Move over Gen Y. Young adults from a new generation are starting to enter the jobs market.
Born between 1995 and 2009, Generation Z is the largest generation ever. They make up around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% worldwide. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.
Here, are five of their key characteristics and what you can do to appeal to this new generation.
As dot-com kids, Gen Z is the mobile-first generation. Their entire lives have been shaped in the 21st century, connected through digital devices. In the workplace, this mobile-first upbringing will translate into them fully expecting to connect via their mobile devices and have access to real-time information, 24×7.
Rapid technology adoption
Gen Z is uber tech-savvy. They adopt new technology faster and embrace all things digital. In the workplace, you can put this immersion to good use. For instance if you’re undergoing digital transformation, pair up older workers with younger workers for mutual mentorship. Gen Z workers can mentor on social media and technology to bring older workers up to date with digital technologies. On the other hand, older workers can share and mentor on interpersonal and commercial skills. This will help transfer valuable skills and knowledge from one generation to another, and help eliminate skills vacuums.
Attention span of a gnat
While Gen Y is famed for its short attention span, Gen Z takes it to a whole new level. A recent American study put their average attention span at 8.25 seconds – officially less than a goldfish, which comes in at 9 seconds.
However, when you consider Gen Z has grown up quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information, you can see that this short attention span is more like a highly evolved filter. Indeed, once something has caught their attention, Gen Z can become intensely committed and focused. At work, the trick is to catch their attention with something meaningful and relevant that they can truly make their own.
Growth opportunities come first
According to a survey of college and university students conducted by Robert Half and Enactus this year, while salary ranks as a top priority for Gen Z, it comes second to growth opportunities. In terms of recruitment and retention strategies, it’s essential to promote training, map out career paths, and the steps new Gen Z hires can take with your company to get there.
For Gen Zs, it’s not necessarily about starting their own businesses, it’s about driving results and seeing how their efforts contribute to the bottom line. This generation is certainly not afraid of hard work, but as their employers, you will need ensure you show them how their hard work matters.
So don’t fear Gen Z, embrace them. You might be surprised by how much you can learn from this tech-savvy generation
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