According to a 2018 survey, 77 percent of Gen Z makes money through freelance work, a part-time job or an allowance while 35 percent admit that they plan on owning their own business in the near future. That is not a far cry from the typical teen or early twenty-year-old that wants to make some extra money, however, a significant percentage of this generation takes advantage of opportunities afforded by technological advancements and social media.
In 2018, the winner of the Madden Championship Series, a popular video game tournament, could make up to 1.25 million dollars. Call of Duty, another popular video game, brought in prize totals of over 4 million dollars in the span of 72 tournaments during 2017.
Income from video game tournaments is just one way that Gen Z creates self-sustaining income and while most teens won’t possess the skill needed to win those games, there are still other ways to bring in extra money.
Another example is Ryan, of Ryan’s Toys Review, a family-run page on YouTube, generated $11 million in pretax income in 2017, according to Forbes’ annual list of highest-earning YouTube celebrities. If that doesn’t amaze you, then this should: He is only seven years old.
Resourceful older teens and young adults utilize services like Uber and Lyft, while younger teens prod around until they find a niche like baking or selling goods through Etsy.
That should explain why Gen Z is attracted to small businesses – they’re practically running their own.
Gen Z’s Expectations
In one of the many Gen Z work surveys conducted, the top three factors Gen Z considered in an employer are, career advancement opportunities (95 percent), a manager they can learn from (93 percent) and professional development (91 percent).
Small business may be suited to fit the needs of Gen Z companies since advancement, coaching and improving their business acumen could happen at a quicker clip in a 50-person company compared to a 5,000-person company, since individual contribution is recognized easier.
In a smaller company, contribution is noticed much easier, thus, improving the visibility of hard work. This coincides with Gen Z’s desire to not only be recognized for their work but rewarded with advancement. This recognition and quickened upward mobility appear to, at least initially, be more probable at a smaller company than a larger. Initially, in a smaller company, that possibility is more likely than would be in a larger business.
And according to the Small Business Administration, the numbers are in small business’ favor. From the first quarter of 1993 to the third quarter of 2016, firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 61.8 percent of net new jobs.
As a small company, business owners can attract talent through communicating career trajectories and any potential for performance-based advancement. But how should a large firm match or exceed the attraction of working for a small business? Ryan Jenkins, author of the column Next Generation state, “Gen Z may also be looking for stability in both jobs and finances.”
This is something larger entities can promote in their hiring strategies. Larger firms may not be able to offer fast access to management opportunities but can typically offer stability that small businesses may not be able to match. But regardless of firm size, hiring teams should work to gain understanding of what each generation values.