If you’re a hiring manager, you know that hiring can be difficult. It’s not just about finding someone who meets the qualifications and can do the job—it’s about finding someone who will fit into your culture and your team.
Your hiring strategy must account for the personalities and expectations of different generations. And if you’re hiring Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010), it’s even more important to get it right. Gen Z is known for being incredibly independent, self-starters who have been raised in an always-on world where they can learn anything from anywhere at any time if they want to; they expect to be treated like adults from day one, and they want to be involved in the decisions that affect them.
As more baby boomers retire yearly, Gen Z is the newest generation to join the workforce. While Gen Z holds plenty of promise, you will need to adjust your hiring strategy to account for these younger applicants. Here are five tips when considering hiring Gen Z employees:
Get Up-to-Speed with Tech
A good starting point for hiring Gen Z is getting your business up to speed with the latest technologies. Like millennials, Gen Z grew up with constant access to the internet and mobile phones. To get them interested in your business, you should ensure that your organization has important tech like Salesforce or HubSpot relationship management (CRM) software.
Gen Z also prefers email over any other type of business communication. Especially in communication-heavy roles like sales, Gen Z would much rather schedule a meeting via email than cold call prospective customers. Other communication channels like Slack are also held in high regard by Gen Z.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies are important to Gen Z when they are deciding where to work. While older generations rarely discussed such things, a study by Monster shows that DEI initiatives are important to over 80% of Gen Z job searchers. DEI practices ensure that people of different races, sexes, religions, and colors are treated equally at work.
To attract Gen Z candidates, you should do more than just implement DEI policies. You should also make it known that your company’s values align with those of Gen Z. A good idea is to promote DEI values on your website and social media channels. You can also explain DEI policies early on in the interview and screening phase.
Employee Referral Program
As seen with older generations, candidates in Gen Z put a high value on personal recommendations during job searches. In fact, as the HR and recruiting company Yello explains, “over 60% of Gen Z students say referrals from current or former employees are their favorite way of learning about potential employers.” As such, letting candidates speak to current employees during interviews is a great idea for building trust.
Another way to attract Gen Z talent to your business is by developing an employee referral program. No matter what generation you are a part of, the recommendation of a trusted friend or business associate goes a long way. You can think of a referral program as a type of grassroots marketing effort for your talent pool.
Improve Employee Retention
Perhaps more than any other generation, employee retention is a real issue with Gen Z. Since many of these candidates joined the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them adopted some bad habits along the way. In fact, as Yello explains, typically “Gen Z plans to move on from their current employer in three years or less.”
While employee retention is important for everyone, you might have to get more serious with such initiatives when hiring Gen Z employees. Aside from attractive salaries and benefits packages, you should show appreciation for Gen Z employees with awards and social gatherings. Ideally, this will help slow job hopping with this younger generation.
Practice Digital Marketing
Since Gen Z is used to finding everything online, it’s important that your business has a strong digital marketing presence. Besides having a pro website, you should practice digital advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) so Gen Z can locate your company on the web. Once they find your website, candidates can learn more about your business in ways they are comfortable with.
Another important thing to consider with digital marketing is that Gen Z relies almost exclusively on the internet for job searching. While classified ads worked great for Gen X and baby boomers, Gen Z prefers company websites, job boards, and social media pages. When you post a new job, be sure that it is visible on relevant avenues like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor.
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products such as employee of the month plaques, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.