The next generation of young professionals is entering the workforce. Welcome Generation Z, the generation that is about to surpass Millennials as the most populous generation on earth. Gen Z is comprised of individuals born between 1997 and 2012 and currently make up a population of 68 million in the United States.
As this generation ages and enters the workforce, they are set to have a profound effect on technology, politics, and culture. To best understand how the workforce will adapt to the next generation, let’s start with what defines them.
Technology – First
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up without knowing the world before the Internet or mobile devices. They have been hyper-connected since birth with most of their childhoods being digitized since day one. They’ve seen young entrepreneurs create new apps without attending college, and they learned how to use a touch screen instead of a keyboard. Technology is the first place they turn to solve a problem.
The future of work will be dramatically changed by the generation of technology evangelists. New digital tools and skills will emerge, and employers will need to rethink how technology is integrated into the lives of their employees. Gen Z will have shorter timelines to understand new rollouts and are likely to be more reliant on technology for communication than any generation before them. In fact, members of Generation Z spend an average of 10 hours on their devices every day, but many experts believe it is weakening their ability to build relationships offline. As this generation enters the workforce, companies will have to adapt communication-driven plans and find different ways to have colleagues connect.
The Great Recession
Having grown up seeing their parents struggle during the recession in 2008, Generation Z is salary – driven and security – minded. 70% of Gen Z describe salary as their top motivator. They are debt adverse and strive for financial security. Scarred by the financial crises and unemployment, this new generation is incredibly frugal. Unlike Millennials, they are very cautious about excessive consumption and are very monetarily driven when it comes to working.
Companies will need to adapt to Gen Z’s financial desires when it comes to attracting top talent. Gen Z will want higher salaries and better financial benefits and job security. With each generation comes a new set of standards, and Generation Z is no different.