Who is Gen Z?

They are innovative, always online and everything is open for discussion. We're talking about Gen Z, the generation that's currently transitioning into young professionals in the job market. They navigate office life differently from their predecessors, and value different things. But who are they exactly? And what characterizes Generation Z?

Camille van den
Camille van den Boorn

Need for Stability

Gen Z, the generation currently aged between 12 and 27, grew up with parents who experienced a financial crisis, were aware of terrorism threats, and came of age amidst the climate crisis. Through their smartphones they witnessed the world literally falling apart. Consequently, they place much more value on stability compared to their predecessors, the millennials. This is evident in their strong focus on a steady income and good employment conditions. They are more likely to accept a job with good conditions, even if it’s not their dream job.

Often, you hear older generations complain that the desired conditions are unattainable or don’t fit with the current way of working, such as a high starting salary, a shorter workweek and more freedom. This sometimes leads to Gen Z being perceived as lazy. However, the newcomers claim to be hard workers, but they simply don’t want to work in the same way as the preceding generations.

Their mindset stems from how they approach life: self-aware, open about emotions, focused on personal development, and seeing diversity in the workplace as a given. They want others to be open to change and to utilise their knowledge and skills to further develop an organisation. These characteristics make Gen Z clearly different from other generations.


Generation Z breathes technology. They didn’t only grow up with a phone in their hand but also attended school or studied during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, they see remote work as natural, although they still have the need for personal contact. They want to feel engaged and be able to discuss their feelings, but that doesn’t always mean being physically present. Often, FaceTime is sufficient for this.

It’s no surprise that much of their lives unfold online. They base many of their choices on what they see online, even when it comes to job applications. They research the company online, and reviews play a significant role. If a company has poor reviews, they may have doubts about applying.

But this isn’t the only factor influencing their choices. They also look at how a companies contribute to the world, how they handle the environment and minorities, and the diversity within the workforce. Additionally, simply being a manager doesn’t automatically earn their respect. They expect genuine leadership and room for development.


Gen Z is known for their loyalty towards their employer, more so than millennials, for example. However, if they are not sufficiently inspired or motivated by their manager, or if an organisation does not live up to what they preach, they are quick to leave. Therefore, managers play a crucial role in how much Gen Z wants to stay with a company. If they feel that a manager falls short, they will look for a company that offers what they seek.

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Want to know more?

We work with Generation Z on a daily basis, discussing their ambitions, worldview, and how they develop as young professionals. We’re happy to share more about this generation and how to attract and retain them.

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