Talent Connection Blog

Every generation is different; they have different strengths and weaknesses, they need to be managed and mentored differently, and they bring different workforce traits to your organization. Knowing their traits will better help you put them in the right role in your company.

The newest addition to the workforce is generation z. Categorized as those born between the mid/late 90s and the 2000s, generation z are, in fact, much different from their predecessors the millennials. They also have some similarities to be aware of. Take a look at these comparisons so you can correctly categorize your young workforce.

Generation Z differs by…

  • Being more diverse. Because global interaction is just as attainable as physical interaction, gen z is able to be more aware of and relate more to people outside of their location. This leads to more diverse mentalities and preferences.
  • Being more individualistic. With uniqueness on social media dominating everyone’s attention, it is almost a necessity for generation z to be more individualistic with their appearance, their personal brand, and the organizations they do business with.
  • Being more pragmatic. Generation z is more realistic with the knowledge that opportunities are not boundless like previous generations had believed. They are more cautious in their decision-making, as well as more practical in their career choices.
  • Being early starters. While millennials were unwillingly thrust into the workforce earlier than they planned because of the recession, generation z has chosen to begin work at a young age—either from seeing their predecessors working, or because their practicality urged them to start making money once they learned it doesn’t grow on trees.
  • Being more entrepreneurial. Gen z desires more independent work environments; in fact, 72 percent of high school students say they want to start a business someday. They are more driven by the idea of controlling their own careers and futures, rather than working for someone who does.

The two are similar by…

  • Agreeing on short tenure.  A majority of today’s students (83 percent) believe that 3 years or less is the appropriate amount of time to spend at a first job. Similarly, 91 percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than 3 years.
  • Agreeing on company skepticism. Millennials became skeptical of company loyalty as they witnessed the massive layoffs due to the recession. Similarly, generation z will be skeptical due to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Agreeing on development focus. The number one reason millennials leave a job is a lack of career opportunity. Similarly, generation z values opportunity for advancement most highly.
  • Agreeing on making a difference. More than half of generation z—60 percent—want to make an impact on the world. Similarly, 84 percent of millennials view making a difference in the world as more important than professional recognition.

Both generation z and millennials are valuable additions to any workforce for their own separate reasons. Just make sure you’re aware of their differences—and similarities—in order to put them in the most beneficial roles.