Those who have been in work for a decade or two tend to forget just how many people are pouring on to the marketplace behind them. It’s easy to forget, as you get into middle management, just how young much of the world is.

In Niger in Africa the average age is 15. In Saudi Arabia nearly 70% are under 30. In fact, half the world’s population is under 30. One more number. In India, a million people will reach 18 every month for the next decade. No wonder GenZ already outnumber Millennials, and in the next decade or so they will outnumber them in the workplace too.

But let’s not make the lazy assumption that they’re all the same. Each is an individual, although the snowflake analogy definitely doesn’t apply to GenZ. However, there are some strands we can pull out that help those dealing with this most exciting of cohorts in their own countries and continents.

For example, you’d imagine that GenZ would want friends across a wide spectrum of age, gender, race, eating habits and much more. And if you looked at the data in the USA that’s what you’d find. But if you move to India you don’t find that. In fact the cohort that most wants that diverse friendship group are the Baby Boomers. So a young American has more in common in some ways with older Indians than he does with Indians of her own age.  

Perhaps one of the most interesting areas for GenZ development is the Middle East. There, because of cultural norms, social media is having an enormous impact. Where young people of the opposite sex traditionally find it hard to spend time face to face in a social environment, Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms have made this possible. And by so doing, these GenZers are finding that they can be friends, platonic friends, in a way that wasn’t really possible before, although the social restrictions are lifting overall.

It’s the same in India. There, arranged marriages made it unlikely you’d have a best friend of the opposite sex. A romantic relationship was a foreign idea, particularly in rural areas. But now? Now India only comes second to the USA in the number of people saying their best friend is of the opposite gender.

The rise in platonic relationships, and the rise of relationships where gender isn’t such an issue at all are both positive and healthy signs for future relationships for GenZ. Of course, some clichés still continue. The French GenZers are the most confident people by far at discussing details of their love life online.

You might think this is all interesting but it doesn’t have much to do with business. But it does. If you want to sell to, or communicate with, GenZ then you have to understand how they see themselves and the world. And for them traditional labels like male, female, straight or Manchester United supporter hold little weight. And that’s either true or becoming more true around the world already.

Some traits are most definitely global. For GenZ you need to personalise your messaging, individualise your offering, show your ethical standards that you adhere to – these are necessary everywhere. Equally, show that your organisation can offer purpose and passion and you’re onto a winner in any country. Attracting the best GenZ talent, becoming a GenZ Magnet, will be well worth your effort, whether you’re based in Australia or Zanzibar.  

 

Source: The Friendship Report2019, Protein Agency and Snapchat

“They are perhaps the most brand-critical, bullshit-repellent, questioning group around.”

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of Innovation at JWT

“GenerationZ are Millennials on steroids.”

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of Innovation at JWT

“GenerationZ are self-starters, not selfie-takers.”

Lucozade Energy report

“Millennials– Self-centred. Generation Z – Self-aware.”

Ernst & Young

“Generation Z characterises itself by highlighting the need for passion and motivation in their work.”

Claire Stradling, Manager of Charities and NFP