It is predicted that Generation Z, those born after 1996, will make up 30% of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Known for their tech-savviness, dedication to social and environmental issues, and coming of age during a pandemic, Gen-Z job-seekers are shaking up the world of work and talent acquisition. Knowing the values and priorities of Gen-Z candidates will increase recruitment and retention efforts, decrease turnover costs, and attract top talent. So, who is Generation Z and how can recruiters attract top Gen-Z talent?
1. Gen-Z is entrepreneurial and eager to develop practical skills.
Studies have shown that Gen-Z is highly self-directed, demonstrated by a strong desire to manage themselves within the workplace and design their own programs of study in college. How recruiters and HR professionals can use this facet to attract Gen-Z talent:
- Offer mentorship opportunities and mentorship-based programming
- Encourage job candidates to showcase their website, portfolio, completed projects, and other related media within their application
- Emphasize desired skills on a job posting, rather than a specific degree
- Highlight continuing education programs and scholarships
- Connect with college campuses to host internships or independent study students
- Have clear and transparent policies on common ‘side gigs’ employees may have like consulting, small businesses, and part-time jobs
2. Gen-Z is worried about college affordability.
67% of Gen-Z views affordability as a barrier to college enrollment. However, 81% also say they believe that college is crucial to starting a career. How recruiters and HR professionals can use this facet to attract Gen-Z talent:
- Build a direct partnership between local academic programs and job openings
- Host practicum, internship, and clinical students
- Encourage employees to mentor current college students
- Outline employee continued education programs, scholarships, and student loan reimbursement
- Facilitate employee volunteer opportunities on local campuses. A great example is George Washington University’s volunteer opportunities for corporate partners.
3. Gen-Z highly values company culture and ethics.
More than any previous generation, 68% of Gen-Zers say it is important for their employers to support a cause they care about. Their top issues of concern include climate change, discrimination, and mental health. In addition to company mission and philanthropic efforts, workplace culture is displayed by employer reputation, software and technology, workplace policies, and much more. How recruiters and HR professionals can use this data to attract Gen-Z talent:
- Clearly outline the company mission and connect the mission to the job opening within all postings
- Highlight philanthropic and ethical ongoings
- Outline opportunities for hybrid or remote work along with provided or reimbursed technologies
- Build company brand awareness through partnering with professional associations, career fairs, and more
- Emphasize employee support services available like wellness programming, professional development opportunities, and medical leave policies.
4. Gen-Z expects instant access to data and information.
Growing up with answers one Google search away, Generation Z is accustomed to getting instant information at any time. They also work with high levels of efficiency and respond very well to gamification and gratification. How recruiters and HR professionals can use this facet to attract Gen-Z talent:
- Update job postings so that potential applicants are not turned away before they apply. This could look like fixing broken links, ensuring that the posting is accessible, and removing redundant questions that can be easily answered by a quick glance at the candidate’s resume.
- Using bullet points or separated lines, include essential information like salary range, flexible work options, minimum necessary degree, work hours, and more.
- Send candidates updates at each step of the application process. Including: An automated email confirming application receipt, estimated time to receive an opportunity to interview (if invited), and an outline of the interview process.
- Include a link to a webpage of frequently asked questions about the company, interview processes, and human resources policies that may assist applicants. This could also include fast facts on company mission, internal promotion rates, and diversity information.
Generation Z employees bring fresh perspectives, energy, and tech savviness to the workplace. Keep these tips in mind while building job listings and working with potential Gen Z hires!