There is no one name for those who have grown up with technology integrated into their daily lives. Gen Z, Zoomers, Neo-Digital, Digital Natives, Homeland Generation, and i-Gen to some, whatever you call them, they’re our future.
Born after 1995, this generation has never known a world without the internet. They’re constantly connected to their phones and other devices, and they use social media to communicate with each other and the world around them. For them, online life is just as real as the ‘real world’.
It’s no surprise that the younger generations are distinct from older ones; they’ve grown up in a world where technology is always on. And for Generation Z, they’ve gone through this journey by themselves, without the guidance or experience of their elders.
What distinguishes this generation from the previous one?
On one hand, this generation has been characterised by an increased level of anxiety and a lower level of self-esteem and attention, while on the other, they’re more engaged and globally aware than previous generations.
Their constant desire to be connected and seen online is a struggle. They strive for perfection, which causes their insecurities to grow when they don’t achieve it.
We know from the young people we work with that Gen Z are champions of diversity. This is reflected in their interests and attitudes. They’re concerned with social justice and influencing the world around them, and they’re more likely than older generations to embrace different cultures with an open mind.
What do they want out of their careers?
The young people we work with are seeking career opportunities with brands that have a purpose. It’s rare they want to focus solely on the job role, a lot of the time what is most important to them is the values of the company they work for.
For many, the dream job is as much about the perception of the job and awareness of the brand as it is about how much money they earn or what job they do. Their social media first approach means they’re motivated by the image and perception of their work.
What unique talents can Gen Z contribute to a business?
They’re risk-taking. The world they come from has been shaped by fear since 9/11, when they were born. They’ve become tough. Many of them will have faced adversity; some of them may have seen their parents lose their jobs during the credit crunch.
They’ve got entrepreneurial flair as a result, with many of them making money through a ‘side-hustle’ when they were younger rather than conventional paper-rounds or Saturday jobs.
They’re a very active generation, so if something piques their interest or engages them, they’ll do all possible to get involved.
How can employers effectively attract Gen Z?
Employers that show their commitment to inclusiveness and values by their actions will have a much easier time recruiting a Gen Z workforce.
It’s also critical that, as soon as Generation Z talent enters your business, that your brand image is in sync with what they discover in practice. Making a company welcoming to Generation Z means taking time to provide them with the space and opportunity they need to fully contribute.
Gen Z doesn’t want to standstill; they want to learn and excel. That’s why our work at Agent Academy has been so successful; we’ve been able to demonstrate to them the opportunity for progression in the digital, creative and tech industry, supporting them to develop new skills, reach their potential and find their place and the employer thats right for them.