Born in the mid to late-1990s, Gen-Z is estimated at around two-billion digital-ites. They’re a generation of digital natives that grew up with smartphones and high-speed internet and are unfazed by sharing personal details online. In fact, technology unites their offline and online personas so closely, that as this group comes of age, they’re transforming the tech industry.
For Generation Z, technology is at the core of everything they do. While Millennials were grandfathered into technology, Gen-Z grew up “tech fluent.” Gen-Zers view their devices as “extensions” of themselves” and sometimes feel anxiety without them. They’re avid gamers, researchers, and influencers, quick to fact-check, explore topics on their own and make friendships online.
Not only are they highly adept at technology, but they also adapt to new technology faster than previous generations. The growth of the social media platform TikTok in the past few years is an example of their accelerated technological adoption.
Gen-Z is all about personalization, and recruiters have to go beyond the GPA and resume to reach these younger candidates. Whereas previous generations relied heavily on job boards to attract talent, social media campaigns have a wider impact on Generation Z. For HR departments, personalized technology impacts the way they reach, attract, and retain Gen-Z candidates. To adapt to this shift, companies must improve their digital presence, and keep a close watch on their Glassdoor and Google reviews.
Looking ahead, leaders must invest in technology that caters to Gen-Z, like AI and VR solutions or communication tools that streamline collaboration.
Competitive and Caring Coworkers
Unlike Millennials, who view their coworkers as collaborators, Gen-Zers view their coworkers as competitors. As Jonah Stillman, author of Gen-Z @ Work says: “We’re looking to compete a bit more…we saw the downfall of the economy. We saw our parents struggle so much at home. … so as we enter the workforce, money is very, very important to us.”
But their competitive nature doesn’t just drive them towards promotions, raises, and a corner-office. While Gen-Z sets financial goals, like earning a six-figure salary and buying a house, they choose purpose over a paycheck: 88% want to work with a company that aligns with their values. They want to make a positive impact on the company and community, and value leaders who are open and caring. Companies can adapt to these desires by increasing transparency, face-to-face communication, honesty, and offering extra paid time off for volunteer efforts or sponsoring a company-wide volunteer project.
After work, Gen-Zers spend their time… working: they’re hyper-focused on maximizing their earning potential to stay on top of their finances.
And with digital technology, it’s not difficult to find a lucrative side hustle, digital technology reduces the barriers to entry in a variety of markets. Anyone can create a portfolio on Instagram, a website without coding on Squarespace or Wix, run a business from Etsy, accept payments with Venmo, and broadcast on YouTube anytime, anywhere. Gen-Zers have become their own kind of marketers and further blur the lines between consumer and brand. Companies need to recognize that the gig economy is transforming the traditional brand-consumer relationship. During an interview with a Gen-Z candidate, it’s critical to discuss non-compete agreements.
The Future of Tech
As the first members of Gen-Z graduate from universities or skip college to enter the workforce, the challenge for employers will be finding ways to attract the best and brightest. They’re competitive and caring digital-ites who want authenticity, flexibility, and technology in their work and personal lives.
IT/IQ wants to adapt to the changing industry standards and connect with great Gen-Z candidates. To learn more about IT/IQ, or to start searching for positions or candidates in the IT industry today, visit our website at it-iq.com.