How To Recruit Gen Z: What You Need To Know Now

Posted by Cathy Reilly

Laptop Work-1Gen Y (aka Millennials) are growing older and becoming a more stable, balanced part of the national workforce. For recruiters and hiring managers who struggle with understanding what Gen Y want in an employer, that’s good news. However, it also brings with it an unsettling reality that some hiring managers may already be struggling with:

Soon, it will be time for the next challenge, recruiting Gen Z.

This new generation, born in the mid/late 90s, is just starting to enter college and, in some cases, the workforce. According to a 2014 Millennial Branding survey of 1,005 Gen Z’ers and 1,016 Gen Y’ers around the world, recruiting Generation Z will be just as difficult as recruiting Millennials.

The good news is, Millennial Branding uncovered some helpful insights for HR professionals who want to start preparing for Gen Z in the workplace. Let’s cover three of the most helpful insights and how they’ll get you successfully recruiting Gen Z in the future:

1. Generation Z cares less about the money.

Maybe one of the most interesting findings from the survey is that Gen Z are less motivated by money than their Gen Y counterparts. [click to tweet] While Gen Y named money the No. 1 motivation for choosing a position (38 percent), only 27 percent of Gen Z named money as their primary motivation, making it the second most important factor in choosing an organization after “opportunities for advancement” (34 percent).

This highly engaged generation wants opportunities for professional development, and they’re willing to pass up the money you’re offering to get them. In order to be ready for this new breed of career-focused job seekers, you’ll need to develop and highlight a program that helps employees in your organization grow.

Focus on things like mentorship opportunities and skills workshops, that develop your employees and provide them with the skills they’ll need to rise through the ranks at your organization. Then, emphasize how candidates will be involved with those programs from Day One while your recruiting Gen Z candidates.

2. Generation Z is entrepreneurial.

Generation Z wants to strike out on their own...some day. Seventeen percent of Millennial Branding’s Gen Z respondents indicated a desire to start a business and hire others -- an 11 percent increase over the Millennial generation. But who would want employees who are focused on becoming their own bosses?

You should. The entrepreneurial spirit emphasizes innovation and drive. What better characteristics are there in a young employee?

Organizations that take advantage of Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit will be able to stay in front of the latest trends and, as a result, be more competitive in their industry. The challenge will be focusing that entrepreneurial energy into work that benefits the organization and the Gen Z candidate.

For the best results with recruiting Gen Z, focus on providing opportunities for this new generation to integrate their entrepreneurial spirit into their job. Communicate regularly with Gen Z employees about their ideas for growth and their thoughts about the direction of the organization, to let them know you value their contributions and initiative.

3. Generation Z wants face-to-face interactions.

Your organization probably put a lot of effort over the last decade into streamlining employee communication. After all, everyone is addicted to technology now, right?

Well, Gen Z isn’t buying it -- at least not when it comes to the workplace. Fifty-two percent of Gen Zers admitted they’d rather communicate with their manager in person than via email (16 percent), or instant message (11 percent). Let’s be honest, we’ve all gotten used to the ease of online and mobile communications, but wouldn’t we all rather have more face-to-face time?

It’s time to emphasize that sentiment more in your organization.

When you’re recruiting Gen Z candidates, it will be important to discuss how you communicate at every level. Yes, you will no doubt use email, instant messaging, and other tech to communicate, but creating -- and emphasizing -- a culture where managers connect with employees in person to discuss assignments, recognize their work, and keep them engaged, is the ticket to securing top Gen Z talent.

As you prepare to recruit this highly intelligent, driven generation of workers, think about turning these three insights into the foundation of your recruiting strategy and build from there.

Have you thought about recruiting Gen Z? What’s your strategy?

Topics: Recruiting & Hiring

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