Generation Z


Generation Z is the cohort of people born between (around) 1996 and 2010, making them currently between 12–27 years old. Around 20% of Australia’s population are Gen Zers or Zoomers. Like the Millennials before them and Generation Alpha which follows them, Generation Z has been shaped by the environment. Gen Zers have grown up in a time of unprecedented access to technology, experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

While many in Generation Z are still at school, others are now an integral part of the Australian workforce. How do you spot a Gen Zer in the workplace?

Digitally Connected

Gen Zers are “digital natives”. For them, mobile phones, social media and smart TVs are part of everyday life. People in this cohort consume online, purchase online and curate content online. Chances are the Gen Zers in your workplace master the technologies around them, support others who are less tech savvy, and easily adapt to digital change. They likely have an extensive professional online network and are more inclined to connect virtually than in person. On the flip side, Gen Zers may also find it challenging to move away from their apps and devices . . .


According to a recent US survey, 88% of Gen Zers spend time on YouTube. They are also active on Instagram, TikTok and SnapChat. This cohort has a preference for fast-moving, visual, interactive content. You are unlikely to find them devouring long-form articles or referencing the latest business book they have read. Gen Zers in your workplace may bring a fresh perspective to the way you market your products and services, design training programs, and communicate internally.

Big on Values

Gen Zers care deeply about issues such as diversity & inclusion, gender equality and the environment. Activist Greta Thunberg is a notable Gen Zer who has inspired thousands of others in her cohort to take a stand on climate change. This generation is also considered to be the backbone of the Black Lives Matter movement. Gen Zers have high expectations in the workplace. A recent study found that Gen Zers consider environmentally and socially focused companies to be better prospects as employers and are likely to be more loyal when this is the case.

Job Changers

As an employer, you’d do well to note the Gen Zer focus on big global issues like climate change. Especially if it helps you to retain them in your organisation. Because employees in this cohort will not hesitate to move on. According to McCrindle, Gen Zers are predicted to work a staggering 18 jobs across 6 careers in their lifetime.

Formally Educated

McCrindle also predicts that 1 in 2 people in Generation Z will obtain a university degree. Gen Zers in your workplace likely bring a wealth of knowledge and skills with them and a keen interest in ongoing learning. Due to ongoing study, Gen Zers are also likely to be entering the workplace later, rather than as teenagers or young adults. They may also be saddled with student debt and under pressure because of rising repayments.

Prone to Mental Illness

Concerningly, Gen Zers may experience higher levels of emotional and social well-being than previous generations. Although they may be prepared to report emotional distress or a behavioural-health diagnosis, Gen Zers may not seek treatment for their conditions. Employers would do well to check in with their Gen Zers on a regular basis and ensure they are aware of the support available to them, such as EAPs, LifeLine and Beyond Blue.

You can find a list of mental health services and contact information here.

What are the defining characteristics of Gen Zers in your workplace?

If you are a Gen Zer looking for a new job opportunity or career change, contact the professional team at Optimal Recruitment today on or 02 8416 4181.