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Understanding a New Generation

by KC SmartPort Intern | Jun 06, 2017

This blog was originally posted by TeamKC on the Kansas City Area Development Council's blog. TeamKC Life + Talent is an initiative of the Kansas City Area Development Council working with KC's major employers to showcase the region's lifestyle to top talent from around the world.

While millennials are on track to make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, for an organization to stay competitive as an “employer of choice” with the next generation of talent, it’s critical to understand the Gen Z mindset. 

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z, 20 years old and under, A.K.A.: iGen, centennials, founders, plurals, post-millennials, or pivotals. 

TeamKC.GenZBlogImages-01[1]

As the first true digital natives and cloud-based generation, the up-and-coming workforce is the first to only know life with technology. This generation’s technology usage mixes real life experiences and the expectation of technology evolution. In fact, they see technological advances as a norm instead of groundbreaking as in past generations.

TeamKC.GenZBlogImages-03[1]Differences between Millennials and Gen Z?
TeamKC.GenZBlogImages-02[1]

Gen Z surprisingly shares more characteristics with Baby Boomers and Gen X than Millennials. They value that success is earned, and according to FutureCast and Barkley, “69 percent of teens believe that becoming successful has little or nothing to do with luck,” and are willing to get their hands dirty to get there.
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Gen Z views success as a personal endeavor that is dependent on hard work. For example, instead of thinking “it is not worth it,” they think, “you must earn it.”      

How are they using technology and social media?

“The generation after Millennials, known as iGen, Gen Z and Centennials, will determine how every other generation ultimately uses technology.” –Jason Dorsey, The leading Millennial and Gen Z researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics

For Gen Z, personal success is highly valued, and social media plays into this. “Pics or it didn’t happen;” a silly saying, but a real concern for this generation. They believe that no news is bad news, so sharing success with peers through social media is of the utmost importance. 

This generation is also the most connected of all – they check social media as much, if not more than, 100 times a day. 
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How to recruit the future workforce?

Employers should work to understand this generation’s personal drive for success, and consider this cohort’s values and motivators. 
TeamKC.GenZBlogImages-06[1]Recruiting tips:

  • Start reaching out in K-12
  • Focus on where the job can lead
  • Mention social causes the company supports
  • Highlight value and meaning within messaging
  • Listen to their ideas
  • Tap into the entrepreneurial spirit
  • Utilize streaming platforms for face-to-face interaction
  • Use the brand and messaging to engage

“Leaders who identify the challenge that iGen brings, along with the opportunity within that challenge, will be well positioned to understand and unlock the power of an entirely new generation before their competition does.” -Jason Dorsey 

To join the conversation about Gen Z, sign up to participate in the TeamKC College Campus Recruiter Roundtables. 

 

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