3 Things Every Recruiter Should Know About Gen. Z




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According to The Huffington Post, Generation Z consist of people born in or after 1995. Gen. Z-ers make up about a quarter of the US population. By 2020, they will account for a third of the population.


Gen. Z’s large numbers mean recruiters had better start paying attention, as more and more members of this demographic set will be entering the workforce in the coming years. Recruiters must also note that Gen. Z-ers tend to be quite different from their millennial predecessors, as “The 2017 State of Gen. Z” report shows.


Compiled by The Center for Generational Kinetics, “The 2017 State of Gen. Z” found that Gen. Z-ers differ from millennials in their approaches to almost everything. We dissected this report in order to uncover valuable information about these up-and-coming professionals. Here are three things every recruiter should know about Gen. Z, as well as some advice on how to leverage this information to attract Gen. Z candidates:


1. Gen. Z Has a Strong Work Ethic


According to “The 2017 State of Gen. Z,” 77 percent of Gen. Z-ers are earning their own money through freelance work, a part-time job, or an earned allowance. Given how young this generation still is, this stat is an especially powerful intimation of Gen. Z’s work ethic. We can hypothesize that Gen. Z-ers’ shared propensity for self-reliance and their exposure to work from a young age will benefit them as they enter the workforce.


Use This Information to Recruit Gen. Z:


Gen. Z’s strong work ethic is related to their entrepreneurial spirit: 72 percent of high school students say they want to start their own business. Whether every Gen. Z-er fulfills that desire or not is less important; what really matters is that entrepreneurial Gen. Z-ers will want to work in roles where they can operate independently, set their own schedules, and rely on their own resources.


When recruiting Gen. Z-ers, employers should speak to this entrepreneurial spirit in their recruitment messages, their job ads, and throughout the interview stage. Share examples of how the company emphasizes employee autonomy. Explore how your company will set up Gen. Z candidates to progress toward leadership positions. Highlighting how a Gen. Z employee can feel like they’re running their own business within yours can give them the sense of entrepreneurial freedom they seek.


2. Gen. Z Has Strong Problem-Solving Skills


When asked what the most important skills were for succeeding in the workforce, 49 percent of Gen. Z respondents in “The 2017 State of Gen. Z” report named “problem-solving.”


As the report puts it, “Employers frequently said that the previous generation, millennials, needed better communication and problem-solving skills. Maybe this message got through to Gen. Z at the right time?”


Furthermore, only 29 percent of Gen. Z-ers said they needed to improve their problem-solving skills. It seems this generation is pretty confident it has what it takes to solve complex problems in the workplace.


Use This Information to Recruit Gen. Z:


Polls, quizzes, and situational challenges can be great ways to attract Gen. Z-ers by sparking their problem-solving skills. Create your own problem-solving content relevant to your company’s industry and the specific roles to be filled.


You may want to consider leveraging video to share these challenges. Videos, as we know, are some of the most successful content on the web. (I’m sure a Tasty video from BuzzFeed has stopped you in your tracks at least once before!) Internet users spend a collective 1 billion hours a day on YouTube, so it’s a pretty good bet that Gen. Z-ers will respond positively to video recruitment content.


3. Gen. Z-ers Want to Work During College


Thirty-eight percent of Gen. Z-ers plan to work while attending college, according to “The 2017 State of Gen. Z” report. The report also speculates that number will increase as more and more Gen. Z-ers “begin to understand the financial realities of needing to work while in school.”


Use This Information to Recruit Gen. Z:


If Gen. Z-ers plan to work while attending school, why not have them work for you? Offer paid internships to attract Gen. Z students to your organization. Gen. Z-ers want to do work that will help them progress in their fields, and they want to be compensated for it. Therefore, paid internships are a perfect option.


Promote your paid internship program through channels most likely to reach your target audience. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are great social channels to start with, as are music streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify.


Incorporate key messaging in your promotions to target Gen. Z’s interests. Some language to consider:


  1. “Paid internships starting at $X an hour” – Put a number on it, and make sure it’s a  competitive rate. That way, Gen. Z-ers will know your internship is worth their time.

  2. “Flexible scheduling” – Gen. Z-ers crave independence, plus a flexible schedule lets them know they won’t have to sacrifice their schoolwork. Also: 44 percent of Gen. Z-ers surveyed for “The 2017 State of Gen. Z” said they value flexible schedules.

  3. “Fun work environment” – Gen. Z-ers want to have fun at work, with 47 percent of them citing it as important in “The 2017 State of Gen. Z.” If you can’t give a fun environment to them, a competitor will! Be sure to mention some specific details about why your workplace is exciting.

A version of this article originally appeared on the WCN blog.


Jeanette Maister is managing director of the Americas for WCN.



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3 Things Every Recruiter Should Know About Gen. Z 3 Things Every Recruiter Should Know About Gen. Z Reviewed by ghost on March 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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