The Leadline Blog

Gen Z in the Workplace: Essential Recruiting Tips

Today's candidates won't apply to jobs powered by yesterday's tools. Learn some simple things to to improve your Gen Z recruiting practices.


Acknowledging and accepting that younger generations do things differently makes you “in touch” and doing nothing about it makes you a boomer. In this post, we’ll give you some key stats and perspectives that hopefully convince you to take a hard look at your current processes to improve your Gen Z recruiting practices.

Generation Z refers to individuals born between 1996 and 2010 (Wordstream)—that means anyone in the job market younger than 27 years of age. Making up a substantial portion of the working demographic, those in their early to mid-20s represent not just “entry-level” positions but often roles where “5+ years of experience” may be required. In a recent Creatopy study of over 1,000 individuals between 18 and 26, respondents provided their input and feedback on various questions about how they perceive and interact with different brands. Here are some of those findings, with a few “hot takes” of our own to relate it to recruiting.

Gen Z isn’t Lazy

Believe it or not, this is a huge misconception. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.3 million Gen Z individuals work full-time, and an additional 6.3 million are part-time employees. So next time you think your hiring shortcomings are because “nobody wants to work,” you might want to consider that “nobody wants to work…for you” and then ask yourself why and what you can do to make yourself more appealing (for more on this, check out this blog post we wrote).

A Generation That Cares About Social Responsibility

While you might not prioritize corporate social responsibility, Gen Z candidates engage with brands that seek to better society. Whether it be encouraged recycling, protecting the environment, or taking a stand on equality or injustice—more than 65% of individuals prefer brands that take a stand on social issues.

Also, let’s stop with generic “[Company] is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of . . .” blurbs. Data from LinkedIn shows candidates find this disenfranchising. There are better results when these EEO statements are hand-crafted and personalized for your business.

Gen Z Spends 1-5 Hours a Day on Social Media

What’s important here is to go beyond the traditional thinking that they’re mindlessly scrolling. Gen Z actually uses social media to research products, companies, and services—specifically on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. You might want to tap into your network by posting open job opportunities on these channels and allowing the social media algorithms to reach a vast audience that can repost and share your content to expand your reach. However, as with all things, consistency is critical. Choose a platform that works for you and post regularly for even greater reach.

They Have an Eye for Robotic, Inauthentic Content

This generation grew up learning how to navigate clickbait and phishing, so you must strive to hyper-personalize your content to make it relatable. If you’re not careful, a fragmented tech stack might cost you candidates and brand reputation because of obvious “robotic workflows.” To navigate this challenge, implement a healthy balance of ‘automated’ and ‘personalized’ communications.

When Gen Z Quits, it Usually Stems from a Recruiting Issue

When these individuals quit their jobs within the first 6 to 12 months, it is often due to a drastic misalignment of what they read in the job post versus what the job entails. It isn’t unreasonable to say that Gen Z has a higher quitting rate because this is a fact; however, it’s also not unfair for them to blame employers. To fix this, take inventory of your job descriptions and ensure they accurately depict what the job entails.

Gen Z is Here to Stay

The classic phrase “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” rings true even in recruiting. Companies adopting this demographic will not only foster more diverse and inclusive workplaces, but you’ll save a ton of money in the process. That said, it’s natural to be reluctant to change—don’t fret, we’re here to help you navigate this challenge!

 
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