For nearly a quarter century, the Millennial generation has been written about and discussed at length in management books, blogs, articles and conferences. We all know about Generation Y and its cultural touchstones; Twitter, Vice, Arbnb etc. They were the most tech-savvy generation in history – until the advent of Generation Z. These new kids on the block, who are just entering the work-place are the first truly digital generation. They are never known a world without the Internet.
Generation Z, they are the cohort of young people born from the late 1990s onwards, and are the next lot to come of age after the Millennials (Generation Y) who have dominated the media and marketing landscape, since, well the Millennium.
While Gen Z follows Millennials closely, these two generations are not entirely identical when it comes to the social media networks they visit, the devices they use and how much content they consume.
Get Z have grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. As such, they’ve adapted quickly to sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information. Online, they rely heavily on trending pages within apps to collect the most popular recent content. They also turn to trusted curators to locate the most relevant information and entertainment. These tools help Gen Z shrink their potential option set down to a more manageable size.
What defines Generation Z?
It’s hard to define this generation and it would be remiss to attempt to ‘categorise’ them. For example there are young people who are lost, can’t find work and have no sense of hope. Then there are others who are thriving and making a substantial amount of money; selling their apps at 17, Youtube stars, Sapchatters, Instagrammers.
They are the generation of contradictions they seek stability but aren’t loyal. They are a generation who are hard to pin down across the board truths; the only one is they are all digital.
Historically, younger generations have always stirred new ideas into the corporate world, causing some expected ‘irritation’ for older generations,” says Erica Dhawan, a writer, speaker and consultant on next generation leadership. “Yet this time it’s not an attitude problem, it’s a transition in business where globalization and technology have radically changed the game.”
5 facts about Gen Z
- According to best-selling author and generations expert David Stillman, you won’t find those in Generation Z frequenting Facebook or Twitter as much as their predecessors. Keenly aware of software monitoring, they are more likely to share their worlds on apps such as Snapchat or Instagram. Often dubbed Digital Natives, Millennials are much more likely to share their lives in the open on platforms such as Facebook.
- According to Forbes, social entrepreneurship is important to Generation Z, a group that is driven to volunteer and choose a career in which they can make a difference.
- Influencer marketing has become a hot go-to strategy for many brands, and there’s no better generation for this than Generation Z. Snackable, unobtrusive content is key to communicating with them.
- The days of sending CVs via traditional formats are long gone. Compared to older generations, Gen Z are eager to use Instagram (59%, compared to 21%), Snapchat (56%, compared to 9%), and Tumblr (17%, compared to 3%) to get into employment.
- Ernst & Young ran a multigenerational survey of 1,800 people in the United States in order to gain insights into Gen-Z and found that the majority of them have a ‘do-it-myself’ mentality and a real entrepreneurial spirit. They have seen people their own age create successful companies, and this independent mindset is showing within their attitude to work.