Generation Z (Gen Z: 7 to 21-year-olds) is about to enter the workforce. So, it behooves us, as their potential employers, to get ready by exploring a few questions about Gen Z.

What do we know about this emerging pool of workers? What will their impact be on the job market? How will they fit into your company?

Forbes, in keeping with their forward-looking reputation, published an article back in 2016 entitled: Get Ready for Generation Z, which helps us answer some of these questions. For example, we know that Gen Z is a group that numbers 61 million. We know that their worldview has been shaped by their Gen X parents. And the Forbes article suggests that there are 2 major differentiators that set Gen Z apart from their closest millennial (gen Y) predecessors, namely:

Technology. Gen Z has never known a world without smartphones and social media, so it’s even more ingrained for them than millennials. They gobble up information quickly and are ready to move on to the next thing in an eyeblink. When it comes to Gen Z, seconds count.

Privacy. Unlike the more showy millennials, Gen Z is less interested in sharing their lives for the public record. Anonymous social media platforms like Secret and Snapchat are more appealing to Gen Z than Facebook and similar platforms that leave permanent records that can come back to haunt users later on.

Okay! So they’re private, and they’re way more technology savvy than any other group in the workforce. Where does that lead us as employers?

One direct impact lies in training. Can we possibly expect to sit a group of gen Z new hires in a classroom for job training? The obvious answer is no. They would likely start yawning after around 5 seconds! The Gen Z work pool will be more responsive to online training that they can consume at their own astounding pace. But beyond that, they’ll likely thrive if offered even less traditional options that might include mobile apps, social media tools, gamification, and virtual reality (VR).

Run those options by your HR team, some of whom may be baby boomer grandparents to your Gen Z new hires, and see what their reaction is! One thing is clear. You can save a lot of trees by throwing away those 50-pound training binders because they’ve outlived their usefulness. And Gen Z will thank you for your contribution to the planet.

Here’s what I can tell you from personal experience. Gen Zers are a great group of kids. They have an awareness level beyond their years. They have a strict sense of fairness. They understand that the world can be a tricky place. They “hang out” more on their phones than anyplace else, even if they’re physically sitting with a group of friends. They’re the avant-garde of a brave new world, although not the one that Aldous Huxley envisioned.

At Strategic Systems Group (SSG), we’re getting ready for Gen Z. We look forward to the passion they will bring to our culture, our mission, and the technology requirements of the clients we serve.

As a company that implements ERP software systems for manufacturers and distributors, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) is your go-to partner for manufacturing innovation. For more information, call us at 310.539.4645 or email us at info@ssgnet.com. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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