Generation Z refers to young people who were born between 1996 and 2014. This generation stands out from the previous generations – millennials and generation X – for a ton of reasons, some of which this article addresses.
A report published by the Pew Research Centre described this particular generation as the “post-millennials”, and stated that those who fall into this category were born in 1997 onwards.
Generation Z are regarded as being a very tech-savvy generation, having been born during a time of fast-paced digital growth. Let’s take a look at the key characteristics that define generation Z
Gen Z Is All About Technology
According to recent data from Glassdoor, the most in-demand jobs for generation Z are software engineering, software developer, sales associate, mechanical engineering, data analyst, business analyst, receptionist, investment banking analyst and financial analyst . Of the most sought after workplaces, the tech industry was well-represented at the time of the research. The top 10 companies generation Zers applied to were IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Deloitte, NBCUniversal, Lockheed Martin, Oracle and PayPal.
The research found the most frequently used phrases by Generation Z when describing positive workplace experiences were “work environment,” “flexible hours” and “good pay.” When describing the cons of their workplaces, the most frequent phrases that popped up were “long hours,” “low pay” and “minimum wage.”
A Competitive Generation
For the GEN Z, their competitive nature applies to almost everything, from robotics to debates that test mental fortitude. They carry the mindset that they are not necessarily at school just to learn but to get good grades that will secure places in the best colleges. Generation Z has been thrown into perhaps the most competitive educational environment in history.
We are also accustomed to getting immediate feedback from this generation. When you talk about leaders of tomorrow, this generation is capable to achieve that.
As it turns out, workplace engagement matters less to Generation Z than it did to previous generations. What’s most important to them is compensation. Generation Z views work primarily as a way to make a living rather than as the main source of meaning and purpose in their lives. They’d love to operate in an enjoyable environment, but financial stability takes precedence. You find most of them in the entertainment industry as well as the digital marketing space.
They Crave Human Interaction
Although members of Generation Z don’t necessarily need a pat on the back, it’s human nature to want to feel appreciated. This small gesture will give them something to look forward to and keep us feeling optimistic
Members of Generation Z gravitate toward in-person interactions.
“Gen Z has the power of technology in their hands, which allows them to communicate faster, more often and with many colleagues at one time; but it also brings a danger when it’s used as a crutch for messages that are better delivered face to face,” says Jill Katz, CHRO at New York City-based Assemble HR. “As humans in the workplace, they will continue to seek empathy, interest and care, which are always best received face to face.”
XYZ University’s research found that cellphones and other electronic devices are primarily used for the purpose of entertainment and are tapped for communication only when the face-to-face option isn’t available.
They Are Open to Change
Compared to teenagers of other generations, Generation Z is open to change. They worry about the future and want to see changes in any broken system especially in politics and business.
“Gen Z has a strong ability to adapt to change,” says Paul Carney, an author and speaker on HR trends and a former HR manager with the Navy Federal Credit Union. “For those of us who have spanned many decades in the workplace, we have seen the rate of change increase and it makes most of us uncomfortable. Gen Z are the people who will help all of us adapt better.”