While so many of us in the business block Gen Z, the generational group born after 1996, into a tech-loving group of creative entrepreneurs, we might have overstepped our predictions.

Being approximately 90.5-million strong, Gen Z is a force that’s impossible to ignore. If we just went along with the common narrative about Gen Z, we’d be gearing future corporate plans around technology, remote communication, and company culture. 

These are undeniably important facets of the game plan, but in order to perfect the strategy, we need to stop judging and listen to our youngest generation.

The results of a recent study conducted on a pool of 14,000 students might surprise anyone who’s stereotyping Gen Z. Interestingly, Gen Z doesn’t use social media to find a job. They’re not going digital like everyone said they would. Instead, they’re going to their school’s career counselors and job fairs to take steps towards their careers.

Despite All Odds, Here’s What Gen Z Has to Say 

It’s true that Gen Z uses the internet as the first stop for information – but, these days, who doesn’t? 

The web is available, brands and companies go to great lengths to perfect their web presence, and everyone’s investing in social media and e-compatibility, so of course we (Gen Z, included) are searching the web.

However, the often called ‘iGeneration’ is choosing to go offline when they’re looking for a job. The respondents clearly wanted human interaction and guidance in the process. 51% of responding students wanted help from their school’s career counselor, while 48% are attending job fairs.

Don’t Abandon Physical Outreach

As a business, it might be a good idea to start making relationships with local counselors at high schools and universities. As it’s looking like Gen Z wants a personal interaction with prospective companies, attending job fairs may be the secret talent-scouting strategy you’ve been waiting for.

Online engagement remains pivotal, but following this data, businesses should plan to establish a robust in-person outreach plan… even if we need to hold off until the pandemic subsides.

Put Your Phone Down, Gen Z is Waiting

It feels good to say that. When I read the results of this survey, I thought, ‘Thank god – they’re realizing that human interactions matter’. 

But, I wonder if we’ve just misjudged them this entire time? Growing up immersed in technology surely posed many benefits and challenges that are unique to this generation, breeding a newfound appreciation for real-world engagement.

Just because we have technological tools available doesn’t necessarily mean that the value of in-person realities diminishes. As we all make our way through the increasingly tech-driven world, maybe this is a key lesson we can derive from Gen Z.

As they grow and continue spearheading the global market, I’d hope that we all continue to believe in Gen Z and are open to listening to them and meeting them in the middle – wherever that may be.

What are your thoughts on Gen Z’s surprising turnaround? Let’s continue this conversation into the comments – I want to hear from you!