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The Generation After Millennials

Shannon Wetzel, Managing Editor

The Millennial generation has been discussed ad nauseam in articles, books, conferences and even simply daily conversations. It’s the up and coming generation that is making waves in marketing, consumer goods, and hiring/recruitment. Except they are not “up and coming” any more. This generation is now fully in the adult, working world. It’s a huge generation in terms of numbers, so the attention being paid to this group is not unfounded. In fact, this is a prime group in need of industry training (see Rich Jefferson’s column, “Innovative Training for Industry Innovation,” on page 46).

But I was surprised at a graphic I came across recently that showed the current age ranges of the Silent Generation through Generation Z (roughly, those born between 1996 and 2010). The oldest individuals in Generation Z are already 23 years old. You likely have a few working in your foundry now.

If you are inclined to pay attention to how the different age groups in the working world live and function, it’s time to include Generation Z in your assessments.

Several research groups have been conducting studies on this newest generation, including the Pew Research Center and the Center for Generational Kinetics.

These reports show that like Millennials, Generation Z is, of course, tech and digital media savvy. But there are some key differences, according to a study by Generational Kinetics:
•    Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to ask friends and family about job openings first before turning to a job search website or a company’s website.
•    Gen Z’s most likely web source for information on a potential employer is YouTube (41%), not LinkedIn (30%). Millennials, by comparison, favor LinkedIn (43%)
•   More than 60% of Gen Z survey respondents said an initial job application should take fewer than 15 minutes.

Just as hiring and recruitment might be adjusted for Generation Z, how you market your company can also take into account your youngest customers fall into this new group. This is a group that favors YouTube to learn about or how to do something. They want information before spending—68% reads at least three reviews before making a first-time purchase. They prefer to follow brands on Instagram (41%) vs. Facebook (16%).

It’s too early to understand fully how the next generation will impact the working world, and it might not be as disruptive as Millennials were. But don’t discount a new collective mentality entering the workforce for the next 14 years.

Click here to see this story as it appears in the February 2019 issue of Modern Casting