61 million Generation Z candidates have started entering the workforce and they're seriously shaking things up.
If you’re not entirely sure who Gen Z are, they’re the generational group that follow Millennials, born between the mid-90s and 2000s and currently represent your youngest candidates up to the age of 24.
As the first generation raised with the internet at their fingertips, Gen Z are starkly different to their Gen X and Y siblings (otherwise known as Millennials). They have different priorities, desires and challenges to the workforce we know now, and we’re going to have to do a lot of adapting to keep up with them.
So, how exactly are Gen Z disrupting the recruitment industry?
1. They’re raising the bar on tech
Gen Z have been surrounded by tech their entire lives (to make you feel really old, they were just in primary school when the first iPhone came out!). They’ve never known a world without sophisticated tech, so they’re extremely confident using it and expect you to be too.
They use a much wider variety of social platforms than Millennials because there’s simply so much choice these days. So, if you’re relying solely on LinkedIn for your social recruiting, you’ll be missing out on all the Gen Z candidates hanging out on the likes of Instagram and Snapchat - and you’ll lose out to your Gen Z competitors who know how to recruit on these sites.
Gen Zers have so many different options when it comes to keeping in touch, so they expect regular updates and quick feedback throughout the hiring process – but on their terms, not yours. Which take me to my next point…
2. They hate using the phone
How many phone calls do you make in a single day? 30? 50? As hard as it might be to believe, most Gen Zers won’t make that many calls in an entire year!
This smartphone-obsessed generation aren’t using their phones for calling – they let their thumbs do the talking, chatting away all day on WhatsApp and messaging on social media channels. They’ve never known a world without smartphones, so talking on the phone doesn’t come naturally to them, and this is something the recruitment industry really needs to catch up with.
Similarly, Gen Z recruiters starting out the industry won’t understand why you’re targeted on calls and will prefer a more creative, multichannel approach to their outreach strategies. And this isn’t something that should be discouraged! There’s a lot we can learn from Gen Z about how the communication landscape is changing and it’s important we listen.
3. They’re getting rid of the bulls**t
Do you remember a time before you could quickly Google the answer to…well, anything? Gen Zers don’t! Thanks to smartphones, they’ve always had the answers at their fingertips.
This has bred a whole generation of researchers who (unfortunately for us!) are very resistant to being sold to. So, put aside your sales pitch for that ‘amazing’ job and present an honest, transparent, fact-based picture of your roles. That way, Gen Z candidates will trust what you have to say and believe you’re a recruiter worth knowing (RWK).
How you actually speak to Gen Z candidates will also have to change, as they’ve grown up in a world filled with spam, click bate and fake news that they know to be sceptical of.
They expect every interaction they have with recruiters to be both personal and relevant, so spamming Gen Zers with generic messages about new job opportunities just won’t work. With this in mind, keeping your CRM up to date isn’t a choice anymore - you need your recruitment software to match the right candidates to the right opportunities so your outreach is always on point.
4. They’re creating a casual culture
Remember when every successful business person we knew of dressed like Wolf of Wall Street? Well, this look isn’t synonymous with making big bucks to Gen Z, who see this as something just for movies made before they were born.
Instead, this generation has grown up watching Silicon Valley billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg get rich without looking rich – their idea of a power suit can be as simple as jeans and a t-shirt.
Even before Gen Zers started entering the market, workplaces were moving away from business dress, as forward-thinking companies took note of big tech’s dress-down policy and followed suit (or ‘no-suit’, to be precise!).
So, before you remind your Gen Z candidates to turn up to interviews ‘smartly suited and booted,’ be sure to check the dress code first. It can be just as embarrassing turning up to an interview overdressed as underdressed!
Gen Z aren’t just ditching formal wear, they’re also ditching formal language. Their generation is far more comfortable writing a quick informal text than a long overly-polite email. So, scrap the ‘I hope you are well’s' and get to the point in a friendly and engaging way – your candidates will thank you for it.
If you want know where to find more Gen Z candidates and how to engage them, our candidate persona toolkit has everything you need to get started:
Sophie is a Content Marketer here at Firefish! After working as a 360 Recruiter she found her perfect niche here at Firefish writing about recruitment.