Don’t look now, Generation Z is coming

Posted On January 29, 2015

Just when you think you’ve figured out how to handle the shifting perspectives and expectations of the Millennials (aka Generation Y), the next generation is nipping at their heels. The good news for most employers is that they aren’t quite ready to enter the workforce, but they are becoming a force on the consumer front, so if you pay attention, you may be better prepared when their resumes start landing in your inbox.

Advertising Age has done a good job of providing an early profile of Gen Z, focusing on this consumer mindset. When reading through the traits they ascribe to Gen Z (largely contrasted with those of the Millennials) it becomes worth noting that the members of Gen Z (currently age 2 to 19) are largely the offspring of Gen X, whereas Millennials are the children of Boomers.

Ad Age believes that Gen Z will be a more reality-based consumer, eschewing the idea of flawlessness. Sounds like a positive spin on the Gen X curmudgeon, doesn’t it? The author further paints Gen Z as “highly-educated, technologically-savvy, innovative thinkers… They challenge traditional ideas of use, form and function when it comes to all facets of style and design.” Again, this is written for the retail audience, but provides some foreshadowing of what this generation may expect when it hits the workforce in a few short years, and that foreshadowing has some serious undertones of Gen X.

It will be interesting to see how the parent/child generational gap plays out with X and Z in the workforce compared to Boomer and Millennial. We’ll soon find out.

Categories: iGen