How to Recruit Top Gen Z Candidates

BY Kathy Crosett
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Have you fallen into the trap of believing that millennials and Gen Z job seekers are similar? That assumption would be a mistake when it’s time to recruit top Gen Z candidates. Each of these generations possesses unique attitudes and behaviors. When hiring, you need to understand how to appeal to Gen Z candidates.

Top Gen Z Mindsets

Gen Zers want to achieve specific goals. Their predecessors, the millennials, were labeled as being entitled. With respect to their jobs, they expected to score key positions and high salaries without necessarily paying their dues. Gen Zers have no illusions about the marketplace. Overall, 67% of Gen Zers worry about not having enough money. And 64% say having a good job or getting a better one is a top priority.

Stressed Strivers”

In their recently published Generation Z Segmentation Study, EY analysts say 35% of Gen Zers are ‘Stressed Strivers.’ They’re willing to work hard to get where they want to be. They focus on the future and are anxious about their success.

In life, these folks have the following perspective:

  • Want to be independent 82%
  • Say they are dependable 70%
  • Want to earn what they get 70%
  • They will speak up and disagree when necessary 50%

They’re also willing to try hard at work. Almost half, 48%, will compete to be the best at what they do. And 44% want to have a job that gives them street cred. These Gen Zers may be exactly who you want to have on your team.

Recruit Top Gen Z Candidates by Doing This One Thing

Be honest. More than any generation that has come before them, Gen Zers want transparency. Sadly, EY analysts report that “67% of Gen Z say that people cannot be trusted." Over 90% of the “Stressed Strivers” believe they are authentic, and they want that same sentiment from their co-​workers and their employers. Nearly half, 46%, worry that they’ll be treated poorly because they identify as a cultural, racial, or other type of minority. 

Your job, as a hiring manager, is to show candidates the truth — about yourself and your organization. If you know your company falls short in specific areas, talk about opportunities you are giving employees in terms of correcting known problems. In addition, many Gen Zers are worried about the cost of higher education. If your company doesn’t have a tuition remission program, research the possibility of starting one. The next generation of workers is eager to put in their time and make a difference in the world. To successfully recruit top Gen Z candidates, all you have to do is meet them halfway.