Gen Z is entering the workforce, and recruiters need to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to recruiting this newest generation.
Within one particular generation, 75% say they are more worried about finding a job than they are about finding their soulmate. Want to guess which generation that is?
If you guessed Generation Z (Gen Z), you’re right! This generation is growing up and starting to enter the workforce, where their unique views and values are setting off ripple effects in the way we communicate, hire, collaborate, and more. But who is this new generation, what do they want, and how can you recruit (and retain) them?
Who Is Gen Z?
Members of this generation were born between 1997 and 2012, so the oldest are just leaving college and joining the workforce. As such, many recruiters don’t have too much experience yet working with Gen Z-ers (a.k.a. zoomers), so don’t worry if you’re not an expert on recruiting them yet!
Expect the Gen Z workforce to:
- Be Comfortable With Digital Technologies: For most zoomers, it’s difficult to imagine a world without the internet, social media, and smartphones.
- Start Their Job Searches Early: Just one in ten zoomers will wait until after graduation to begin their job search. A quarter will begin the job search in their first two years of college, and around half will start searching in their junior or senior year.
- Expect Diversity: 52% of the generation is predominantly white, making them the most racially diverse generation yet. These candidates also grew up with the legalization of gay marriage and Barack Obama’s presidency, so they’re more accepting of differences in race, religion, and sexual orientation than previous generations.
- Prioritize Mental Health: This generation places great emphasis on mental health due to feelings of isolation and depression caused by time spent online and the unfortunate state of the world, from school shootings to climate change. But the good news is that they’ve grown up in a time where the stigma around mental health has lessened. As such, they value work-life balance over brand reputation and income.
How To Recruit Gen Z
With the help of Gen Z team members, companies can ease technological transitions, solve new problems, and decrease discrimination and harassment in the office. To recruit zoomers and help your client tap their talent, you’ll need to keep up with Gen Z recruiting trends. You’ll want to:
Improve Your Client’s Online Presence
Your client should have a website, social media profiles, and online job postings that showcase their employer brand. After all, 74% of zoomers spend their free time online! Make sure your client’s career site is mobile-optimized, and try to make the online job application process as quick as possible.
Attend Events Aimed At Students
Having a presence at campus career fairs and taking the time to build your relationship with current students will set you up for success in the future. After all, many zoomers begin their job search during college and rank their relationship with their recruiter as the most important factor in accepting an offer.
Use Several Communication Channels
Use a variety of communication channels to connect with them, such as text messages and video calls. 73.4% of zoomers prefer their messaging app to their phone and typically respond in just 90 seconds, so texting is an efficient, low-pressure recruiting tactic.
Also, consider helping your client set up an employee referral program. More than 60% of zoomers value referrals from employees more than any other source of information. Since zoomers and millennials are 43% more likely to pass along information, the power of word-of-mouth goes a long way.
Shorten The Process
No matter which communication method you use, make sure to keep the hiring process quick, as 17% of Gen Z job seekers expect an offer within a week of their first interview. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to connect and communicate with job candidates, thanks to technology. Consider using interview schedule software and video conferencing technology to accelerate the process, and don’t forget to eliminate any repetitive forms or profiles from the application.
Retaining Gen Z Employees
Over half of zoomers plan to look for a new position within three years, so giving clients tips for motivating employees and boosting employee retention rate can help you go above and beyond. Clients can:
Offer Job Security And Growth Opportunities
Since many zoomers watched their parents struggle financially during the Great Recession (and many of the oldest members lost their jobs during the pandemic), they’re often risk-averse and want stable jobs.
Zoomers also want the security of knowing they can grow within their company. Career growth is a top priority for 64% of Gen Z. In comparison, only 3% of the generation prioritized having an impressive job title. To help employees grow within the company, your client can:
- Offer job rotation programs: These programs will give young employees an idea of where they can go within your client’s company, helping them gain valuable experience and imagine their future with your client.
- Provide feedback: When it comes to motivating Gen Z employees, providing feedback is one of the best things an employer can do. However, zoomers prefer short check-ins. 67% are comfortable with having a manager check-in as long as it’s only for five minutes.
- Encourage mentorships: Older employees have a lot to teach those just entering the workforce. Not only can zoomers learn from their more experienced counterparts, but they can also share their career goals and receive tips on how to accomplish them.
- Describe a clear path forward: Zoomers want to know that they’re valued and have a real future with their employer. So, your client needs to let them know that by showing how they can progress and rewarding them for their work. When employees — Zoomers or otherwise — feel valued and respected, they’ll also be more likely to stick around, so it’s a win-win.
Allow For Flexibility And A Healthy Work/Life Balance
Zoomers want to work when it’s convenient for them without any micro-managing, so flexible work and paid time off aren’t optional; they’re expected. This flexibility will help zoomers balance their personal and professional lives and feel fulfilled in both spheres. Offering remote work can also improve retention rates, as people are 13% more likely to stay with their current company for the next five years if they have the option of working from home.
Adopt New Software Solutions
For 91% of Gen Z-ers, technological sophistication matters. However, they don’t just want new technology because it’s cool. It makes communicating with colleagues and accessing information easy, whether they’re at home or in the office.
Join The Conversation
The earliest members of the next generation are entering the workforce, so it’s time to level up your Gen Z recruiting game. If you have any tips, want to learn other tricks, or simply want to network with other recruiters, join the Independent Recruiter Life community Slack board today!
While Anna cut her corporate teeth on the product team at Airbnb, it was her early-stage startup experience that really introduced her to the world of recruiting. While she was growing the team there, she realized how painful, arduous, and challenging recruiting really is. That is, until you find a stellar recruiting team. Today, she leverages her deep recruiting experience as Betterleap’s co-founder and visionary.