Recruiting the next generations - Generation Z

Earlier this week we covered off how to recruit to the Millennial generation. The second part of this series explores the iGen or Generation Z and how we can adapt our recruiting techniques to attract them. 

Born between 1995-2010.* most of the iGen members are still largely kids and adolescents. I know what you are probably thinking…. “why should I worry about recruiting to a bunch of kids?” Well, you are partially right, but within the next five years, Generation Z will become the fastest-growing generation in both the workplace and marketplace. This generation is very different to their predecessors the Millennials and will require a new set of recruitment tactics to attract them to work at your company.  

Understanding this group’s attitudes toward work and life is a must for companies preparing to recruit them. So what are the most defining characteristics of the iGeneration? Having been raised post 9/11 and living through the Great Recession and global conflict, Generation Z tends to be fiscally conservative, conscientious, hardworking, somewhat anxious and mindful of the future.  In many ways Gen Z are more like their great-grandparents (the “greatest generation”) than any others. They were frugal and savers, with strong morals and a desire to build their country. Unlike millennials who are typically labelled as high-maintenance, self-obsessed, and entitled, Gen Z members are described as self-aware, self-reliant, ambitious, dedicated and goal-oriented. They also appear to have a high level of creativity and a very short attention span (no surprises there!). They are the first true digital natives and they tend to live much more of their entire lives—from interacting with friends and family to making major purchases—online and via their smartphones.

Robert Half recently conducted an in-depth survey on Generation Z. Rieva Lesonsky, a Columnist for Small Business Trends, breaks down what skills this generation will bring to the workplace. When looking for a job, Generation Z’s biggest priorities are:

  • Growth opportunities
  • Generous pay
  • Making a positive impact
  •  Job security
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Flexible hours
  • Manager to learn from

Now that we understand some of the characteristics and preferences of the iGeneration, we can look at tailoring the recruitment process for hiring them.

Here are our top 6 tips for hiring this generation:

1.      Use Visual Platforms and Communicate Meaning – Spread your recruitment message across multiple sites – You Tube, Snapchat, Pinterest and Tumblr. Use emojis and visual content and get your message across in the shortest possible time. Talk about value and meaning. Why is this job important? What will it help accomplish?  What is the positive impact? Remember, they don’t just want a job — they really want to make a difference.

2.      Speed up your Process! This generation is similar to Millennials in that they are also used to instant gratification and frequent feedback, so you’ll need to speed up your recruitment process and manage applicants who are in various stages of the process. Gone are the days of holding onto resumes while you wait for a recruitment advert to close.   Think real-time responses, and become dedicated to provide a high level of engagement with every candidate.

3.      Incorporate Live Streaming - Even though Generation Z has an effortless ability with digital devices, they prefer face-to-face interactions. Forget about using email to communicate with them and consider using FaceTime or Skype in your recruitment process.

4.      Tailor your pay and benefits Package – This generation is worried about money – they will have high student debt, an increased cost of living and in some parts of the world, high costs for health insurance. Yet, they still want to own their own house and save for retirement. A generous salary is high on their job search priority list, but it is more about relieving financial pressure. Think about offering benefits like health insurance, flex-time, a generous retirement savings scheme, or even subsidizing transportation costs!

5.      Invest in them and Offer Growth Opportunities - Showing a clear commitment to their training and development needs and future goals will signal to these candidates that you value them long term. Ensure that your recruitment strategy enforces mentorship and a pathway for promotion or advancement opportunities available to them.

6.      Highlight your Social Responsibility – demonstrate genuine ties to the community and discuss examples of how you give back during your conversations with job candidates. Consider giving employee’s a day off where they can volunteer and support their favorite charity or social cause. 

*Dates are approximate and there is some overlap because there are no standard definitions for when a generation begins and ends.