Posted on Monday 19 November 2018 by Ulster Business

Justin Rush

‘Millenial’ is one of my least favourite words, in truth it is just behind Brexit in my top 10. I am not sad in the slightest to learn of its demise, it has been thoroughly overused in recent years, writes Justin Rush of Abacus Group

Millenials are apparently responsible for everything from the decline of the High Street, to the wholesale reduction in staff retention levels.

Who will replace this group? What do they stand for? How can your business harness their power? All great questions - get ready to welcome the new kids into the world of work, Generation Z or ‘Gen Z’ as they like to be known.

Gen Z were born between 1995 to 1999, so they are currently between 18-23 years old. Some traits of this group include:

Employers not employees
A survey from Upfront Analytics in the US said that 72% of Gen Z wanted to start a business one day, with 61% stating that they would like to be an entrepreneur after graduating university. These aspirations are higher than predecessors.

Harder to reach than Millennials
Gen Z are incredibly tech savvy and have always lived in a world of interconnectivity. Most of Gen Z are connected for more than 10 hours a day. No wonder they are often referred to as the ‘always on’ generation. Unfortunately, gaining and keeping their attention is extremely challenging. Gen Z much prefer Snapchat and Instagram over Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Creators, not just consumers
Gen Z want to contribute, create and be part of something, they are opinionated and feel strongly that their voice should be heard. For this group, YouTube, Vine and Vimeo are two-way communication and research tools.

Similar but stronger opinions than Millennials
A survey from Deloitte which questioned 1,844 Gen Z attitudes to employers, showed very interesting trends. This demographic is, on average, 33% more motivated than Millennials to see employers, present a reputation for ethical behaviour; allow opportunities to volunteer, and; to be seen promoting diversity and inclusion.  

Attention spans are getting shorter
Several commentators have stated that this group have an average attention span of eight seconds or less, even when interested in the subject matter!

Given that all employers are seeking to attract and retain the next generation of talent, what are the key actions business leaders must take? My advice, follow the AIDA model.

Generate awareness of your employment offering in the right places, use on-line research tools to aid your decision making. Work hard on creating an edgy, relevant and if possible, entertaining message that clearly answers the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ Finally, make it easy, I mean really easy, for the individual to find out more.

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