Date: May 8, 2024 Recruiting Generation Z

If you’ve been considering how to adapt your talent strategy for Gen Z, know that you’re not alone. Many talent leaders, myself included, are grappling with the challenge of recruiting generation Z employees.

By understanding their needs and preferences, we can successfully attract and retain the largest generation of workers ever. Let’s explore how we can connect with Gen Z on their terms and discuss some effective strategies to tackle this together! 

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What is Generation Z?

Gen Z is the latest group to enter the workforce. Gen Z born between 1997 and 20121, this generation is graduating from college and already reshaping the way we approach hiring and recruitment. 

Understanding Gen Z Unique Traits and Expectations

These unique factors have shaped some common character traits often found in Gen Z, which are reflected in their attitudes, behaviors, and expectations.

For instance, Gen Z:

  1. Prone to Anxiety: Gen Z is more prone to anxiety compared to other generations, with high levels of anxiety and depression being common. Work can be a significant source of stress for them due to the high expectations they set for themselves.
    As recruiters and employers, it’s crucial to provide support to help Gen Z manage their anxieties effectively.
  2. Digital natives: With a deep interest and passion for technological advancements, Gen Z has constant access to the internet, connected devices, and social media platforms. As digital natives, they navigate various technology communities and social networking sites with ease.
  3. Ambitious and goal-oriented: Gen Z is driven by success, demonstrating a strong focus on achieving their financial goals. They approach life pragmatically, showing financial savvy and a clear understanding of the importance of discipline in reaching their objectives.
    They are willing to work hard for career growth but expect recognition and appreciation for their efforts.
  4. Independent: The internet has provided Gen Zers with access to vast amounts of knowledge, making them more accustomed to searching for answers online rather than seeking advice from others.

Best practices for recruiting Generation Z talent

To recruit Gen Z effectively, it’s essential to acknowledge this new reality. Here are some simple steps organizations and their recruiting teams can take to improve their success in recruiting Gen Z:

Expand Your Growth Opportunities

If your organization is committed to talent management, you’ve likely already prioritized growth and learning for your workforce. 

However, with the emergence of Gen Z, it’s essential to ramp up these efforts even further. The inability to acquire new skills and advance their careers is a deal-breaker for them when evaluating potential employers.

Offer Work Flexibility

Gen Z is highly inclined to leave a company that lacks a flexible work policy. By providing flexible work options such as remote work, a shortened workweek, and flexible hours, you can both attract and retain Gen Z talent. 

Allowing your team members to decide when and where they work can promote better work-life balance, as well as increased productivity and creativity.

Avoid Digitizing Every Stage of the Recruiting Process

While it may seem counterintuitive for the first entirely digitally native generation, it’s essential to remember that Gen Z values human connection. 

While text messages are a valuable means of communication, it’s equally important to have personal interactions, whether in-person or virtual. Avoid excluding human contact from the candidate experience, or you risk losing them.

Showcase Your Company Culture and Values:

In today’s competitive job market, Gen Z isn’t just looking for a paycheck; they’re seeking opportunities that align with their personal goals and passions. To attract top talent, it’s crucial to provide candidates with a clear understanding of your company’s values and what sets your culture apart. 

This could include highlighting initiatives, employee benefits, and company-wide events that reflect your organization’s ethos and commitment to its employees. By effectively communicating your company’s culture and values, you can attract and retain the talent that best fits your organization.

Utilize AI Tools for Screening:

Given that many Gen Z candidates lack traditional work experience due to recent global challenges, it’s important not to rely solely on resumes. AI tools can play a crucial role in evaluating both hard and soft skills. 

In addition to the usual criteria, consider adding factors such as programming proficiency or involvement in political campaigns. These additional criteria can help identify the potential of candidates beyond what is evident on paper. 

Take Them Seriously

By 2030, the workforce is estimated to include around 51 million employees born between the mid-1990s and 20102. If you fail to establish a robust recruiting program now, it’s highly likely that your employee roster will remain underpopulated and underdeveloped.

This, in turn, will diminish your capacity to promote and develop your own management and leadership ranks. Internal mobility, which is expected to become increasingly important, relies on a strong talent base within your organization.

Prioritize DEI in Your Organization Now

69% of Gen Z job seekers3 Gen Z candidates are more inclined to apply to companies that clearly emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their recruiting materials. 

DEI are crucial for fostering a healthy workplace and are directly linked to business and team success. It’s also important to note that Gen Z in the U.S. is the most ethnically diverse generation in history, with 48% identifying as a race other than white.

If your workplace culture does not clearly prioritize diversity, inclusion, and equity, you will struggle to attract top Gen Z talent. Therefore, it’s imperative to proactively address DEI issues within your organization to remain competitive in today’s job market.

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Conclusion: Recruiting Generation Z

Hiring Gen Z talent is only half the equation. Improving retention is crucial to your success, which means being transparent with candidates about what it’s like to work at your organization. It’s essential to deliver on promises made during the hiring process, including career growth opportunities, Total Rewards, DEI initiatives, and social responsibility commitments. Top talent is always in high demand, so it’s in your best interest to retain the people you’ve worked so hard to recruit.

FAQs

Who are Gen Z?

Gen Z refers to the generation born between 1997 and 2012, also known as post-millennials or iGen.

How do you recruit and retain Gen Z?

Recruiting and retaining Gen Z requires emphasizing company values, offering remote work options, and addressing diversity and inclusion. Providing growth opportunities and fulfilling promises made during the hiring process are also crucial for retaining top talent.

What is the best way to engage Gen Z?

Effectively communicate your organization’s mission and values, highlighting the role that each team member plays in achieving these objectives.

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  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/ []
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-10/gen-z-workers-to-triple-by-2030-snap-commissioned-report-says []
  3. https://recruitingdaily.com/gen-z-and-the-candidate-experience []

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