Get Ready for Gen Z Workers

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Get Ready for Gen Z Workers

Generation Z consists of the 25 percent of the American population that was born beginning in the late 1990s to the middle of the following decade.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gen Z is larger than the Millennial or the Baby Boom generation. 

The oldest members of Gen Z are beginning to enter the workplace.  By early 2020s, they’ll account for one-fifth of the workforce.  They will be followed by younger members of their generation for the next ten years, until 60 million Gen Z workers will be working beside members of older generations.

Gen Z is unlike the Millennial generation that preceded them in important ways:1 

  • Members of Gen Z grew up with digital technology. They can’t remember a world without the Internet, social media, or smartphones. 
  • Gen Z expects to continue to rely on parents for career advice. A Robert Half survey found that 82 percent expect their parents to help them choose a career.2  According to Bruce Tulgan, founder of Rainmaker Thinking, “This is the generation that’s had more guidance, direction, support, and coaching from parents, teachers, and counselors than any generation in history.” 
  • Perhaps because of that strong support network, Gen Z also emphasizes the importance of human contact. While they are more comfortable learning how to do their jobs from online tutorials than previous generations, they prefer face-to-face mentoring from their bosses.  Research by Millennial Branding and Randstad US found that 53 percent of Gen Z workers would rather communicate in-person than through text messages or videoconferencing tools.3
  • Almost two-thirds of Gen Z wants to collaborate with a small group of co-workers in an office environment, according to the Robert Half study. Counter to the larger U.S. trend toward employees working from home, only 4 percent of Gen Z workers prefer to work independently at an off-site location.
  • More than half of Gen Z members say they want to start their own businesses, according to a study by Universum.4 That’s a higher proportion than Millennials.
  • They also want the ability to move from one work zone to another, from a quiet area where they can concentrate while working solo to open spaces elsewhere in the building where they can collaborate with colleagues, and perhaps an area outside the building where they can socialize, all without losing their Internet connection.
  • Gen Z isn’t interested in a long-term career at a single company. A study by Adecco Staffing USA found that that 83 percent plan to stay at their first job for three years or less, while 27 percent intend to stay no more than one year...

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