6 Best Practices for Recruiting Gen Z Talent

Kiersten Kurtz

Gen Z, Zoomers, iGen — whatever you call them, this new wave of young professionals is already taking the workforce by storm. 
 

That’s right: the oldest members of Gen Z are graduating college — and for many companies, they’re in demand: Gen Z is expected to fill 1 out of every 5 job positions within the next decade. Not only is Gen Z valued for their tech-savviness, social conscientiousness, and ambition, today’s tight labor market means the pressure is on for HR to come up with a talent acquisition strategy best-suited for these rising professionals.
 

Here are our top six Gen Z recruiting tips.


1. Show off your tech


There’s a reason Gen Z is also called iGen. 
 

As the first generation of digital natives, technology is the most essential element of their lives — right after air and water. Most of Gen Z doesn’t even remember a time before social media, smartphones, and instant messaging. This has made the new generation more proficient at practicing their written communication skills than any of their predecessors, but it also means they have high expectations when it comes to technology. 
 

Gen Z is less likely to accept a job offer if the recruiting process seems outdated. They want to know that the company they work for is modern, streamlined, and eager for progress. In fact, Zoomers spend an average total of 6-11 hours on electronic devices per day. Effectively using tech to handle details during the recruiting process, such as event registration, resume capture, and general communication shows Gen Z applicants that you’re up-to-date with the latest technology and have a focus on evolution and optimization. 
 

Utilizing career sites to deliver personalized job and content recommendations should pique the interest of Gen Z job seekers. Even investing in chatbots to help candidates efficiently find information on your career site or utilizing SMS to send your candidates personalized messages and updates on their hiring process is a great way to showcase your company’s technical literacy.
 

Phenomenal Tip: Leverage an events tool to capture registrations and candidate information, and then invest in a mobile app to take your recruiting efforts on the go. 


In addition to using the latest technology when recruiting talent, make sure to also highlight the software and technology they’ll use when they become an employee. Do you use cloud tech to work from anywhere? Is your company active on social media platforms? Let them know!


2. Be transparent
 

Like Millennials, Gen Z expects transparency from potential employers. They’ve adopted an attitude of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This may be why a survey conducted by EY revealed that 67% of Zoomers say that people can’t be trusted. The new generation not only expects honesty and authenticity, they require it. If they think a potential employer is trying to pull the wool over their eyes, they won’t hesitate to turn down the offer.
 

Be upfront about any details that may be of interest to an entry-level candidate, including company policies, career benefits, and growth opportunities. Remember: Gen Z holds information they receive at college career centers and hiring events in high esteem. Make sure the information you’re providing at recruiting events is accurate and empathetic. 
 

Encourage your recruiters to be honest and eager to share details about your company culture all throughout the hiring process, from the booth at the career fair to a phone call after the event: what team building events do you offer? How are you ensuring diversity and inclusion? Do you have any specific perks, like internet bill rebates? 
 

Even if you don’t offer something they might be looking for, that’s okay. By only highlighting the favorable aspects of your company or available position, you’re signaling inauthenticity to Gen Z candidates. Rather than framing things as negatives, present them as challenges, and offer a positive solution. For example, if your company culture is fast-paced, you can communicate that “our work environment is very fast-paced, but we support open communication between employees and their managers to mitigate any stress or exhaustion.” 
 

By being open about less desirable details, you’re letting them know that they can trust you. Just make sure that for any negative you list, you spin it back into a positive.
 

3. Choose recruiters wisely
 

Despite being known for their early technological literacy, 72% of Gen Z actually prefer face-to-face communication over any other method of professional communication. When choosing recruiters, consider who can best appeal to young, entry-level job seekers while also accurately representing your company culture. 
 

Your recruiters are among the highest factors in Gen Z career decision-making. If early talent feels respected and understood, they’re going to associate those feelings with your company. Choose recruiters who are certified in recruiting college-aged candidates, and consider providing your employees with opportunities to get certified in this area if they aren’t already. 
 

Phenomenal Tip: Provide training materials such as relevant resources, persona-based learning, and certification opportunities on topics including early talent recruiting, university events, and events marketing. Investing in a Learning Management System can help you centralize this information and make it easy to access as well!


As with recruiting any candidate, knowing your audience and where to find them is key. Nearly 25% of Gen Z begin their job search during their freshman year of college. Make sure they get to know you before your competitors by engaging early and attending campus recruiting events. Even if you don’t find your next employee at that campus, you’re raising brand awareness among the next wave of college graduates.
 

Phenomenal Tip: With many campuses continuing to host virtual or hybrid job fairs and recruiting events, consider utilizing an event planning software to easily plan on-site, virtual, or hybrid university recruiting events.


4. Stay concise, but engaging
 

Today the average person has an average attention span of eight seconds — that’s shorter than a goldfish! As digital natives, Gen Z’s media consumption has been directly influenced by their early, constant access to technology. Commercials, social media, news outlets — this new generation has watched brands and media fight non-stop for their attention, and it’s made them easily bored. It also raises the possibility of your efforts being lost in the noise.
 

When advertising to Gen Z, whether you’re making banners for career fairs or writing a post for LinkedIn, make sure to keep it concise. Communicate your message in a maximum of five words and include a big picture. You might also want to try using modern lingo to boost relatability. Want to convey that your company culture stands out from the rest? Let them know it hits different. What to add emphasis to a point? Drop a periodt at the end of the sentence. 
 

Just make sure you’re not being cheugy, or trying too hard to be trendy. Remember: Gen Z can smell inauthenticity and “try-hard” behavior from a mile away. Try following popular accounts on social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest trends and lingo. 
 

It’s also important to note that their attention span doesn’t just stop at advertisements. Try to set up instantaneous registration and apply processes and to avoid losing potential candidate’s interest halfway through the process. 
 

Phenomenal Tip: Don’t make registration or application processes complicated —  keep the details down to name, phone number, email address, and resume. 


5. Make it meaningful
 

When it comes to Gen Z, purpose is everything. They want to know that the work they’ll be doing is meaningful, and that the company they work for is woke (adj., alert to injustice in society).
 

According to a survey by Deloitte Global, Gen Z is nearly 15% more likely to make career decisions based on personal ethics than Millennials. This includes the type of work they are prepared to do and the organizations they’d work for.
 

When trying to appeal to Gen Z, make sure to let them know how your company will benefit them both inside and outside of the workplace. What company values do you expect your employees to align themselves with? What strategies does your company employ to support mental health? What kind of diversity and inclusion events does your company provide? These are the kind of questions Gen Z wants answers to.
 

You might consider highlighting what your company and employees do to help their community. If you make a charitable donation, let your Gen Z audience know by posting about it. If you host an annual fundraising event, make sure your recruiters organically bring it up. Gen Z wants to take pride in working for you, so give them a reason to!
 

6. Maintain quick communication
 

So now that you’ve convinced them to apply, what do you do next? 
 

Like with everything else, Gen Z has modern expectations for the hiring process. The new generation is more likely than Millennials to become frustrated when recruiters can’t quickly or efficiently schedule interviews. Low volume communication signals a lack of respect to Gen Z, making them more wary of accepting your company’s offer. 
 

Since 23% of Gen Z expects texting to be an essential part of the workforce, it might be beneficial to employ SMS campaigns throughout the hiring process. This makes it easy for your recruiters to personalize communication with multiple students simultaneously, allowing you to keep in contact with Gen Z candidates, while they get the respect and attention they need.
 

Phenomenal Tip: Leverage SMS messaging to send 1-1 messages and large-scale campaigns. 


So what’s next?


With entry-level Gen Z candidates being of such high value in a tight labor market, make sure you have a plan for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent that involves modern and efficient technology, transparent communication, and engaging authenticity — periodt (See what I did there?).
 

Interested in a talent experience platform that will transform your Gen Z recruiting? Request a demo to see it in action!
 

If you’re a current customer and you’re interested in tips and tricks for Gen Z recruiting and are interested in getting certified, contact your Customer Success Manager today!