Generation Z (also known as Gen Z) is a generation like no other. Born from around 1996-2010, Gen Zers have come to influence practically everything around them. From a young age, they have been attached to digital services and products, transforming the role of technology in day-to-day life. In contrast with the previous generation of millennials, Gen Zers place great emphasis on open-mindedness, connectivity, dialogue, and education, leading to a deeper intersection of ethics and knowledge.
While millennials are globalists, focused on finding idealistic experiences that adapt to the development of the world, Gen Z is much more focused on consuming the various realities around them. What does this mean? In an article published by Mckinsey, it was shown how the search for truth is at the root of these four Gen Z behaviors:
Read on to learn more about some of the most important Gen Z values to consider while recruiting!
Diversity, Expression, Inclusion
For Gen Z, freedom of expression is of the utmost importance. Due to the fact that Gen Zers are constantly mobilizing through technology and multiple social networks, they are extremely inclusive. They do not appreciate labels on groups – rather, the peers they meet in different settings comprise communities that serve as outlets for diverse interests. For example, someone in Gen Z is likely to treat a friend from a social media platform the same way he or she treats a friend from school. In this sense, Gen Z is very focused on experimenting with a lot of different identities rather than fixating on one social stereotype.
According to the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation thus far – the group is predicted to have a non-white majority by 2026. Furthermore, half of Gen Z believes society needs to be more accepting of people who do not conform to the traditional norms of gender. With the recently revived #BlackLivesMatter movement, Gen Z is furious at corporations that have banned employees from wearing apparel in support of the movement. As a company, it is important to recognize that Gen Z would appreciate the inclusion of people of different economic and educational backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, etc. Not only would this improve the company image, but it would also compel Gen Zers to feel comfortable in working a non-discriminatory environment
Recruitment Strategy Tips:
- Use your data – Keep track of how many diversity candidates are applicants, where they are sourced from, how many are accepted and how many are onboarded.
- Improve company culture - If your company advertises inclusivity, show it; make sure there is diversity within your company’s ranks.
- Create a collaborative environment – Remember that diversity fosters unique perspectives that should be heard.
- Provide inclusive benefits – Ensure that LGBTQ+ members have equal healthcare benefits and are not discriminated against in the workplace.
Social Media and Technology
Gen Z is on track to being the most educated generation – and not just academically. Gen Zers tend to approach all their decisions by looking at various realities. They think of a problem pragmatically, objectively, and ethically. After weighing their options in accordance with personal values, they can come to an informed decision.
A large contributor to Gen Z’s awareness is social media. On almost all platforms, Gen Z consumers read reviews before purchasing a product. With Gen Z being so mobile, 72% of the crowd has made an online purchase in the last month. Due to such a large reliance on fellow consumers for information, the connectivity and information that social media provides are fundamental. In addition, when social media promotes trends such as sustainability or health, consumers begin to value the presence of such movements in companies. By staying up to date with current events such as climate change, Gen Zers begin acting on their beliefs that things must change, via social media. For example, 61% say they would pay more for products that are produced ethically and sustainably. In another instance, with the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement, Gen Zers on Instagram have created a network of promoting social justice by circulating petitions, phone numbers of city mayors, ways to stay educated, etc. Ultimately, being informed leads to the desire for things that contribute to society in some way.
Recruitment Strategy Tips:
- Build your brand – Promote your company image through social media by researching ongoing trends.
- Recruit through social media – Inform potential applicants of recruiting events, workshops, and deadlines on your company’s social media page.
- Practice what you preach – If your company takes a position on a certain social issue, make sure you are donating money to organizations or actively working towards change.
- Research, research, research – Stay up to date on consumer’s interests. If sustainability is a new trend, create a sustainability initiative that will appeal to your applicants.
- Go digital – Embrace a digital strategy and incorporate video marketing while keeping track of all emerging media platforms.
Growing up in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment, Gen Zers understand the importance of stability. They are well aware that they need to start saving up for the future, leading them to start looking for jobs early on – almost a quarter of Gen Z college students started looking for jobs before their third year at school. Additionally, when compared to millennials, Gen Z teenagers are much more likely to pursue higher education.
Although Gen Zers value a high salary, their main goal is to have a career they are happy with. This compels Gen Z workers to job hop, working at various companies to gain new experiences and more exposure. In order to increase the retention rate within the company, it is important to show employees that they have the freedom to learn skills that aren’t part of the set job description.
Recruitment Strategy Tips:
- Create growth opportunities – Structure an internship program in such a way that interns may eventually climb ranks or try working in another field within the company.
- Offer financial incentives – Provide benefits and be open to negotiating salaries with interested candidates.
To make the most of any business, it's essential to adapt to rapidly changing times. Right now, recruiters should be focused around diversity, digitization and social media and career development opportunities. Understanding Gen Z's interests and transforming work accordingly may just set a business apart from its competitors.