6 Gen Z traits you need to know to attract, hire and retain them
For talent and HR professionals, Millennials have been the hot-button topic of discussion for a long time. But as that generation inches closer to middle age (the oldest Millennials are already in their late 30s), Generation Z (aka Gen Z) has quickly replaced them under the microscope.
Born roughly between 1995 and 2015, Gen Z accounts for 32% of the global population in 2019. By 2020, they’ll make up 24% of the workforce. And as they start entering the workforce in large numbers, it’s vital to know how to hire them effectively.
To help you develop your playbook for hiring Gen Z, here’s everything you need to know about who they are and what they want from a job — plus what they can bring to your company.
Gen Z is tech-savvy
It’s no surprise that as a whole, Gen Z is more tech savvy than any other generation. After all, they’re digital natives, so they feel perfectly comfortable using the internet as a tool for work, research, and connecting with others. They grew up learning online etiquette in the same way that previous generations learned table manners. In fact, a recent survey of 12,000 Gen Z teens revealed that 91% say the technology offered by an employer would influence their job choice if faced with similar employment offers.
Gen Z is risk-averse
Gen Z is significantly more risk-averse than previous generations, likely stemming from growing up during a period of economic uncertainty and unrest. The majority of Gen Zers entering the workforce today were children or teenagers at the height of the Great Recession of 2008. For many, this period of major economic decline affected their families on a deep and personal level, fundamentally impacting their worldview.
Gen Z is independent
Gen Z cares about autonomy and independence, and this mindset is reflected in the way they work. The internet has given them access to thousands of years of collective knowledge, and they’re much more accustomed to Googling things rather than asking for advice.
Gen Z is competitive
Gen Zers know what they want and are willing to work hard to get it. While the Millennial generation is extremely team-oriented, Gen Z relishes a little healthy competition — thanks in part, once again, to their experience growing up in a recession.
Gen Z is open-minded
Major societal changes throughout Gen Z’s formative years has also affected their disposition. As a general rule, this is a generation that’s known for being open-minded and deeply invested in diversity and inclusivity. For example, one study found that 70% of Gen Zers strongly believe that public spaces should provide gender neutral bathrooms, compared to 57% of Millennials.
Gen Z is focused on authenticity
Gen Z cares about ethical consumption, and they often avoid brands that are involved in scandals or that refuse to take a stand on important issues. They can sniff out lip service and publicity stunts a mile away — and they are vocal when brands come across as inauthentic.
It might feel like yesterday that Millennials were causing a stir in the job market. But Gen Z are hot on their heels, and the time to get ready for them is now.