Gen Z: 5 Common Questions Answered

Gen Z: 5 Common Questions Answered

Millennials are being officially ousted as the new kids on the block. By 2020, Generation Z (Gen Z) will make up 20% of the total workforce and here’s what you need to know about them.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is essentially anyone that’s younger than a millennial. Gen Z consumers range from 2 to 19 years old, however, marketers tend to target the range 11 to 16 years of age.

Ad Age also notes that “Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S.—55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, and 4% are Asian.”

What Are Gen Z’s Workforce Expectations

A research study conducted by Robert Half found these key takeaways about the workplace expectations of Gen Z:

  • 77% of Gen Z-ers expect to work harder than previous generations
  • $46,799 is the mean salary expectation for their first job after college
  • 5 years after college 20% of Gen Z-ers would like to be entrepreneurs, 24% would like to be working their way up the corporate ladder, and 32% would like to be managing employees
  • Gen Z expects to work for an average of four organizations throughout their careers

What Does Gen Z Care About?

According to research from Monster, Gen Z respondents are driven by money and ambition.

However, Robert Half reports that “30% would take a 10-20% pay cut to work for a company with a mission they deeply care about.”

It is also reported that these are the top 7 priorities of Gen Z when it comes to job searching:

  1. Growth opportunities
  2. Generous pay
  3. Making a positive impact
  4. Job security
  5. Healthcare benefits
  6. Flexible hours
  7. Manager to learn from

There are some definite comparable trends between Millennials and Gen Z when it comes to what they care about.

How Does Gen Z Differ From Millennials?

Gen Z and Millennials have a significant number of similarities but they also differ in ways.

Here are some of the similarities found from a Randstad study:

  • They both prefer working in a corporate office as opposed to a co-working space or home office
  • They both prefer in person communication with co-workers
  • They both believe good communication is the most important quality in a leader

Here are some the differences between Millennials and Gen Z:

  • Gen Z puts more focus on their personal connections and those of their parents than their Millennial counterparts do (Adecco)
  • Gen Z puts more weight on the influence of their parents on their career than Millennials do (Adecco)
  • Gen Z-ers are digital natives while Millennials had to adapt and embraced the technology (Ray Jenkins)
  • Millennials are more financially-conscious than Gen Z (Huffington Post)

How Can I Recruit Gen Z?

It is clear from the above research that it’s going to take more than free food and bean bags to attract Gen Z top talent. Gen Z-ers are looking for organizations that will train and develop them, for organizations that are making a difference in the world, and will pay them competitively.

Here are a few tips from ERC Trainer, Jackie Mueckenheim, on becoming a more desirable organization to Gen Z:

  • Offer a strong and dynamic internship program—engage them early in their careers
  • Develop more flexible benefit plans that address their life needs now—student loan subsidies versus retirement packages
  • Create career path options within the organization—don't lock them into a department or function for development and career growth
  • Make a commitment to community and philanthropic causes—allow them to organize and spearhead projects that get the organization involved in "giving back"