generation Z expects a work-life balance to be a part of your organization. They want to clock out at 5.pm., resist working overtime, and will actually use up their vacation days. “Flexible hours, lifestyle accommodations and freedom to do whatever they like on their off time are all on their employment checklist,” suggests Shakira Brown, CEO of SMB Strategic Media and founder and CEO of The Functional Entrepreneur, which offers entrepreneurs business advice. “Gen Zers prefer a more balanced life that includes reasonable working hours, with occasional bouts of overtime, and weekends off,” states Alexander Lowry, a professor of finance at Gordon College. “If they do work overtime, it may be in an unstructured setting, like a coffee shop, so it’s best to focus on results with this group, not on how they get things done.”