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Recruiting Gen Z? Here’s What Companies Need to Know.

Just as you’ve gotten a handle on hiring millennials, a new generation is entering the workforce. If you haven’t already, you may want to adjust your company’s recruiting strategy to attract top talent from this next generation. But first, it’s important to understand who next-gen candidates are, and what motivates them. 

So, who Is Generation Z? (don’t worry, we had to Google it too)

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Generation Z refers to anyone born roughly between 1997 and 2011. Gen Z is the generation after Millennials that shares the following nicknames: Post-Millennials, iGeneration, Gen Edge, and the Sharing Generation.

These individuals have never known a world without the internet and social media, making them the most tech-savvy generation yet. They are also the most highly educated generation, making them valuable candidates in today’s digitally driven world.

The Pew Research Center reports that 48% of Gen Z are non-caucasian, which makes them the most racially diverse generation to date. Bursting with confidence, Gen Z are pragmatic, independent and passionate about forging their own path in the workplace.

Career motivations: What matters most

If you’re looking to attract, hire, and retain the Gen Z talent pool, it’s a smart strategy to start understanding what matters to them.

Even though over 70% of Gen Z professionals say salary is a “top motivator” in their career, don’t be fooled. For Gen Z, money matters, but who they work for and what the company stands for matters more. Human rights, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, environmental, social and corporate responsibility are all top priorities for Gen Z in both their personal and professional lives. 

And, as Gen Z is one of the most entrepreneurial generations to enter the workforce, companies may need strategies to entice them to work for them instead of working for themselves.

Work expectations and attitudes

While these 18 to 22-year-old candidates have many things in common with previous generations, their approach to employment is quite different. It might be easy to lump Millennials and Gen-Z together—but there are some distinct differences between the two.

Most Gen Z candidates are entering the workforce during a pandemic and are already accustomed to remote learning and remote work. Companies can expect the demand for flexible work arrangements to survive beyond COVID-19 – failure to offer work from home options could be a potential deal-breaker for this generation. 

Generation Z crave job security and want transparency and honesty with everything. As mental health awareness rises, they have a better understand of personal health and will expect mental health days to be included in their package. 

Surprisingly enough, most Gen Z candidates would readily trade a funky office space for traditional benefits. Not only are they tech-savvy, but money-savvy as well. Money-based incentives—student loan repayment assistance, excellent insurance plans and a competitive salary and retirement package hold more value for this generation.  

Tips to attract and retain Gen Z talent

  1. Gen Z wants to make a difference. They also want to work for employers who want to make a difference. As new generations take over the workforce, diversity and inclusion become more and more crucial when putting together a team. If you have a diverse team, communicate that. If you don’t, share the steps you’re taking to get there. 
  2. Ensure a strong social media presence. A top candidate might end their application process simply because they couldn’t find your company on Instagram. Post recruitment related content often. They’re looking for it, and if they don’t find it, they won’t hesitate moving on to the next job posting. 
  3. To attract Gen Z candidates, you might need to rethinking your ad approach:  Video is probably the better way to go. 
  4. When it comes to interviews, expect Gen Z to interview you more than you interview them. Gen Z has their own ideas about what they want from employers and they aren’t afraid to ask for it. Get ready for them to flip the script and ask you: “Why should I work for you?”

As Generation Z takes over the workforce, companies will need to adjust their recruiting and hiring strategies if they want to retain top talent. While the idea of adjusting your strategy again might seem taxing, the reward will be very worthwhile. Gen Z will bring positive change, new perspectives, and efficiency to your team. They will challenge the status quo and offer forward-thinking solutions that launch your company to the next level.

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