Gen Z is estimated to make up between 34% to 40% of the global workforce by the end of 2020, making them one of the more important demographics for the workplace. This generation’s profile makes it a valuable asset to organizations. Their modern viewpoint, their affinity for technology, and creative input can be the catalyst for positive change.

However positive their efforts are, a workforce is only as efficient as its leader. A company that approaches hiring and retaining Gen Z talent properly, stands to gain all of the perks mentioned above and more.

The processes you set for their daily work, collaborative projects, and team interaction can yield either a productive and motivated workforce or a stressful and unhappy work environment. Here are some elements to consider when hiring Gen Z talent.

1- Understand that the interview goes both ways

This generation finds working for the right company, the right leader, and the right environment extremely important.

Just as the interviewer will be assessing and vetting the applicant, the Gen Z applicant will seem as though they’re doing the same thing, asking questions, touching on subjects beyond the scope of their role or related issues, and delving into the company’s operations a bit more than the traditional sense of an interview. They’ll have questions, so be prepared.

Beyond their own benefits, salary, and tasks, Gen Z applicants will almost always take advantage of the interview to ask relevant questions regarding the team, the company culture, marketing plans, as well as the vision and ethos of the company. The more engaging these elements are, the better chances your company will have to attract Gen Z talent.

2- Plan the training and growth strategy for your Gen Z workforce

There’s a lot to be done pre-recruitment, the first of which would be the creation of a valid set of plans catering to your workforce’s needs, and outlining their growth long term. This matters a lot to Gen Z talent, as they expect leaders who will take the time out of their day to mentor them, guide them and train them, as well as provide opportunities for solid career progression, a path to climbing the metaphorical corporate ladder.

This is a generation that thrives on working closely with others in order to achieve their goals, and they consider close contact with their managers and leaders the best way to approach training.

Though they find solace and comfort in that type of relationship with their superior officers, it has also proven to be a very effective method of training across multiple generations.

Gen Z talent will want to know that there is a growth plan crafted specifically for them and their role. This shows your employees that you care about them beyond the short term, beyond the simple transaction between employer and manpower, they want to feel relevant in a personal sense, and nothing says personal like dedicated guidance and training sessions with the company’s leader.

3- Provide room for creative input

Gen Z talent, above all else, want to feel essential and critical to the company’s operations. Their approach to their work is very outspoken, daring, and if nurtured, can be a source of creative input that the company can leverage. Generally, they come equipped with a unique set of digital skills and competencies that other generations may lack.

They have an affinity for technology and a unique understanding of digital tools, so much so, that they may be able to spot an advantage long before it makes itself known or trendy. Their insights can give you a competitive edge on the market. Remember, Gen Z has molded and been molded by the internet. Their opinions cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Gen Z talent thrives on the prospect of experimenting with their work, trying new methods and tactics, as well as braving new challenges, and meeting them head-on with creative solutions.

They love puzzles, and they can be engaging once their interest is truly captured. Instead of telling them what to do, it’s best to outline the desired outcome and the various methods that can lead there. On one hand, this teaches them to develop their problem-solving skills, and on the other, provides a suitable challenge that remains relevant to the company’s operations.

4- Leverage the right hiring channels

Gen Z have made the internet their home.

Whereas millennials such as myself grew up to the long dial-up tones and slow rendering images, Gen Z has had an advantageous relationship with the internet as we know it, what with it being a major factor in the majority of their lives. With that in mind, the digital world is the first place to start looking for these candidates.

To illustrate this point, around 54% of surveyed Gen Z individuals declared that they won’t apply for a job if they feel the recruitment process is dated, paper-based, or requires a long amount of time to finalize. This makes having a fully-digital and concise process a much better investment for companies than traditional methods.

Channels such as job boards and LinkedIn listings are very effective, but Gen Z has a passion for social media that surpasses any other generation. Leveraging channels like Facebook, Instagram, and the like can be a very effective and passive method to land top talent.

The point remains, however, that Gen Z is composed of recent and soon-to-be graduates. This means that while they may have a special skill set and perspective, they lack the tangible experience that companies value.

Because of this, it’s likely that your efforts to attract Gen Z talent would yield a large number of applicants who may not fit the bill. In order to keep your process concise and effective, it’s best to consider recruiting software solutions that automate or assist with your hiring strategy. Adopting an ATS capable of parsing resumes, creating holistic candidate profiles, and leveraging AI to match jobs with the best-fitting candidates can make all the difference.

The internet is where they dwell. Tailoring your approach to fit their preference guarantees exposure. Your offer itself and how your company brand is presented can yield interest and engagement.

Beyond that, your own values, training plans, and career growth opportunities are what seals the deal. Gen Z talent can be one of the more powerful tools in your company’s arsenal, and they’re worth every bit of effort you put into sourcing, hiring, and retaining them.

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