Your HR team just finished getting Millennials hired, onboarded, trained, and comfortable in their roles. This entailed lots of preparation, a bit of process restructuring, and some adjustments along the way. And now, the first wave of Generation Z is about to graduate college, and it will be time to do it all over again.
While exact dates are debated, people born roughly between 1996 and 2010 fall into Gen Z. With a US population of approximately 60 million native-born Americans, almost one million more than the much researched and fraught-over Millennials, this generation is bound to make a splash. They make up roughly 20% of the population and they grew up in a time completely unique to any other generation. They were raised with an African-American as the President, experienced firsthand the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, and were the first wave of digital natives. This has shaped a generation with a very unique set of traits and characteristics.
Gen Z college graduates are now poised to the enter the workforce in as little as a few months, and it is time for your HR and recruiting teams to prepare once again. Consider these four tips for addressing this generation’s needs and qualities when it comes to the recruiting and hiring process.
- Tailor Your Job Postings
Start at the very top of the funnel with job postings. A defining characteristic of Gen Z is that they are always connected. Research shows that 84 percent of Gen Z use an Internet-enabled device while watching TV. Be sure to share your job postings across multiple platforms (Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat and Instagram) where they might catch it while they multitask. Furthermore, Gen Z consumes much of this information via their cell phones – ensure that your postings are optimized for mobile. And keep your messaging consistent across each platform since research indicates that Gen Z relies on different sources to inform themselves.
In addition, be sure to use your job postings to clarify your benefits offerings in order to attract Gen Z candidates. According to Future Workplace / Randstad, the three top employee benefits they desire include work flexibility, healthcare, and training. Emphasize what you offer as they relate to these benefits in order to draw a larger applicant pool.
- Screen for Candidates Who Understand Your Company, Mission, and the Job
When it comes to Gen Z, you should screen for candidates with retention at the forefront of your mind. This generation expects to work at four different jobs throughout their lives, which means that turnover could be high. Keeping these workers on board means starting with screening candidates properly. Hiring for retention among Gen Z involves identifying candidates that show an understanding of what your company does, who it serves, and what the role actually entails. How do you screen for this?
- Examine the cover letter. It should show an understanding of the bigger picture as it relates to your company and mission. This understanding is especially important considering 93 percent of Gen Z indicate that a company’s impact on society affects their decision to work there. The cover letter should show a clear understanding of what the company’s impact is. A candidate who gets what they think they are signing up for is far more likely to be a satisfied employee down the road.
- Clarify expectations during phone screenings. Ask about the candidate’s understanding of the role and how their goals align with this. You can weed out the applicants whose expectations don’t align with the day-to-day tasks.
- Extend An Offer Concisely and Quickly
Gen Z is used to having all of the information imaginable at their fingertips and have come to expect this. With that said, your offer should contain information about the position, salary, bonuses, stock, benefits and perks, and all the legal details. However, keep in mind that this generation’s average attention span is about eight seconds so you must keep your offer concise. Include all of the key details, but in a short, direct, and visual manner. This is how Gen Z is accustomed to taking information in (look no further than Snapchat’s 10 second time limit).
Lastly, deliver the offer in a timely manner. Gen Z moves quickly; if you don’t move fast, good candidates will already be gone by the time your offer letter hits their inbox.
- Keep Onboarding Short and Technology-Based
This is the generation of digital natives. Their learning style has almost always been technology-based. When possible, keep them comfortable and engaged by digitizing new hire forms and conducting trainings via online self-service portals.
And remember that eight-second attention span mentioned previously? Bear this in mind when onboarding Gen Z employees. The best scenario is to get them into their jobs as quickly as possible. Give them what they need to get started and then continue the onboarding process with bite-sized tips throughout their first few weeks. Distribute these tips not just through email, but also via Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat training videos.
While Gen Z might seem intimidating, addressing their unique qualities and needs in the recruiting process will get this eager generation into your company doors and onto your teams.