I always find the subject of Gen Z interesting because the eldest ones are not much younger than myself. Not much younger at all, yet the generational differences due to technology and the evolution of digital are supposedly monumental.
I have nieces who would both be classed as Gen Z and we get on like close friends. Sisters in fact. However, the difference in our childhoods where technology's concerned is phenomenal. Whilst they may not remember a time before mobile phones and social media, I most certainly do. I feel as though my generation, and in particular those born either side of my birth year, experienced the digital revolution in a remarkable way - more remarkable than those just 10 years older than us.
We were just beginning senior school when Nokia 3310s were starting to become the norm and Purple Ronnie phone covers were cool. We were entering our teenage years when camera phones and webcams became mainstream and we were school leavers when social media became a 'thing'. What strange stages to be experiencing during such pivotal advances in technology. We were children who had grown up with TV but little else. No computers. No mobile phones. We grew up with the house phone and knocks on the front door to ask if we're 'playing out'.
My nieces however, just 5 years younger than myself, can't remember a life before PCs in the house. They don't remember cameras with films and camcorders the size of handheld hoovers. Their lives are secretly governed by 'likes' and Snapchat stories. Bloggers and business writers are constantly banging on about Generation Z like they are aliens from outer space. As if they demand so much and require a totally different approach to anyone else before them. Maybe they do and perhaps this is why. I identify very little with articles on this generation despite the fact that I still grew up alongside them! I shared baths and paddling pools with this generation yet recruiters are projecting our requirements to be as though we grew up 50 years apart not 5!
What do you reckon?
Generation Z. You’ve no doubt heard about them, but what should employers know about the new kids on the career block? For so long millennials have been the under the spotlight, for positive reasons and negative ones, too. When it comes to talent attraction and retention, we know it’s about getting in early and building lasting relationships. That’s why the real recruitment-savvy businesses are beginning to shift some focus from millennials to the quickly up & coming cohort known as Generation Z, iGen and founders.