The leading edge of Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2012) is reaching early adulthood and entering the workforce. At 73 million-strong, understanding this generation will be critical to talent success in the years ahead.

To help our members gain an initial understanding of this looming tidal wave of workers, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) partnered with generational expert and author David Stillman (co-author of “When Generations Collide” and “The M Factor”) and a focus group of high school seniors enrolled in a business analytics course strand of the VANTAGE program at Minnetonka High School, Minnesota. To get a handle on Gen Z’s dominate personality traits, the students developed a peer survey that garnered results from over 600 Gen Zers.

Findings show that Gen Z shares similarities with features of the Baby Boomer generation (realistic, pragmatic, and very competitive); but they also inherited characteristics from both Gen X (environmentally aware and tech savvy) and Millennials (highly customized). Of course, Generation Z puts their own spin on these traits—as well as developing some that are uniquely their own.

The infographic below shows some of the environmental influences that helped shaped this burgeoning workforce powerhouse, as well as the seven personality traits that stood out as Gen Z’s defining characteristics. For more in-depth insights, see the i4cp study Generation Z: What Employers Need to Know.

7 Personality Traits that Define Gen Z Infographic