Can’t stop confusing your Zoomers and millennials? When it comes to hiring, the differences matter. According to Pew Research, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 which makes them 24 to 39 years old in 2020; Zoomers (or Zers or Generation Z) were born starting in 1997, so the oldest turn 23 this year. This all means your potential hiring pool will change as Gen Z is 24 percent of the global workforce this year, according to research by Manpower.
Although, you may think these successive generations aren’t all that different, their experiences, needs and actions are diverse enough to pay attention before you hire them. Here’s what you should know.
Generation Z vs Millennials
For several years millennials had a bad rap, which may have influenced how you hired and managed your workforce. Labels such as “entitled,” “lazy,” and “narcissists,” made managers think they had to create excitement and motivational carrots to keep millennials engaged. That was not true according to various millennial surveys and reports. Studies show millennials want what other generations have always wanted: satisfying careers with opportunities to advance. Portrayed as notorious “job hoppers” millennials want to stay put as long as there is room for growth. Where they differed from previous generations is their desire for work/life balance. Personal priorities matter, so bosses who didn’t accommodate the balance found themselves with positions to fill.
When comparing generation Z vs millennials, in their childhoods Zoomers experienced 9/11 and the Great Recession. Therefore, employers should expect financial security and stability to be important to Gen Z. This generation wants to stay in a job longer, so an organized raise and promotion structure is important to them. Earning raises is especially important to Gen Zers, as studies show they are more debt resistant than millennials. Where millennials were somewhat “blindsided” by the amount of college debt, Zoomers are fully aware of the burden, with two-thirds of surveyed Gen Zers saying paying for college is their top concern.
The Gen Z Worker
While your millennial employees might prefer IM or texting as their primary method of communication, Zers prefer face-to-face time. Whether that’s due to tech overload or thinking they need to be taken more seriously, Gen Zers want to talk to their managers in person. They also believe honesty, integrity and candor in the workplace are important and since tone can’t be interpreted over a text, having a personal discussion shows them their x managers care about the company culture.
Zoomers are fully aware their young age appear to be a negative to employers, but they are confident they’ll be able to prove themselves through their abilities, voice, and vision. They have fresh ideas and want to be heard. They resent being treated as recent college grads too wet behind the ears to have valid points. You’d be smart to not only respect their input but balance the contribution with constructive feedback so Zers know they’re on the right track.
Finally, never fear giving Zers a wide range of responsibilities. Multitasking comes naturally to Zoomers. Sometimes it seems they’ve been using a smartphone from birth. This generation juggles multiple projects and devices with ease. And flexibility remains second nature. In fact, Gen Zers often prefer a flexible work schedule and flexible work environments. Gen Zers want to grow with your business. So give them the right tools. You’ll soon reap the rewards.