The Future of Recruitment: 7 Tips on How to Best Recruit Gen Z

By Alicia Hill - Dec. 19, 2016
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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Alicia Hill. Her opinions are her own.
Recruiting is a complex task. But innovative recruitment strategies are needed for Generation Z (Gen Z), the most optimistic, intelligent people dealing with tough issues like climate change and terrorism.
Gen Z represent the greatest period in history for disruption and innovation, prosperity and advancement. It’s imperative to educate yourself about Gen Z’s needs, attributes and workplace preferences and to design recruiting strategies that will help you prepare to hire our future leaders.
Born between 1994 and 2010, Gen Z are also known as post-millennials, the iGeneration, Founders Generation and the Pluralist Generation. Here’s a description of the characteristics of Gen Z:

  • Dominated by technology and real-time communication, they use electronic devices to report news about world events, news and scientific developments;
  • Learns scholarly topics from top-notch schools by downloading data through online libraries;
  • Acceptance of diverse lifestyles, beliefs and views such as the gender gap, discrimination and LGBT issues; and,
  • Studies issues affecting the world, e.g., ISIS, racism, genocide, politics, etc. and knowledgeable about civil rights.

Gen Z-ers are becoming adults and smart business leaders are acknowledging their contributions to their company’s greatest potential.

Here are seven tips on how to best recruit Gen Z.

1. Acknowledge Stress-Free Environments

Claims over work-related stress have increased over the years, in or outside the US, and therefore would potentially affect Gen Z-ers as a whole.
According to the American Bar Association, “An injured employee must prove that the actual events of employment were the predominant cause (51 percent)…causes of the psychiatric injury.” So you must control stress factors at workplace. Job-related tension can be described as physical, psychological or an emotional response to work demands that go beyond a worker’s ability or tools to address them.
Strategy – Gen Z-ers don’t like a fast-paced work environment. Innovative recruitment strategies should include accurate job descriptions that match the candidate’s temperament and preferences.

Generation Z-ers may be job hoppers. Since they have older siblings who have had struggled with unemployment, they do not have any fantasies about working for a company for 20 years. They do not like debt and are not willing to work long hours to accumulate wealth or pay off student loans.
Adecco conducted a study of students that are currently in college or recently graduated between the ages of 18-24. The respondents included 444 Gen Z and 557 millennials. A large percentage – 90 percent – would spend time with family and friends or watching TV versus conducting a job search even though 61 percent admitted that they would be looking for work.
Strategy – Use seasonal recruiting campaigns as part of your innovative recruitment strategies. Use metrics to determine which specific channel is the most effective.

3. Be Transparent

Gen Z have a distrust of government, companies and authoritarian groups. They would rather be with someone who has a difference of opinion. The Millennial Branding study revealed that “one-half (52 percent) of both Gen Z and Y state that honesty is the most important quality for being a good leader.” (see below also)
Strategy – Gen Z had a 61 percent desire for managers to listen to their ideas and ask for their input. So give them options and ask for their opinion. Use online surveys, questionnaires, etc.

4. Emphasize People, Culture and International Affairs

Gen Z is focused on elements that are common to all humans and are not concerned with superficial obstacles such as race, religion or language barriers. Positive outlook emphasizes the ability to overcome these minor issues and work together.
Pandit said, “One can argue that if there is a generation to help move mankind forward to truly believe that there is one race, the human race, Generation Z has the best chance of doing so.”
Strategy – Recruit a mix of male and female workers representing different ages and ethnicities.

5. Focus on Technology, not Money

Generation Z-ers fully admit the role of technology in their lives and its influence on their outlook and attitudes. Consider the following.

  • Entertainment includes streamlined music and instant downloads, touch-screen phones and social media;
  • Shops online and relies on reviews to decide on purchases; and,
  • Aware of the futuristic implications of technology such as 3D printing and hydrogen or solar-powered cars.

Money is not a major factor with Gen Z. In 2014, Millennial Branding and Randstad conducted a study of workplace preferences for Gen Y and Gen Z. It revealed “Only 28 percent of Gen Z said money would motivate them to work harder and stay with employer longer.”
Strategy – Pluralists are good with team-based projects using technology. They may create sub-groups using social media to share information with co-workers. So use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

6. Use Big Data to Strengthen Relationships

Companies using big data in their proactive recruiting efforts like Redfin and Airbnb get it: The future of recruiting and workforce planning is here. Workforce analytics and applicant tracking should be used to decipher the data you collect. If you are one of the companies using Big Data, you must understand what the weight of each data point means to your company specifically.
Delivering the highest caliber of service and experience through the discovery of strengths and weaknesses, visualization and insight is the goal.
Strategy – Companies using Big Data will be able to pinpoint who their clients are and what services they expect. Connect with Generation Z-ers through one-on-one interaction. Note: 53 percent of Gen Z prefer in-person communication over tools like instant messaging and video conferencing.”

7. Promote Entrepreneurship

Generation Z-ers are entrepreneurs. Born in an age of digital innovation, they know about coding and programming, webinars, tech camps and crowdfunding for startups.
Through two-year fellowships like The Thiel Fellowship, scholarships and educational programs, they are offered opportunities to ditch college and jump right into an entrepreneurial enterprise.
Strategy – Offer them positions with companies that embrace entrepreneurship.

Gen Z’s forward-thinking, positive mindset will allow us to look beyond our generational barriers to solve society’s most pressing issues. Through technology, relationship-building and a new set of behaviors, they embody the future of recruitment.

Alicia Hill is a creative content writer who has worked with brands and businesses from all over the world. With her background in business management, she has been writing in the area of business growth and management since 2009. Currently, she writes for Carter Capner Law.


Alicia Hill

Alicia Hill is a creative content writer who has worked with brands and businesses from all over the world. With her background in business management, she has been writing in the area of business growth and management since 2009. Currently, she writes for Carter Capner Law.

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