As you imagine what your business will look like in the next four to five years, it helps to have a picture of who you might be hiring. Believe it or not, members of Generation Z will be your new entry-level applicants by then.
Generation Z includes teens and young adults born after 1995. And generally speaking, they are more entrepreneurial, practical and technologically-proficient than the generations before them, according to Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting group.
The firm, in collaboration with HR services company Randstad US, just published a report that compares the work expectations of Gen Z and those of Gen Y (a.k.a. millennials ages born roughly between 1980 and 1995).
The survey includes responses from approximately 1,000 people from both generations in 10 countries including the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
According to Millennial Branding founder Dan Schawbel, members of Gen Z--many of whom aren't even in the workforce yet--have a big leg up on the preceding generation.
"They appear to be more realistic instead of optimistic, are likely to be more career-minded, and can quickly adapt to new technology to work more effectively," Schawbel said in a statement.
"Additionally, since Gen Z has seen how much Gen Y has struggled in the recession, they come to the work place well prepared, less entitled, and more equipped to succeed," he added.
What else should you know about your future hires? Here are a few highlights from the report:
1. They want to follow in your footsteps.
Gen Z is more entrepreneurial than Gen Y: 17 percent want to start a business someday compared to 11 percent of millennials.
2. Don't expect them to stick around.
Like members of the generation before them, Gen Zers don't believe in becoming company lifers. They predict that they'll work for about four different companies throughout their careers.
3. They aren't, in fact, complete tech worshippers.
"Contrary to the assumption that younger workers want 'constant connection' to technology, a majority of Gen Z respondents say they prefer in-person communications with managers (51 percent), as opposed to emailing (16 percent) or instant messaging (11 percent)," according to the report.
4. Respect for older generations runs deep.
Like a little sibling looking up to his older brother, Gen Z generally thinks highly of Gen Y. The majority believe that millennials are open-minded, creative, and intelligent. On the other hand, 45 percent of Gen Y respondents said that the generation below them is lazy.
5. They have certain expectations from you.
More than half of both Gen Z and Gen Y say that honesty is the most important quality in a good leader. And after honesty, they value the opportunity to follow someone with a solid vision and good communication skills.