Generation Z and You

Things move fast in our technology-driven world. For college recruiters, at least, the Millennial Generation has given way to Generation Z.

What’s the difference? Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994), while very attached to their mobile devices, at least remembers a time before smart phones. For Gen Z (born 1995 or later), touch screens have always been part of their world.

Gen Z grew up in an era of recession, terrorism, and uncertainty. As a result, they think about the world differently from Millennials. They’re a little more cautious with their money and more wary of the privacy tradeoffs involved in “traditional” social media like Facebook, preferring less trackable media, such as Snapchat and Yik Yak. They are used to self-educating with online videos, and they expect to create or co-create their own media and entertainment experiences.

Last year the marketing firm Sparks and Honey released an excellent report on Generation Z. It is well worth a read, including this “Checklist for Connecting with Gen Z”:

  • Depict them as diverse (ethnically, sexually, fashionably)

  • Talk in images: emojis, symbols, pictures, videos

  • Communicate more frequently in shorter bursts of “snackable content”

  • Don’t talk down…talk to them as adults, even about global topics

  • Assume they have opinions and are vocal, influencing family decisions

  • Make stuff—or help Gen Z make stuff (they’re industrious)

  • Tap into their entrepreneurial spirit

  • Be humble

  • Give them control and preference settings

  • Collaborate with them—and help them collaborate with others

5 Degrees is here to help you execute a strategy for speaking to Generation Z so that they can hear your institution’s unique message. Let's talk about your plans for recruiting your next class of Gen Z students.