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Best Practices for Hiring Gen Z

What are the best practices for hiring Gen Z for your Organization?

March 9, 2023

By Team tawgl

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By 2025, Gen Z will account for 27% of the global workforce. - Forbes

This makes it imperative for organizations to structure their policies and strategies to cater to the needs of this generation. But where can an organization start? The first step would be to understand the various aspects in which they are different from the previous generation . 

Key Differences between Millennial and Generation Z candidates

Generation Z refers to individuals born between 1997 and 2012 while Millennials are born between early 1980s to mid 1990s. Oftentimes, at organizations Millennials and Gen Z put in the same bucket. We need to understand how Gen Z differ from the predecessors. This would help in successfully recruiting and retaining them. 

  1. Technology: While the millennials were early adopters of technology, Generation Z grew up with it. It is an integral part of their lives .According to a study by Randstad, 75% of Gen Z respondents believe that technology is essential to the future of work, and 91% feel confident in their ability to use technology in the workplace. As a result, they are more comfortable with digital tools and platforms. So they expect their workplaces to be equipped with the latest technology.

  1. Leadership Style: Gen Z tends to value transparency and authenticity in leadership. They may be more likely to question authority and demand transparency and accountability. Millennials also value transparency, but may be more inclined to trust authority and hierarchy. Additionally, according to a study by Deloitte, 70% of Gen Z respondents expressed an interest in starting their own business at some point in their careers. This entrepreneurial leadership style is characterized by a focus on creativity, risk-taking, and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

  1. Communication: Having grown up with instant communication tools like texting and social media, Gen Z tend to prefer using these channels for work-related communication. Millennials grew up with email and tend to use it more often for work communication. Because of this Gen Z may prefer informal and instant communication channels when it comes to work.

  1. Work-life Balance: Both Gen Z and Millennials prioritize work-life balance. However,  they may have different ideas about what that means. Gen Z focuses on flexibility and may prefer to work from home or work non-traditional hours. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to value benefits like paid time off or parental leave

Where does Gen Z search for jobs?

Being digital natives, the way Gen Z candidates do not always stick to the traditional way of searching for jobs. They are open to explore and adopt budding platforms if they find them to be more efficient. 

Here are some ways in which they search for jobs! 

  1. Online Job Boards: Being tech-savvy, they tend to use online job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor to search for job opportunities. These platforms offer a wide range of job listings and allow candidates to apply for jobs directly from their websites.

  1. Social Media: Gen Z candidates often use social media to research companies and job opportunities. Companies can leverage this trend by using social media to promote their employer brand and job openings. Some popular social media platforms among Gen Z include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. For example, Apple has a robust online presence, with a strong focus on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. It uses these platforms to promote job openings and engage with potential candidates. 

  1. Company Career Pages: Gen Z candidates tend to be highly selective about the companies they want to work for. They are likely to research a company's values, culture, and mission before applying for a job. For example, Airbnb's careers page is designed to showcase the company's unique culture and values, with a focus on creativity, collaboration, and diversity. The page features employee testimonials and videos. This includes information about the company's commitment to social impact and community engagement. It is therefore important for companies to maintain up-to-date and informative career pages on their website.

  1. Referrals: Gen Z values personal connections and recommendations from friends and family. They may reach out to their networks for job leads or ask for referrals from people they know. As per a survey conducted by Scholar, 87% of Gen Z would rather learn about a company from someone who is less than 5 years older than them, preferably  in a conversational tone instead of a  formal presentation. Companies can leverage this trend by offering employee referral programs that incentivize current employees to refer qualified candidates.

  1. Filling Applications on Mobiles: Another key insight to note is that, be it a job board, a LinkedIn posting or a career’s page, they sometimes fill job applications via their mobile phones. As per the Center for Generational Kinetics (GenHQ), 60% of Generation Z says the job application should take less than 15 minutes. It is therefore important to ensure that the applications are not too complex and mobile friendly. 

In summary, Gen Z candidates tend to approach the job search process with a highly digital and social media-savvy mindset. Companies that want to attract Gen Z talent should have a strong online presence and a compelling employer brand.

Gen Z Recruiting Strategies

Below are some tips for employers looking to attract and retain Gen Z employees:

  1. Foster a sense of purpose: Gen Z is known for being socially conscious and looking for employers that align with their values. Highlight your company's mission, values, and any initiatives you have in place to give back to the community. This can be done by regularly sharing information and stories regarding these initiatives on the company website and social media handles.

  1. Offer Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Gen Z values flexibility and work-life balance. Consider offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible scheduling, to appeal to this demographic. For example, Deloitte offers flexible work arrangements, such as reduced work schedules, job sharing, and remote work options. The company also provides generous vacation time, paid parental leave, and access to wellness resources to help employees achieve work-life balance.

  1. Embrace Technology: Gen Z is tech-savvy and expects to use technology in the workplace. They prefer visual data such as image and video-based content over reading plain text. Ensure your recruitment process is digitized, from job postings to candidate communication, to attract this tech-oriented demographic. For example, Apple's recruiting process incorporates technology, including video interviews and online assessments, which appeal to Generation Z employees who are comfortable with digital tools.

  1. Focus on Development and Career Growth:  According to LinkedIn, 76% of Gen Z sees upskilling as key to their career advancement. Gen Z is ambitious and driven, and they want to see the potential for career growth and development within your company. As per Forbes In fact, 40% of Gen Zers are willing to take a pay cut of up to 5% for a role that offers better career growth. Companies must therefore opportunities for skill development, training programs, and mentorship to show that you're invested in their professional growth.

  1. Provide Competitive Benefits and Perks: Gen Z places a high value on financial security and benefits, so make sure your benefits package is competitive and includes perks such as student loan repayment assistance or free gym memberships. As per a survey conducted by Cloud Bees, 35% of Gen Z respondents named salary and benefits the most important factor during their job search.

By taking these steps, you can effectively attract and retain Generation Z employees and build a strong, diverse workforce. Keep in mind that this demographic is looking for more than just a job—they want a career that aligns with their values and provides opportunities for growth and development. By creating a positive and supportive work environment, you can attract and retain top Generation Z talent for years to come.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Gen Z

For Gen Z, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not just a buzzword, but a personal and deeply held value that shapes their worldview and influences their choices.  As per a survey conducted by Tallo 86% of Generation Z job seekers say they plan to participate in a company's DEI or employee resource group (ERG) committee or contribute to a company's DEI strategy. 

Here are a few ways in which DEI for Gen Z is different:

  1. Increased focus on intersectionality: Being the most diverse generation in history, they are acutely aware of the many intersecting identities that make up an individual's identity. This includes such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. DEI efforts therefore need to be more nuanced. Rather than bucketing individuals based on a single factor such as gender or race, they need to take into account the various identities that an individual holds.

  1. Greater emphasis on social justice: They grew up in a world where social justice issues are at the forefront of public discourse, and they are passionate about making a difference. They are more likely to seek out workplaces that align with their values and to be vocal about issues that are important to them. 

  1. Action, not just words: They are skeptical of companies that only talk about DEI but lack initiatives that back their stance. Taking concrete action with measurable progress can go a long way in gaining their trust and respect. They are more likely to hold companies accountable for their commitments to diversity and inclusivity and to demand transparency around these efforts. For example, with its focus on diversity and inclusion, Target has built a strong reputation as a progressive employer that values its employees. It has made a concerted effort to promote diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices and therefore has high employer brand equity among Generation Z candidates. 

  1. Use of technology for social activism: Gen Z has grown up with social media and other digital platforms that allow them to connect with like-minded individuals.It helps them amplify their voices, and effect change. As such, they are more likely to use technology as a tool for social activism and to seek out companies that use their platforms to promote DEI. For example, Nike uses platforms like Instagram and Twitter to highlight its sustainability efforts, social impact initiatives, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In short, DEI for Generation Z goes beyond the traditional notions of diversity and inclusivity, encompassing a more holistic understanding of identity and a deep commitment to social justice. Companies that understand and cater to these values are more likely to attract and retain Generation Z talent.

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