Avocados, open-plan spaces and flexible working hours, the world has just about got to grips with catering for the millennial job market. But, the younger and even more tech-savvy generation are joining the workforce quickly. Those at the forefront will be 24 in 2019 and if you’re looking to hire graduates or entry level positions now or any future hires, you will need to be able to cater for the management of this new generation in order to retain and attract the best upcoming talent.  

To best understand the differences let’s start by looking at the millennial generation.

Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1995 and their typical workplace characteristics are team oriented and value a close relationships with their managers - in fact, 70% have “friended” their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook. This generation also seek flexible working schedules and prefer constant feedback and mentoring. You can also see our blog How To Attract Millennial Talent.

On the other hand, Gen Z has been loosely described as those born from 1995 to 2010 and by 2020 they will make up 24% of the workforce. Here are 4 workplace characteristics of Gen Z that your HR team need to know today.

  • GenZ crave economic stability

Childhood memories of the 2007 recession have shaped this generation’s financial aspirations. They saw the winners and losers of the crisis within their close communities. Now, a massive 65% of Gen Z prioritise salary over other workplace benefits. So, you might want to think about cutting down on other subsidiaries of a employee package and focus on the big number to attract and retain the top talent. Equally, 41% of Gen Z look for job with the opportunity of growth, that’s 11% more than their millennial predecessors. Their inclination to prioritise working towards a well-paid career over chasing a pipe dream means that employers will have to be clear about progression and career growth.

  1. They are the true digital natives

Often referred to as the “digital native” generation, most members will not remember a time where there was an internet dial up instead of 4G, Walkmans in place of iPhones or the AA maps instead of Google Maps. In today’s workplace this is a huge advantage as this generation’s intuitively digital nature means they are much more capable of learning new platforms or software systems.

Gen Z are also more accustomed to working and communicating in smaller, bitesize messages. To best prepare, make sure that your company relies less on long meetings and more on communication software that allows a constant flow of information such as Skype or Microsoft Teams. If you are an agile team or utilise remote workers, you are one step ahead!

  1. It’s all about scalability  

Much like their millennial predecessors, Gen Z are set to be huge consumers of the shared economy.  Alongside the ease of service, the weak economy has inspired this generation to take advantage of the shared economy model -- services when you want, with no large overheads. Mckinsey states for Gen Z—and increasingly for older generations as well—consumption means having access to products or services, not necessarily owning them. As access becomes the new form of consumption, unlimited access to goods and services (such as car-riding services, video streaming and subscriptions) creates value. Products become services and services connect consumers. In the workplace being able to negotiate a pay-as-you-need service - such as SmartPA - will inherently suit the Gen Z generation.

  1. They live in a 24/7 newsreel

The digital age has brought news from all around the world straight into our back pocket.

Now instead of a two hour slot during the day, we can tap into 24/7 news channels and websites and receive real time mobile updates. Gen Z live in a world that has never felt safe and are acutely aware of troubles in other countries. However, having equally witnessed terrorism and violence in their own country, they no longer see home as a safer option than anywhere else in the world. As a result, they will be more likely to work overseas that generations before and remote working becomes a priority.


By harnessing remote working and the shared economy now, you will be creating a future proof workplace. In today’s increasingly candidate-driven market, preparing for Gen Z will be crucial in creating an all-star team. Speak to our team today to find out how we can help you start working smarter and support your business growth.