Ep 78 – What Gen Z Wants From Work #fivegenwork

gen z, demographic cohort, workplace

Gen Z short for Zen range from ages 2 to 19, though the target range for marketers lies from ages 11 to 16. Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. — 55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American and 4% are Asian according to AdAge from published earlier this year (See link in resources section below).

This look at Generation Z is part of our series that looks into the five generations in the workplace. Follow the fun on Twitter with the hashtag #fivegenwork. Check out our podcast on Millennials by clicking here.

Episode 78: The Future of Gen Z and What They Want at Work with Connor Blakley (@blakleyspeaks)

Today’s podcast guest is Connor Blakley. At just 16 years old he is a generation Z brand marketer who has worked major brands on Gen Z marketing including Microsoft, 3M, 7-Eleven, Unilever, Toyota and L’Oreal. Connor knows his stuff, which is why I tapped into the hive mind through him to talk about Generation Z straight for the horses mouth so to speak.

A small note before I discuss Connor’s podcast. There is a small amount of strong language. While long time readers and listeners know me and my creative exploration with language, there are some f bombs among other things that are part of the audio. Be advised.

What Generation Z Wants at Work

Connor talks about some things that might surprise us. When it comes to these digital natives, he says Gen Z prefers in person meetings to texting and email communication. He mentions the importance of the five-minute meeting which leading marketing agency Vander Media employs. All meetings are five minutes with no exceptions to the rules.

When it comes to employment branding and brand engagement, Connor shares that 80% of Generation Z researches products or services before engaging or purchasing a product or service. Whether its an consumer brand or an employer brand doesn’t matter. HR is really marketing and in order to engage Gen Z, they need to provide authentic information and resources versus scripted content or media for the potential Gen Z employee.

According to Connor, Gen Z is not unlike Millennials in that they would take a pay cut to join a company doing something meaningful that has an opportunity to scale and grow. The organization’s overall impact is especially important and the decision to be a part of it is a very personal decision.

The Difference Between Generation Y and Generation Z

Connor says that Generations Y and Z couldn’t be more different than one another. His biggest pet peeve and stereotype about Generation Z is the fact they are said to be just like Gen Y. While Gen Z, he says, has grown up with technology from the moment they were born, they don’t rely it for everything. They aren’t entitled or spoiled. They prefer face to face meaningful engagement and because of they have been inundated with media and marketing messages they have an amazing bullshit meter.

SnapChat is the Recruiting Platform of the Future

As with each interview for this five generations at work series, I am asking each guest to tell me what their preferred social media platform is. For Connor, the place to be is Snapchat. Connor walks us through how employers can use Snapchat for recruiting and candidate engagement in the form of employee sharing, authentic videos and daily employee takeovers of the company Snapchat to drive engagement and relationships. Keep in mind that Snapchat now has 8 billion daily video views according to a March 2016 article from Fortune Magazine.

Should you add Snapchat to your recruiting strategy? Connor says yes especially if you are wanting to reach the Gen Y or Gen Z candidate community.

Connect with Connor Blakley on LinkedIn.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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