Recruiting Gen Z

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Posted by: David Garcia April 30, 2024

As Gen Zers begin to make their way into the workforce, it can be challenging to understand this new generation, and recruiters can often struggle to enlist Gen Z applicants.

What is Gen Z?

We often hear generational terms thrown around but do you know what they mean? When it comes to Gen Z, this categorization describes people born between 1997 and 2012. 

Also referred to as Zoomers, they’re the first generation of humans to live their whole lives in the digital age. As such, they tend to be very technically inclined and aware of concepts like a global marketplace and rapid information exchange.

Growing up in the information age has left many Gen Zers with an open mind and a broad worldview. Internet access, coupled with lived experience of cultural milestones like the legalization of gay marriage in several countries, the repealing of Roe v Wade, the war in the Middle East, and the BLM movement, has shaped Gen Z into one of the most liberal-leaning generations so far. 

Despite certain stereotypes, people of this generation tend to be very hard-working. Many witnessed or experienced economic hardship surrounding the 2008 recession and COVID pandemic and now work even harder to ensure financial security. 

This can make them competitive and willing to work hard – but not willing to work for free. A key trait of this generation is their unwillingness to stay in jobs that are exploitative or don’t treat them well. They’re very willing to job hop for better pay and opportunities and consider this a normal part of their career progression.

Gen Z -and younger generations – are increasingly looking for workplaces that reflect their values. With job hopping as a matter of course, employers should endeavor to adapt to these changes to attract and retain fresh talent.

Key Recruiting Differences Between Millennials and Generation Z 

Experts predict that Generation Z will make up more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025 – and Millennials will make up an even larger portion. Companies mustlearn how to attract and retain these employees if they want to maintain their workforce.

Education, healthcare, psychology, engineering, and sciences are all popular with Gen Z. Millennial interests are similar, with the most common majors being healthcare-related and sciences. However, they tend to have more interest in business-related majors than Gen Z and less than half the rate of psychology majors.

Many Gen Zers found it difficult to find jobs in their degree fields that pay a meaningful salary – especially considering the rising cost of living, the COVID-19 pandemic, and soaring student loan costs. Because of this, many prioritize fair salaries, benefits like PTO and health insurance, and work-life balance when assessing potential employers. Millennials have similar preferences. 

Top industry choices for both Gen Z and Millennials include healthcare, education, and social services. Millennials also prefer information technology, while Gen Z gravitates more toward business services and federal employment. 

Benefits are a major factor for both Millennials and Gen Zers. Due to globalization, many are aware of the benefits their peers in other countries receive and are starting to demand the same. 

Aside from realistic PTO, health insurance, and retirement policies, Generation Z looks for remote work opportunities, comprehensive parental leave policies, and student loan repayment or tuition reimbursement. Millennials have similar desires but also prioritize career development opportunities and bonus incentives. 

How To Recruit Gen Z Talent

The days of company loyalty have come and gone. Generation Z workers know their worth – they’re unwilling to compromise their expectations to fit an outdated work model. 

Employers who want to attract young talent may have to reassess their business models and employment policies to match market demand. Many Gen Zers are prioritizing flexible work schedules that support work-life balance, such as remote, hybrid, and four-day work weeks.

Here are a few more tips for recruiting Gen Z:

1. Recruit Them Via Social Media

Gen Zers are the most avid users of social media, and this is mainly because they never knew a world without social media or technology.

Gen Z often uses Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, or Tiktok, and they are less active on Facebook than generations prior. Many users also say that they are on social media “almost constantly,” meaning that you could potentially make a significant impact by effectively and tactfully recruiting G Zers through the appropriate social media channels.

Building your brand and promoting your company on social media is imperative. You can research ongoing trends and post potential job or career events and workshops via your social media pages.

2. Recruit Them Early

You also want to start recruiting Gen Z early. This group does not want to wait around—they are ready to start now.

Gen Z is consistently consuming information and education at a rapid rate. A global study shows around 50% intend to join the workforce immediately after graduating from high school.

Using this information appropriately to place advertisements for recruiting for your company can be very impactful. Gen Z candidates will want to gather as much information about your company as they can, and they’ll want to do it as soon as possible.

3. Don’t Have Dry Recruitment Videos

Bland recruitment videos will have a Gen Z candidate clicking away from your video faster than they started it.

The attention span of a Gen Zer is short-lived, and they constantly crave fresh energy and excitement. You want short and engaging content for them that will allow them to see snippets of what a job at your company would entail.

Lively videos with testimonials from current or prior employees that highlight the great qualities of your company will grab their attention. YouTube is an excellent source for this as many Gen Zers are likely to turn to YouTube to research information about potential employers.

4. Go Digital

Gen Zers are avid users of technology. And while prior generations, such as millennials, slowly eased into technology, Gen Z has essentially been attached to digital services since birth. Their use of technology has vastly transformed their daily lives.

Adapting to a digital strategy is crucial for your company to attract Gen Z candidates. Potential digital campaign strategies include digital and visual marketing, online communication systems such as Slack or other instant messengers, and the ability to consume information via their mobile devices.

Gen Z’s capacity for using technology so effectively also comes as a great advantage for the employer. Their skills can make them incredibly adaptable and valuable when learning and potentially developing required computer programs.

5. Be Upfront and Candid

Being upfront about the expectations of employees and the reality of what it’s like working for your company is imperative.

Gen Zers value honesty and forthrightness. This generation is remarkable for its outspoken and opinionated people, and they will value an employer with similar qualities.

Generation Z is generally distrusting of companies, especially large corporations, as they have seen news of corruption rife in these corporations from such a young age. Whereas millennials may have resigned themselves to unfair working conditions, to this younger group, a trustworthy boss is of the utmost importance.

In practice, this would look like a boss who is transparent and communicative. An employer that is actively inclusive, respectful, and ethical will also attract this group.

6. Allow for Collaboration AND Independence

Generation Zers deeply value their independence. With that said, collaboration is equally as important for them too.

Create a collaborative environment where Gen Zers can feel heard and where their individual voices and talent can matter and create change. They want you to listen to their ideas and allow them to impact your business positively.

As Generation Z has grown up taking in so much information, they can have a valuable perspective, and they want it heard.

7. Be Radically Inclusive

Generation Z is incredibly ethnically and racially diverse. They have a deep desire for a more inclusive future that is equally beneficial to all, and they absolutely will not tolerate discrimination in their careers.

They will be looking for a job with healthcare plans and benefits that is inclusive for everyone, including LGBTQ+. They will also expect to see diversity in company employees and rankings, including women and people of color in leadership.

Freedom of expression will also prove paramount for Gen Zers. They are different, opinionated, and proud. They expect their workplace to be accepting and supportive of this.

8. Highlight Social Issues Your Company Cares About

Generation Z is not only opinionated, but they stand up for their beliefs. They sincerely care about social issues, diversity, sustainability, and fairness.

For instance, at recent Black Lives Matter protests, a large turnout was from those in Generation Z as well as millennials.

They want to work for someone that will publicly stand up for issues that matter to them. If your association takes a position on social issues, they want to see that you’ve also made an active effort to support it and donate to it.

Social movement marketing will prove excellent recruitment marketing strategies in this regard. Gen Z deeply cares about action, and they want a company that does, too.

9. Create Growth Opportunities

Contrary to what some may believe, millennials and Gen Zers are not lazy or incompetent workers, and they are not intentionally job hoppers. They just profoundly desire to be learning new information and gaining new experiences continually.

They grew up in an ever-changing world that quickly advances. For these reasons, a workplace that they see can have the potential for growth and change will make all of the difference to them.

Structuring programs so that staff may climb the ranks or have opportunities within different branches of the company is crucial to recruiting and retaining Gen Z candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Recruit More Gen Z?

Attracting Gen Z is all about matching their values. They’re looking for remote or hybrid work, four-day work weeks, solid career growth opportunities, and competitive salary and benefits packages. Cultivating and supporting diversity and authenticity in the workplace is another great way to attract and retain Gen Z talent.

Final Thoughts

Generation Z is estimated to compose more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025 – and that number will only increase over time. Therefore, it’s essential for companies to learn how to attract and retain Gen Z talent. 

This generation prefers employers who reflect their values and are unafraid to job-hop. They’re looking for fair compensation and benefits, flexible work options, and diverse work environments. 

Gen Z also prizes efficiency in employment, and ScoutLogic is here to help. We can help you streamline the hiring process to make things as fast and efficient as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our background check services.

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