The oldest members of Generation Z are now in their early 20s and entering the workforce. They have a style all their own, and pose a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the companies who will be hiring them. Here’s what you need to know to recruit Gen Z candidates.

What’s the Gen Z Personality Profile?

While every individual is different, research shows that Gen Z:

  • Believe in their individuality and subjective experience of themselves. They don’t believe in locking themselves into rigid definitions, and they believe that everyone’s individual experiences and truth should be honored. 
  • Believe in radical inclusion. As they move fluidly through app to app, platform to platform, real and virtual lives, they build radically inclusive communities regardless of identity or location. They believe that communities are defined by what they share in common (rather than by age, social class, location, or other factors), and have no problem moving in different groups.  
  • Believe in the importance of dialogue. Gen Z are excellent listeners, and expect others to do the same. They listen for values and experiences that can be shared, extracting the benefit from various dialogues rather than rejecting beliefs and systems. 

As consumers, Gen Z believes that access is more important than private ownership, self-expression is more important than conformity or social signifiers, and that all decisions should be based on their ethics. 

In other words, this is a generation that is on a journey toward self-actualization, and has little patience for obstacles on that path. 

Generation Z as Job Candidates

Informed by the many crises they have weathered in their lives, young people are fairly skeptical about their chances of finding meaningful work, earning enough money to enjoy their lives, and even doubt their own abilities and qualifications for work. During the candidate process, here are some things companies should be aware of when recruiting Gen Z:

  • Use technology effectively. Gen Z are digital natives, and expect that tech processes will be streamlined, efficient, and painless. If your online recruitment system still requires candidates to upload their CV and then fill out all the exact same information into a form, or requires other slow, repetitive processes, Gen Z is likely to get impatient and abandon the process, or complete the process but have a poor perception of the company. 
  • Make personal contact. Despite the fact that they use phones as readily as breathing, Gen Z prefers face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) interactions. They want to feel seen and recognized as individuals, and will be turned off by overly formulaic automated responses and processes. 
  • Keep it flexible. In their quest for self-actualization, Gen Z value work/life balance and the opportunity to do things their own way. They will be reluctant to join a workplace with a highly structured organization, a dress code, or an emphasis on conformity. 

Generation Z as Employees

With their ease at communication, digital competencies, loyalty, and eagerness to build community, Gen Z can be fantastic employees and teammates. Here are some things that will help them be successful in the workplace:

  • Give frequent feedback. Gen Z suffer from anxiety about their abilities, so require a lot of connection, coaching, and feedback from supervisors. 
  • Elicit feedback. Frequent employee surveys, QA sessions, and one-on-one conversations create the opportunity for their voices to be heard, and improve their satisfaction in the workplace. 
  • Make it meaningful. Gen Z is motivated by a sense of meaning and ethics rather than by money or status. Connecting their daily work with real people and real results helps to keep them engaged. 

Generation Z is nearly 30% of the world’s population, and the global workforce is shifting to adapt to their unique needs and personalities. At Grapefrute, our expert recruiting team can help you find the best and brightest young people and build successful teams. Contact us for more information on how to recruit top talent today.