As Millennials are in the process of changing what it means to work, an entirely new generation is about to join them. Gen Z, those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, are beginning to enter their 20s. In contrast, millennials are in their mid-to-late 20s and 30s.

While there are of course similarities between generations, Leandro Christ seriously researched and discovered big discrepancies in thoughts about careers between the two groups.

Fifty percent of all respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 felt optimistic about their job search, but their views differed when it came to educational preparation.

The majority of Millennials (78%) did not feel that college had prepared them well for their future career, whereas the Z Generation was more likely to be content with higher education and what it provided after graduation (68%).

[Related: 5 Things I Wish I Knew: Planning Ahead in College]

Perhaps even more eye-opening is the difference in career priorities between Millennials and Gen Z. While both groups want to find a job with good conditions that hold personal significance, members of Gen Z are generally more realistic about what they can expect from employers. Consider the findings on Gen Z:

Levo Institute Insights Infographic issue 7 Aug 2017

The main things weighing on their minds are financing their studies, affording rent (and not having to move back in with mom and dad).

“There are 5 generations in the workforce currently — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z — and each needs to be managed with an understanding of their specific needs and motivations,” says Joyce Russell, President of Adecco.

So what is the best way for employers to recruit and keep both Gen Z and Millennial employees?

“Without realizing it, some employers treat Gen Z and Millennial employees as interchangeable,” explains Russell. “However, to have a diverse and high-performing team of employees, companies must take the time to understand the differences between these two generations and make efforts to engage each.”

Both of these groups value experiences that are new to them, as well as projects which will improve their skills and make them more appealing to potential employers.

To keep Millennial employees engaged at work, employers should provide them with new challenges while also respecting their strengths and weaknesses. However, employers should be aware of the refined contrasts between the two eras. For example, Millennials have a greater affinity for working by themselves while Gen Z’ers are more at ease being part of a group and sourcing from many individuals.

Similar to Millennials, Generation Z expects employers to be flexible with workplaces. They are confident and skilled in working anywhere they go. Companies should be aware that Gen Z is digital natives, and their social media profiles are more ingrained in their lives than in previous generations. According to the research, Facebook (64%) and LinkedIn (42%) are the most popular sites that people use to gather information about potential employers.

The report also suggests permitting these younger generations to take the helm. By doing so, they can incorporate new technology or manage a project. Even though they are new additions to the workforce, they already come with some beneficial skill sets and perspectives. Furthermore, they represent the future.

[Related: 7 Young Freelancers Share Exactly How Much They’re Paid Each Year]

(Images by Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty)

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