The State of Gen Z

By Douglas Weinstein
Published on: July 20, 2018

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This article first appeared in HTSA Insight magazine and is used with permission. From our report of the HTSA Spring Conference:

The State of Gen Z: How to Attract and Maintain the Right Talent

The highly entertaining Keynote Presenter Jason Dorsey, co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics, had HTSA members laughing out loud, but also gave them plenty to think about.

Jason has received over 1,000 standing ovations and been widely seen throughout the media for his solutions-filled presentations. Jason explained to HTSA members, “There are many generational differences that pose frustrating challenges, but they also create tre­mendous new opportunities, especially where Millenni­als and Gen Z (ages 14-21) are the drivers of change.”

Said Jason, “We predict these generational challeng­es will only grow more intense. Whatever employer adapts now will win – and win big.”

Even though there are 83 million Millennials in the workforce today, Gen Z is on target to leapfrog over Millennials: 77 percent of Gen Z currently earn their spending money through freelance work, a part-time job, or an earned allowance.

Gen Z doesn’t make their purchasing decisions in a vacuum; shopping has become a social endeavor. The majority of Gen Z (78 percent) has used ratings and re­views to purchase an item in the last thirty days. Almost half of Gen Z (48 percent) frequently ask the opinion of friends or family before making a purchase.

Gen Z is primed to become even more influential than Millennials, due in part to a more realistic mind­set at a very early age.

Gen Z is smarter with money and unlike previous generations whose parents didn’t mention money or focus on financial topics with their children, 56 percent of Gen Z discussed saving money with their parents in the past six months. 24 percent of Gen Z says they will pay for college through personal sav­ings. 38 percent of Gen Z plans to work during college.

When trying to hire and retain a Millennial, Jason recommends, “When trying to recruit, keep in mind a sort of delayed adult­hood of Millennials; they have experienced a lot of the benefits of being adults with­out the responsibilities.”


  • Post on LinkedIn
  • Make them feel like part of the company the first day. Try a welcome note or flowers at the desk, or take them out to lunch.
  • Get feedback from them quickly on how they think they are doing. Show them they are making progress; their first promotion should be after 12 months.
  • Provide them with specific examples of the perfor­mance you expect. Every two weeks schedule time for feedback.
  • Never forget that the World’s Number One learning resource is YouTube. Explain in your own YouTube video the five things that new hires do that annoy you. Ensure they watch it and then you can hold them accountable.


Douglas Weinstein

Douglas Weinstein

Doug is the Editor and co-founder of the Technology Insider Group and Technology Designer Magazine. Previously, he was the Executive Director and co-founder of the Elf Foundation, a non-profit organization that created Room of Magic entertainment theaters in children's hospitals across North America.

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