The New Class of Talent: Recruiting Generation Z

July 27, 2022 by Verified First

The New Class of Talent: Recruiting Generation Z

Boomers, millennials, and Generation Z – there’s more that separates them than just age. For the new generation of professionals, Gen Z has different expectations on what it means to be a professional. After graduating during a pandemic and entering into a candidate-focused workforce, their viewpoint on being a part of corporate America is much different than those of other generations.

For HR and TA professionals looking to appeal to this subject, it’ll take a new way of recruiting to win over Gen Z. We’re breaking down this new generation of talent and the ways you can cater your hiring strategy to not only attract Gen Z workers but retain them for a long career with your organization.

Who is this new class of talent?

People categorized as Gen Z were born between 1997 and 2012. The oldest of the bunch graduated between 2020 and 2022 amidst online classes and Zoom graduations, making them the first class of workers with a predominantly remote experience. 

Entering the workforce during a pandemic prohibited many from joining the workforce post-grad. According to iCIMS’ Class of COVID-19 report, companies looking for full-time entry-level workers declined by 33% in 2020. This meant that many Gen Z-ers were at a disadvantage in finding organizations where they could put down roots. 

However, the tables turned in 2022 when 54% of HR and TA professionals reported that their need for entry-level workers skyrocketed in the last year. Gen Z professionals are now in high demand, and they’re playing the field to find the right fit. 

What does Gen Z want?

Many Gen Z-ers finished their undergraduate degree in a flexible work environment, and that experience led to an expectation in what they’re looking for in full-time work. Like many workers from older generations, the pandemic gave this class of professionals time to reflect on their career goals and the next steps they’re looking to take in their development. 

While pinning down a list of what all Gen Z-ers want in a profession is nearly impossible, there are common aspects that the majority of these new workers seek out. SHRM created a list of qualities that attracts Gen Z to organizations. Let’s look at some highlights.

  1. Remote Flexibility - Here’s where Gen Z’s experience with remote work comes into play. Since many have past experience with online tools, they’re equipped to do most jobs from home and collaborate on projects without needing to meet face to face.
  2. Diversity - Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history. Nearly half of the individuals in this group are racial or ethnic minorities. They want to see companies taking action to further DE&I initiatives in their organizations.
  3. Work/Life Balance - With mental health topics bringing the importance of work/life balance to the corporate conversation, Gen Z is protective of maintaining a balance between work and their personal lives. 
  4. Transparency - While Gen Z-ers are young, they’re far from naive. Job seekers in this generation look for management that will be open and honest about expectations and company culture. 

How can you win Gen Z talent?

Recruiting today looks very different than it did two years ago. This new class of workers know what they want and are looking to join companies that hold their values. With 11.3 million open positions in the US, the playing field is more competitive now more than ever. 

You don’t have to be a corporate giant to win over Gen Z professionals. In fact, small or medium size companies could have the upper hand in appealing to candidates. The secret to attracting Gen Z talent is no secret at all. It’s all about listening to their wants and creating an environment that fosters these desires. 

Here are some ways any company can attract the new class of workers.

  • Offer Hybrid Work - While not all jobs can be remote, many corporate positions have the potential to be flexible. Create a schedule that allows employees to have versatile work opportunities that accommodates their personal schedules.
  • Revamp Your Lingo - When creating job postings, stay away from negative, cliché phrases like “wear many hats” or “work hard, play hard.” These phrases are typically associated with organizations asking candidates to take on more responsibility than they’re willing to pay for.
  • Create Growth Opportunities - The majority of Gen Z wants to join companies that will invest in them as much as they invest in their work. Creating mentor groups or providing learning opportunities can help talent grow with your company.
  • Take Them Seriously - Hiring for entry-level positions doesn’t mean that the professional taking on the responsibility isn’t an asset to your team. Gen Z-ers are hungry to develop their career, and companies that offer them those opportunities will foster employees that stick with organizations for the long run. 

In Conclusion

Recruiting Gen Z is about understanding their needs and fostering their growth. In today’s talent market that favors job seekers, revamping your hiring strategy to cater to the candidate’s needs will make you stand out amongst the competition. For more information on how to attract and retain Gen Z professionals, check out the iCIMS Class of COVID-19 report!

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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