Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Get Ready for Gen Z

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Get Ready for Gen Z

Article excerpt

The first members of Generation Z are graduating from college. Here's how to prepare for their entry into the workforce.

Don't treat them like Millenniais. Born from 1995 to 2012, Generation Z members have many of their own traits that they don't share with Millennials, according to generational expert David Stillman. Along with his 17-year-old son, Jonah, Stillman described Gen Z for CPAs at the AICPA governing Council meeting in May. "They're not Millennials," Stillman said during a pre-Council telephone interview. "There are completely different events that shaped them, resulting in a different generational personality." Unlike the Millennials, who were mostly raised during prosperous times, Gen Z was largely raised during a global recession and the painfully slow recovery that followed. So while many Millennials entered the workplace looking for meaning in a job, Gen Z members say salary is the most important factor in choosing an employer, according to Stillman.

Recruit them early--very early. Gen Z members' competitiveness and focus lead Stillman to believe that it's essential for leaders of the accounting profession to appeal to them even before they get to college, because they are making career plans in high school. Waiting until college might work for high-profile, brandname companies such as Google and Amazon, but Stillman said accounting may not be on high school students' radar unless members of the profession make substantial efforts to recruit them early.

Give them face time. Eighty-four percent of Gen Z members participating in a survey conducted by Stillman said they prefer communicating face-to-face with a boss. "That doesn't mean long sit-downs," he said. "They want their communication in sound bites and quick. …

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