You have probably heard of the Millennials, and maybe you are one of those who have seen the impact of them on your organization – or that have just realized that you have to update you recruitment processes and staff strategies to be attractive for the new generation. But embrace yourself, the next generation is already entering the scene – say welcome to Gen Z!
They where raised with Internet and Financial crises
Gen Z was born in the late 1990s and was raised when Internet and the mobile already was present in most of our lives. They were raised in a world post September 11, dot com-crises and Lehman Brothers.
They are used to immediate communications
The communication is immediate and involves many senses. Why send an email or text when there is snapchat and other social media applications that enable you to add different mediums to the same message – and to cut and edit the message to be as you like. They would not answer to phone for a unknown number – early for a known one either. And they don’t ask their friends or connections for their phone number, on a social platform no number is needed.
They choose an other career path
They job market has change – and of course the new generations has to adopt to it. Gen Zs are increasingly less likely to not work a traditional job. According to one study by Harvard Business Review, around 70% of them are self-employed. And, while millennials went to college more than any other generation before them, some Gen Zs are trying to achieve success without a degree.
They have an other relationship to money
Growing up during the global financial crisis, Generation Zers are realistic and mindful of financial issues and future career from a younger age. Generation Z is intentionally choosing to attend a less-expensive college so they can graduate with less debt. Less debt means they can enter the job force with more mobility, allowing them to take a job they really want that may pay less. They’re less brand-conscious and they are not spending as much as millennials do.
The are raised on a global cultural scene
The youth of this generation has to much larger extent then previous generations consumed the same cultural expressions. Music, tv-shows, youtubers and other artists has been able to follow for everyone in the same age group all over the world. Making this generation childhood much more similar to each other then previous generations. At the same time the online presence has enabled new online relationships with friends from all over the world – or from around the corner – but that you do not have to meet physical in order to maintain the friendship.
Get a clue on how to design your future strategies by looking at how Gen Z are raised
A persons hopes, dreams and expectations are affected by the era they are born and raised in. It is not strange that the generation born after the great depressions and the two world wars cherish financial safety, owning their own home and having a secure employment. What will this generation cherish? A generation born into a global and connected world with terror and financial crisis.
In a world where owning your house (or taking mortgage to buy a house) just lead to a crises. Why own a house?
In a world where you don´t care about the brand of the clothes you are wearing and you treasure social impact high. Why try to earn more money to increase consumption?
In a world where you already maintain most of you social connections online. What keep you on one geographical place?
New values needs new strategies
I believe that most companies have to rethink their strategies to attract, engage and retain employees. Of what you do today, what have to be carried out in that order and what can be changed?
Some things are stationary or are easier to do face-to-face. Is the perk to that make people stay if they get a raise and invited to a more fancy Christmas party or could there be other perks? Could it be allowed to work from an other location (Bahamas?) four weeks per year? Bringing the dog to work? Is outlook-mail the best way to communicate between meetings?
What can you do in a different way at your company – and what should you not do in a different way. To remain some traditions and habits is as important as to develop others. But be aware of the environment the new generations has been brought up in and how that effect their values and habits.
Theresia Silander Hagström
KTH Executive School