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Mainspring Insights: "Generation Z"

Millennials, millennials, millennials. Everyone has heard the term, read the articles: how to work with these people, how to keep them happy, how to market to them, etc. But before our eyes, millennials are getting older, and the next generation, Gen Z, is inbound.

This growing group of individuals in the United States, from ages 7-21 years old, comprise about 25% of the population (23 million people). These people are often referenced online as the iGen or Centennials.

Researchers differentiate these individuals from stereotypical millennial behavior through the following characteristics: millennials are classified as being generally self-centered, entitled, idealistic, creative and dependent. Conversely, Gen Z is known to be self-aware, persistent, innovative and self-reliant.

So how is this information relevant to business leaders out there?

These people are also the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Studies have shown that they do not even recognize diversity in a room unless it is absent. They believe that equality is a fundamental property of America and they think of 'diversity' as more than just race (in terms of their workplaces).

Many of these individuals want to pursue careers in fields that they are passionate about. Studies in the STEM field is among the top subjects they want to study. They are not as concerned about their wages, but think of a work-life balance as mandatory. 42% report to be interested in joining the workforce without going to college, if the opportunity were to present itself.

Many Gen Z's will end up working in jobs that may not currently exist - due to the rapid level of technological advancement. They seek flat organizations, clear paths to advance their position, and seek professional mentors. These individuals are extremely entrepreneurial, so many seek employment which lets them be their own bosses, of sorts.

Look for more information and articles to come out in the near future for this generations demographic and psychographic makeup.

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