Are You Ready to Succeed at Recruiting Gen Z? Let’s Find Out
By Patrick McCue, Dice
Many recruiters are still trying valiantly to master the process of attracting Millennial tech professionals, who are notoriously difficult to hire and retain. Now, they face another concurrent challenge: learning how to engage Generation Z successfully.
Generation Z, loosely defined as those born from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, is already in the workforce. Members of this age demographic have a lot to offer employers and will be an interesting complement to the other four generations in the current workforce: Millennials, Generation X, baby boomers and the members of the Silent Generation who have yet to retire.
The recruiting twist with Gen Z is that many of the strategies companies use to court hard-to-attract Millennial talent are unlikely to have the same appeal to this new generation of professionals. And it’s essential to find out what they do want soon, as Gen Z is predicted to make up 24 percent of the global workforce by 2020. (Not to make you panic, but that’s less than two years away!)
Here’s a quick test to see how much you know about Gen Z and whether you’re ready to successfully recruit candidates from this post-Millennial cohort. Decide which statements in this seven-question quiz are true or false, and then we’ll take a closer look at some need-to-know facts about Gen Z.
How did you do? More than likely, there were at least a few revelations. Now, let’s drill down on a few key attributes of Gen Z, so you can be effective at engaging this next generation of tech talent.
Gen Z Is Extremely Mobile
Sure, every modern professional is mobile to some degree, right? But Gen Z is the generation that has the most familiarity with mobile technology. Few Gen Zers remember a time before smartphones — or when they didn’t have one of their own.
The message for recruiters: You’ll have more success engaging with Gen Z through mobile communication methods such as texting than you will with traditional phone calls or emails. Also, keep in mind that Gen Zers have shorter attention spans than generations before them, so keep your outreach brief.
Gen Z Demands a New Social Strategy
Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are the top social platforms for highly mobile Gen Zers, hands down. Twitter? You’ll likely encounter a small Gen Z population there. As for the other two big social stalwarts — Facebook and LinkedIn — they’re essentially Gen Z ghost towns.
The message for recruiters: Gen Z talent acquisition efforts in the online social sphere that are squarely focused on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter aren’t likely to yield much success. Shift to newer platforms so you can target these digital natives where they like to spend time and share information most. And be sure to use compelling outreach efforts that are brief and visual, like videos and pictures.
Gen Z Is Competitive
As you learned in our quiz, Gen Zers are more collaborative than Millennials. They want to be judged on their own merits and accomplishments. A recent Dice Hack Challenge really drove this point home for us. During this large-scale, multi-day event, we asked tech pros of all ages to hack our digital billboards for prizes and a little notoriety. But it was the Gen Zers who were especially drawn to this challenge.
The message for recruiters: Gen Z likes gamification — and instant gratification. So, they’re willing to move fast to solve problems and try new things to achieve their goals. Hosting hackathons or other fun events that are likely to attract and engage Gen Z can be an effective recruiting tactic. Just make sure your hiring process is efficient, or you risk turning off Gen Z prospects who will quickly grow impatient.
Gen Z Wants Job Security
In our quiz, you also learned that job security and money are top priorities for Gen Z. This generation grew up during the Great Recession, so they are, understandably, financially cautious. The upside for employers is that Gen Z professionals, unlike job-hopping Millennials, are likely to stay at a company for the long term — provided they have the stability they seek.
The message for recruiters: Compensation will be a hot topic in your interviews with Gen Z tech pros. Be prepared to outline salary, benefits, incentives and other perks right out of the gate, and know that Gen Z candidates are going to give the entire compensation package a critical eye. And to secure top talent from this new generation, be ready to bump up the pay scale.
A final point: While job security and money are certainly important to Gen Z professionals, they aren’t enough to assure their loyalty. Meaningful work, professional development opportunities and a diverse work environment are also essential. If an employer can offer all the above, they likely won’t have difficulty recruiting or retaining in-demand tech talent from any generation.
About Patrick McCue
Husband, father and avid Patriots fan, Patrick McCue is the Regional Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Dice. As a goal-driven Sales Leader, his mantra of “work hard, play hard” inspires a rock-solid team culture. McCue is a University of Rhode Island graduate with over 15 years of experience in the recruiting space, previously serving as a lead Account Executive for CareerBuilder and Monster Worldwide.