Understanding Generational Differences When Recruiting Gen-Z


The workplace is continuously changing. For the first time in what seems like forever, companies are finally feeling comfortable enough to start hiring once more. We aren’t talking about temporary positions either. Compared to previous recessions and recoveries, companies are finding that as business restrictions begin to ease up, they can bounce back faster than previous years. However, note that those looking for work are no longer just Gen-X and millennials. Gen-Z is starting to enter the workforce, and recruiting Gen-Z personnel will differ from past generations.

Generational Differences In The Workplace

There are as many as five generations currently employed today. Though the traditionalists/veterans generation, those born between 1925 and 1945, are retiring or have been for some time.

So, who does that leave currently in the marketplace for work?

Baby Boomers: 1946 To 1964

These individuals are between the ages of 57 and 75, so many are still going strong while some have retired. Boomers are known as very work-centric individuals who are extremely independent and goal-oriented.

Generation X: 1965 To 1980

Gen-X individuals make up a good portion of today’s workforce, as these individuals fall into the age range of 41 to 56.

While they are very similar to baby boomers in many ways, one thing that sets them apart is they are more hesitant to put forth the work without knowing what they will get in return. They are highly independent, but they are skeptical about working too hard without being compensated fairly.

Millennials: 1981 To 1996

Arguably the largest portion of the current workforce comprises millennials, ranging between 25 and 40 years old.

Millennials were raised with the introduction of technology, and that factors heavily into their workplace preferences. They also have a consumer-centric mindset because they want to treat others how they expect to be treated.

This generation prioritizes responsibility, expects a brand to grow as a society/the industry changes, and prioritizes having a proper work/life balance.

There is some confusion about the end of the millennials vs. the beginning of Gen-Z. Many experts like Pew Research believe that the millennial generation ended in 1996, but some articles will argue that they ended in 2000. Either way, most of this generation are well into their careers at this time.

Gen-Z: 1997 To 2012

Generation Zs, currently aged between 9 and 24 years of age, are just starting to dip their toes into the job market.

What sets these workers apart from the rest is they grew up entirely surrounded by technology and anything but is considered archaic. That can be extremely promising for employers because you need to stay on top of the many changes technology brings. These individuals can recognize and make those changes in the blink of an eye.

However, Gen-Z may rely too heavily on technology, and instead of working with one another, they would prefer to work alone.

Generation Alpha: 2013- (Or In Some Cases 2010-)

You might be wondering about the end of Generation Z. Some organizations have begun calling this generation, Generation Alpha. Generation Alpha is pretty young at this point. None of them have entered the workforce in any recognizable way. It’s hard to pull data on this generation and their workforce habits because of their age.

Gen-Z Recruiting: What You Need To Know

Millennials and Gen-Z recruiting is an absolute must for HR teams moving forward since they will soon make up most of the workforce. In fact, research shows that Gen-Z may overtake millennials in the workplace quicker than we think, as approximately one-third of the global population is Gen-Z.

With the first set of Gen-Z workers making their way into the job market, HR teams need to take a moment to understand what makes these individuals tick and how they may benefit your company.

Gen-Zers Care Greatly About Inclusion And Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is an absolute must for recruiting Gen-Z workers to join your team. The same can be said of inclusion. However, diversity and inclusion don’t mean simply having a diverse group of workers ranging in age, race, and abilities. It also needs to include an opportunity for sharing differing thoughts, values, and opinions.

Gen-Zers are known to be extremely opinionated. However, those opinions are geared around improving the environments around them, whether it is the community, products available, or communication. That also means that the concept of collaboration is a must for them to make the changes needed in their environment.

Communicate Your Values Publically To Earn Gen-Z Trust

Not only do they expect to work in an inclusive and diverse workplace, but they expect company values to reflect these important ideas as well. They expect that the products, services, or solutions they promote will prove to the greater community that diversity and inclusion are essential to the brand. This can be done in various ways. However, one method this generation will prioritize is the personalization of communication.

Your company can also show this through open communication between the brand and its audience via social media. Another great example is email newsletters that promote brand transparency to contacts on your mailing list. You can further personalize these messages to touch on specific topics, updates, and so on, depending on your readers’ preferences.

Gen-Z cares about authenticity, so be sure that you stand behind the values you share on your website and social media profiles.


Use Of Technology Is Of Utmost Importance

Finally, when recruiting Gen-Zers, you want to ensure that you prioritize the use of technology. Gen-Zers know nothing but continuous technological advancements, which is why they’re nicknamed the “throwaway” generation, thanks to their hunt for the latest and greatest. This tendency, however, could prove useful in your company.

They cannot only identify new changes and emerging trends, but they are also capable of quickly adapting to new technology. This can help your brand stay on top of industry changes and allow you to make advancements ahead of your competitors.

Gen-Z Recruiting Best Practices

With these factors in mind, it’s time to start considering your plan for recruiting Gen-Z workers as they begin to find their way into the workforce.

If your team is struggling with the best way to approach Gen-Z recruitment, then you’ll want to consider these best practices:

  • Prioritize the use of technology. This can be done through remote work, allowing IM/email messages over phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Gen-Zers prefer these methods of communication because it allows them to keep working with little to no distractions. You also want to be open to introducing new technology and workplace trends, such as workflow automation. Gen-Zers believe the introduction of this technology to improve their day-to-day activities will benefit both themselves and the company.
  • Communicate your values from the get-go. This will help you stand out from the crowd and show these new potential employees that you have enviable values.
  • Pay attention to personalization. Whether in your direct communication efforts or simply in the content you publish, make sure you are taking the time to personalize your messaging. No, this doesn’t mean simply tacking on their name. Personalization has come a long way and now includes honing your content to meet your specific audience’s needs and answering their questions – not simply putting content out to stay relevant on the market.

Gen-Z Recruiting Should Begin Now

Understanding Gen-Z is vital to any HR team because they will make up most of the workforce before we know it. Sure, while the members of this generation seem to be independent, their goal is to better the environment around them and improve the customer experience.

This is vital to any brand, especially now, with more people than ever looking for answers and solutions to their pain points. Recruiting and onboarding members of Gen-Z can help ensure that customer needs are met. They’ll do this by tending to customers’ needs and introducing new technology to the workplace. Gen-Zers understand that what goes on behind the scenes will impact the larger community.

With the workforce continuing to focus heavily on remote work, it’s essential to formulate a remote onboarding plan. Get started today by referring to our remote onboarding best practices today!