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Understanding Generation Z in 3 Minutes

Generation Z brings new perspectives and demands to the workforce, as they are the most materially endowed, technologically saturated, and globally connected generation the world has ever seen. Employers who can adapt to their needs and preferences are likely to succeed in attracting and retaining them.

One of the defining characteristics of Gen Z is their affinity for technology. Having used technology from a young age, members of this generation are seen as “digital integrators” for being technically fluent, highly connected, and seamlessly integrating technology into almost all areas of their lives. They are also visually engaged, preferring to watch a video summarizing an issue rather than read an article on the subject. However, despite their digital connectivity, most of Gen Z prefers face-to-face communication, seeking authentic and real relationships. They value human relationships more than ever, making honesty, sincerity, and respect essential in their work environment.

Gen Z is also characterised as entrepreneurially minded, innovative, more open towards business and international activities than previous generations, thanks to their bond with the digital. However, opinions regarding their willingness to start their ventures are divided. Some studies project a percentage of 20%, while others put forth a possibility 55% greater than that of Millennials. Regardless, Gen Z is seen as competitive, determined to leave their mark on the world, pragmatic, independent, and obstinate. They are also more risk-averse than millennials, being more temperate and calculated.

Gen Z is characterised as entrepreneurially minded, innovative, and open towards business and international activities

Regarding entering the workforce, 64% of responders in the USA and Canada rate short-term career opportunities as highly important. In Romania, for example, most Gen Z-ers opted for corporations. Workplace stability, promotion and training opportunities within their company are the most important factors, along with respect for personal privacy and flexibility regarding time and place of work. Gen Z members seem not to draw such a clear distinction between the workplace and personal life, which may have great consequences on the job market.

Employers believe that Gen Z will, on average, enter their first internship earlier than other generations, at 16 years old. However, a more recent study disproves these statistics, showing that half of all teenagers have not had their first job yet. This suggests that employers should not expect Gen Z to have significant work experience when they enter the workforce.

Despite the differences between generations, understanding Gen Z’s traits, career expectations, and workplace preferences can aid employers in attracting and retaining talent from this generation. Managers, companies, or HR specialists are in need of a collection of general traits of Gen Z-ers to help them adapt to the new wave of employees. The same might apply to marketing or sales specialists, whose better knowledge of the younger generation may help tailor advertising campaigns to boost revenues and profits.

In conclusion, Gen Z is a unique generation with its own set of traits, career expectations, and workplace preferences. Companies that can adapt to their needs and preferences are likely to succeed in attracting and retaining them. As the youngest generation in the workforce, it is essential for employers to understand them to prepare for the future of the job market.