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Q&A: How to Best Recruit Gen Z Candidates

Millennials already make up a large portion of the workforce, and while organizations have been adjusting, Generation Z has entered the scene. We recently spoke with Terri Herrmann, Vice President of Marketing at Montage, to discuss how recruiters should approach Gen Z.

gen Z

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Recruiting Daily Advisor: How seriously should recruiters take Gen Z candidates at this stage?

Terri Herrmann: With 61 million Gen Z employees entering the workforce, organizations and talent acquisition (TA) teams need to take Gen Zs seriously, as they have some unique job search preferences that should be top of mind for employers looking to recruit quality young talent.

Recruiting Daily Advisor: I know stereotyping generations is always tricky business, but what would you say is the number one thing that Gen Z is looking for in the recruiting process?

Herrmann: Gen Zs are 100% digitally native, meaning they are the first jobseekers to be born during the age of smartphones, self-service online tools, and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. As a result, because so much of their world is instant, digital, and seamless, they expect the same experience when it comes to the job search and hiring processes.

Recruiting Daily Advisor: How does recruiting Gen Zs differ from recruiting Millennials?

Herrmann: While there are plenty of similarities between Gen Zs and Millennials, one difference is that Gen Zs were raised during the Great Recession, so many grew up watching family members lose jobs. With this in mind, recruiters should emphasize security and growth opportunity in their job openings. Additionally, according to a recent study, the top two most important factors for Gen Zs are “supportive leadership” and “positive relationships at work.” Recruiters can focus on these by emphasizing their company’s culture and how they foster productive and healthy employee-manager relationships.

Lastly, Gen Zs’ job search differs from Millennials’, who have traditionally relied on employment websites and job boards like Monster and Indeed. According to State of Gen Z research, Gen Zs’ top platforms to use to learn about companies, ranked in order, include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and then Glassdoor.

Recruiting Daily Advisor: How important is making your recruiting process mobile-friendly?

Herrmann: Having mobile-friendly recruiting is crucial for companies seeking Gen Z talent. Gen Zs want their interviewing experience to be fast and easy. According to two different research studies, only 55% of companies offer mobile apply, while 52% of candidates search for jobs on their phones. Giving candidates the flexibility to schedule interviews and reply to basic questions on their phones helps meet these needs.

Additionally, implementing mobile-friendly technology into recruiting processes can save TA teams and recruiters countless hours on mundane tasks. Implementing a self-scheduling tool that candidates can use on their phones gives recruiters a significant amount of time to focus on building genuine relationships with candidates rather than spending 3–4 hours a day scheduling interviews.

Companies have also found that giving mobile interviewing options garners greater response rates. Because candidates can complete parts of the interviewing process on their phones, they have the flexibility to do it on their own schedule, thus giving companies the ability to reach a wider audience and allowing them to secure the best talent.

Recruiting Daily Advisor: How do organizations with outdated recruiting practices make the jump to being mobile-friendly?

Herrmann: Organizations and TA teams that are looking to make the shift to being mobile-friendly should first analyze their recruiting processes to understand which parts would benefit from mobile recruiting technology. For example, if recruiters are spending countless hours scheduling interviews, adopting self-scheduling tools might be their best bet.

Additionally, companies looking to mass hire for seasonal positions might look to text interviewing to communicate basic requirements of the position and determine whether candidates can meet those needs—for example, working late hours or completing heavy lifting. Once TA teams understand where implementing a mobile solution would be most beneficial, they should choose a reliable HR technology partner that can cater to their specific needs.