There’s no strict definition of who fits the generation Z mold, though it’s roughly a person who was born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.
Much like generation Y, generation Z has grown up in the Internet age; only they’re experiencing technological innovation far more intensely than their predecessors.
These are individuals who have never known a world without Facebook, and were probably young children or infants when the first iPhone came out in 2007.
It’s not surprising then that they are strong believers in technology’s ability to transform the way they work.
According to an intergenerational survey of more than 2,000 people commissioned by jobs website Monster, 57% of respondents aged between 15 and 20 said they believed technology allows them to be more productive, while 45% said it meant they could be more mobile.
Smartphones and laptops were seen as essential by 39% and 37% of these young respondents, respectively, compared to 25% and 30% for other generations.
The implication here for CEOs is that they’ll need to be even more prepared to offer flexible working arrangements, while staying on top of the latest innovations in mobile communications technology.
“We’re seeing drastic differences between what drives employees in gen Z compared to previous generations like millennials,” Monster’s Seth Matheson said.
For example, Monster’s survey appears to indicate that generation Z are shaking off the selfish layabout stereotype that’s often associated with generation Y.
It found that 58% of respondents were prepared to work longer hours for higher pay, compared to a 41% average across millennials, generation Xers and boomers.
Generation Zs also were far more likely to be entrepreneurial, with 49% wanting to have their own business, compared to 32% across all other generations.
And forget trying to lure them with funky office furniture and ping pong tables.
It appears generation Z will be more happy with a good old-fashioned healthcare plan, which topped their three “must haves” ahead of a competitive salary and a boss they respect.
“A common theme we saw in the report is gen Z’s emphasis on some of the more ‘traditional’ benefits like health insurance and a quality, two-way relationship with their potential manager,” Matheson said.
“At the same time, we expect them to hit the ground running in their new roles, providing innovative new solutions for tackling problems.”