We spend a lot of time talking about Millennials on this blog. And rightfully so. While we marketers have been busy paying homage to and trying to figure out how to market to Millennials, many of them have snuck into C-Suite and board room chairs. So what can we learn as we prepare to hire – and market to –  the next generation of the workforce?

Generation Z. The Internet Generation. Post-Millennials. The iGeneration. Whatever you want to call them. Today’s kids and tomorrow’s generational revolution. (Okay, so I made that last part up, but I have high hopes for my daughter’s generation.)

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the Millennial generation on this blog. Rightfully so. But, it’s coming time to start talking about the next wave of prospective employees for your bank or credit union.

Although there is still disagreement about where the Millennial generation ends and Gen Z takes over, it’s generally agreed that births from the late 1990’s to present day are making up this generation. If you’ll allow me, I’ll make an executive decision and call the first year 1997, which puts the oldest of Gen Zers at the ripe old age of about 18 years. Old enough to now start picking up part-time work on your teller line.

The Board Will See You Now

During a recent visit to a new MarketMatch client, my usual co-blogger, Eric, was surprised to find that he was the oldest person in the meeting room with the management team of the credit union. The majority of the management team is under the age of 35. Their CFO is 29.

It seems to me, if you haven’t figured out how to serve Millennials yet, perhaps asking your staff might help out with some answers. It’s encouraging to hear stories like the one above: a financial organization with a management team that is primarily comprised of a new wave of the workforce. But this also opens the conversation to the next questions facing financials today: what’s next for our workforce, and how should it impact us?

There’s good reason to bring this up now and start planning for 5-7 years down the road. Knowing that your organization has a plan to start including the workforce of the next generation in key positions at the bank or credit union will give you a leg up on the rest of the market. Especially when it comes to marketing to that next generation. For as long as it’s taken us to figure out how to tap into the Millennial market (read: they’re sitting in on board meetings and we still talk about them as if they aren’t in the room), starting now on a plan to include Gen Z might not be a bad idea.

Culture Flattening

The hiring process for Gen Z likely will not be much different than it already is. However, structuring your organization in a way to include them in key decision-making teams will be something new. Putting them in charge of social media management with a list of rules to follow likely won’t be enough to satisfy their appetite. This generation, more than ever, is going to be used to having unlimited information at their fingertips and making decisions with a click of a button.

Real, albeit graduated, decision-making power being put in their hands will amplify the ability of you bank or credit union to tap into their generation’s minds and bring home market share. After all, by the time we get down the road, I have a feeling their leaders will know a thing or two about ways to integrate young minds to tap into a new market. (Cough. Millennials. Cough.)

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