A new workforce is creeping into the American landscape: Generation Z. Born between roughly 1995 and 2010, this group displays an inventory of traits that employers are just beginning to notice.
Technology and Privacy
Research shows Gen Z’ers typically prefer a corporate work environment and in-person meetings over technology. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 51 percent say they prefer face-to-face communication, 16 percent prefer email, and 11 percent instant messaging.
They are the first true digital natives, and, consequently, are more tech-savvy than their elders. They’ve mastered the art of multitasking through technology. They are also increasingly wary of social media since they know from experience that it’s easy to leave one’s digital footprint. This generation values its privacy. After seeing people in embarrassing photos on Facebook and Twitter, many are steering away from those sites in lieu of such platforms as Secret, Snapchat and Whisper, which promise their users anonymity.
Gen Z’ers are hardworking and pragmatic, often eager to start working before they graduate high school. Many list their top priorities as making money and achieving job security, and are even willing if necessary to start at the bottom of a company before working their way up. They’re also more entrepreneurial than preceding generations. One study found that 72 percent of teens say they want to start their own business someday. And 61 percent expect to do so right after college.
The Gen Z crowd values college, but less so than previous generations. They also prefer the online route over the traditional classroom. According to one study, 64% of Gen Z’ers have expressed interest in obtaining an advanced degree, compared to 71% of millennials. As Gen Z’er Jonas Stillman says in a guest blog, “Gen Z has grown up in a world where if we want to learn how to speak Swahili or retile a bathroom floor, we can log onto YouTube and teach ourselves how to do anything.”