How Generation Z are Different from Millennials

Millennials took us by surprise.  They work differently, play differently and have a different set of expectations of what ‘work’ should be.  Yet Millennials are about to lose the spotlight to Generation Z as this group of youngsters begin to make their way into the workforce.

Here are 5 things you should know about this emerging generation before you begin hiring them.

1) Generation Z Only Know Technology

Unlike Millennials, who didn’t grow up with smartphones in their pocket or social media—Generation Z did. They were raised in an age in which texts and messages can be sent in the blink of an eye. As such, they are less patient, and are used to having instant gratification.  They also communicate through social media more than any other generation—which changes the dynamic of what is being said. A tweet is far different than an email or a phone call. 

2) Generation Z Grew Up Being Frugal

While Millennials were able to go through their childhoods without giving much thought to the then-healthy economy, teenaged Gen Z’s are already concerned about it. 

In a recent survey, nearly 10% of teens said the number one issue their generation will have to face relates to the economy and debt. This is because their childhoods were marked by the financial crisis of 2008. The oldest Gen Z’s, who were born in 1997, were 11 years old when that recession hit. This group will likely care more about pensions, buying a home and saving than other generations—something to think about as you consider benefits packages.

3) Generation Z’s Are Global

Geographic location does not define your average Gen Z’er. And American Generation Z’s are enjoying increasingly more content from outside the US, mostly thanks to social media. For example, Skam, a Norwegian teen drama series, became popular in the states after Twitter and YouTube popularized it. And the latest album from K-pop boy band BTS hit No. 1 on Billboard Magazine's music charts—largely thanks to their dedicated global fan base

From an employer perspective this is a positive thing—Generation Z will not be beholden to traditional boundaries; they will likely know how to find and tap into resources from across the globe.

4) Generation Z Tends to Be More Social Justice Oriented Than Millennials

In the states, Millennials helped elect a black president and legalize gay marriage—things they saw as progressive milestones.  But Generation Z sees this as the norm.  They are much more involved in organizing and expressing their viewpoints on race relations, gender inequality, LGBTQ rights and other identity issues. On the whole, Generation Z care deeply about the environment, race relations and political party polarization. Many millennials care more about which fashion brand is on trend.

5) Generation Z Cares About Showing of Their Individuality

Speaking of fashion brands, Generation Z is more interested in wearing T-shirts with political slogans and clothes from charity shops than expensive clothes. They are less brand conscious and don’t spend as much as Millennials did when they were teenagers. Bragging that they are able to afford a certain brand isn’t as important to them as showing off their individuality—another good point to remember when incentivizing this group in the workforce.

Over the next 10 years, businesses will find themselves having to adjust to Generation Z entering the workforce.  Luckily Generation Z seem fairly reasonable, and their integration into today’s business world will likely be with minimal disruption. Give them room to express themselves, don’t be offended if they accept your job offer by social media, and help them to feel like they have job security… and you will be on the right track.

About Oliver Parks

Oliver Parks Consulting offers search-based recruitment solutions to the technology sector, specialising in the ERP, CRM, CMS, ECM, BI and Open Source Technology spaces. The firm’s multilingual consultants operate in narrowly-defined niche market segments, enabling them to gain extensive knowledge of the people and companies operating in each technology.  Oliver Parks has a proven track-record with more than 100,000 candidates worldwide and more than 300 clients globally.