The Future is Gen Z: Key Recruitment Tactics for Tomorrow’s Workforce

Keeping the hiring funnel filled with candidates who are eager to learn, are adaptable, and have cutting-edge skills and knowledge is critical to success in 2024 and beyond.

With millions of graduates entering the workforce annually, organizations tap into this early career talent, a cohort with potential, promise, and cutting-edge skills. Armed with forward-thinking skills required to lead organizations through digital transformation, Gen Z talent will be key to success in modern businesses. 

By rigidly stipulating professional experience in job requirements, companies often overlook the opportunity to tap into the potential of early talent who bring with them fresh skills, perspectives, and knowledge. Read on to understand how recruiters can effectively attract, hire and engage Gen Z as they become a significant part of the workforce …

The Talent of Tomorrow

By 2025, Generation Z will make up a quarter of the global labor force, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z brings a unique set of attributes and perspectives that are reshaping workplace dynamics. They are digital natives, socially conscious, and value diversity and inclusion, making them a crucial demographic for organizations looking to innovate and stay competitive.

Gen Z employees are known for their adaptability, and desire for continuous learning. They seek meaningful work, prioritize work-life balance, and are driven by purpose rather than just a paycheck. These characteristics make them valuable assets to organizations aiming to foster a culture of innovation and agility.

Gen Zers have unique and distinct perspectives on careers, definitions of success, and workplace expectations, they demand a higher degree of flexibility, autonomy, and complete alignment in terms of their beliefs and career aspirations. In response to these Gen Z expectations, organizations need to implement a more proactive organizational environment aligning with the values that resonate with this generation. 

Attracting and Nurturing Early Career Talent

A forward-thinking early hiring, engagement-led recruitment model that focuses on candidate experience and highlights the employer brand is critical to attracting top Gen Z talent. 

When hiring Gen Z talent, recruiters often feel like they’re speaking a different language, struggling to connect with a generation that operates on a different wavelength. Traditional methods that worked well are falling flat. Organizations have adapted to this new cohort by:

  • Crafting personalized recruitment strategies that resonate with young professionals 
  • Spotlighting company values and social responsibility and focussing on growth and career aspirations.
  • Building a strong employer brand highlighting a culture that aligns with the needs and goals of Gen Z professionals.
  • Offering a positive & inclusive work environment that fosters a sense of purpose and belonging.
  • Providing flexible work structures, ensuring work-life balance equilibrium is maintained. 

The rapidly evolving landscape of Gen Z demands new strategies that align with their values and offer the flexibility and growth they crave. Here are some recruiting strategies to attract Gen Z talent in 2024 and beyond …

  1. Leveraging Social Media to Attract and Recruit Gen Z: Social media-driven strategies are crucial as Gen Z talent are most effectively engaged through platforms where they naturally spend their time. Companies are leveraging digital platforms to showcase their culture, advertise job opportunities, and put out content that aligns with Gen Z’s values and interests. Also using influencers to promote the employer brand will catch the attention of Gen Z candidates. 

Out of all active TikTok users, Gen Zers dominate the platform, accounting for 60% of the audience. 

Recruiters should innovate the recruitment processes by exploring new platforms like TikTok to highlight company culture, employee testimonials, and glimpses into daily operations.

Did You Know: Top social media channels used by Gen Z – #1 is TikTok followed by YouTube, and Instagram. The “always-on” generation, connect via screens 10+ hours every day to network, interact, to read news and information and to job search. 

2. Remote and Flexibility Matter:  Gen Z views work environments and work-life balance differently. They highly value remote and flexible work options, and gigs considering them legitimate alternatives to traditional office settings. Although salary is important, Gen Z is less motivated by money alone compared to other generations, so additional incentives are necessary to capture their attention. A popular byproduct of the gig economy is flexibility where employees can work- and get paid- when, where, and how they want.

With the continued rise of the gig economy, almost half (46%) of Gen Zs are pulling double duty and currently have either a full- or part-time job in addition to their main one, a Deloitte survey shows. 

It’s important for recruiters to highlight remote work, gigs and flexibility to show that the company understands and meets the Gen Z needs and preferences.

3. Skills and Potential Over Degrees: Qualification for an early careerist looks different than it did for previous generations, with many more Gen Z people opting instead for specific skills-based certifications or credentialing programs instead of traditional degree programs. Employers too are understanding that traditional education paths alone may not accurately reflect a candidate’s ability to thrive. Skills-based hiring emphasizes practical skills, opening doors to a wider pool of candidates. This approach better accommodates the diverse and often unconventional educational backgrounds characteristic of Gen Z.

Organizations that embed a skills-based approach are 63% more likely to achieve results than those that have not adopted skills-based practices.

Recruiters should use a skills-based approach to hire Gen Z and early talent to enhance agility, growth, innovation, and diversity, while providing a positive workforce experience.

4. Crafting a Future-Forward Workplace: Gen Z is arguably the most tech and AI-ready generation, actively adding skills to leverage AI advances and eager to learn more. Their combination of technical skills, ethical awareness, and creative thinking positions them at the forefront of AI advancements. This generation responds positively to modern and unconventional recruitment approaches and for organizations this means leveraging innovative recruitment methods to convey to Gen Z candidates that the company is forward-thinking, embraces technology, and values an engaging candidate experience. 

In 2024, AI adoption is predicted to spike, with 81% of surveyed companies planning to invest in AI-driven solutions to automate and enhance their recruiting processes.

Recruiters can leverage modern and unconventional recruitment approaches like gamified assessments for skill evaluation, virtual reality (VR) tours that provide candidates with a realistic insight into company culture and workspace, catering to Gen Z’s desire for authenticity and interactive job simulations to enhance the recruitment process by allowing candidates to experience the role firsthand, facilitating better assessment and fit. 

5 Innovative Techniques for Gen Z Hiring:

  1. Let job seekers know what you stand for: underscore company values like – point of view on work-life balance, DEI, learning and career growth, social impact, and environmental sustainability – in the commitments section of the organization’s LinkedIn page and highlight these in all recruitment efforts.
  2.  Make branding a social affair: give potential candidates a peek behind the scenes using social media mediums to showcase workplace culture.
  3. Use the power of Influencers: aligning with trusted and highly followed influencers may influence candidates to think positively of your brand. For example, for someone who values diversity, using influencers of dif
  4. Give the recruitment process an AI boost: Research shows that conversion rates increase by 365% when a job application takes five minutes or less to complete. Simplify the application process using AI and automation tools to keep Gen Z applicants engaged. 

Branding for Gen Z

Employer branding is crucial for attracting the Gen Z workforce. It’s about presenting an organization as a great place to work, resonating with the values and aspirations of this new generation. Gen Z candidates seek authenticity and transparency; they want to see beyond a company’s polished exterior. A strong employer brand can be the deciding factor for Gen Z candidates when choosing where to start or continue their careers. Here are some ways to stand out as a employer of choice:

By sharing genuine experiences and testimonials from current Gen Z employees, employers can offer real insights into the company culture and everyday work life.

  • Gen Z talent values what a company stands for. Highlighting the company’s involvement in community projects, commitment to employee well-being, and opportunities for career growth can significantly enhance appeal to Gen Z candidates. 
  • Employer branding goes beyond just offering a job; it’s about showing what it means to be part of the organization. It illustrates how an employee’s work and life can intertwine with the company’s mission and values, creating a narrative that Gen Z finds compelling. 
  • Creating a career page to reflect the employer brand with a behind-the-scenes look into the company’s culture through team testimonials, perks & benefits, pictures, and videos.
  • Recruiters should focus on building a strong culture while engaging with colleges and universities to recruit talent – building strong brand connections by conducting training programs, hackathons, ideathons, student innovation labs, innovative competitions, and lots more to reinvent student engagement and attract the best candidates.

Once the recruiter has the attention of the Gen Z talent, the goal is to convert them into a hire; so how to get from application to hire?

From the first moment of contact, recruiters need to share content and messaging that is relevant and meaningful in all channels where Gen Z candidates are looking. It’s important to drive conversions, showcasing the employer brand on multiple channels. Convey employee value proposition, mission, and give-back programs to buy into the current role and the long-haul retention game.

The “always-on” generation, connect via screens 10+ hours every day to network, interact, to read news and information and to job search – Use social recruitment campaigns to ensure the candidate remains engaged and eventually turns into a hire.

Recruiters don’t have to throw out your current recruitment playbook, just yet. Some strategies will still work, but now is a good time to add a new chapter that speaks to the unique interests of the workplace’s youngest generation and ensure that recruitment efforts grow and evolve with them. They will need to adjust their approach to consider non-traditional talent to leverage the full capability of Gen Z. Organizations will need to understand Gen Z values and operationalize their brand strategy to match them.

Copyright 2024 Diamondpick. All rights reserved.