What Gen Z Expects from the Candidate Experience

TSP • @myTSPnet


Generation Z (those born between 1995-2015) is entering the workforce and creating disruption in the job market. Engaging Gen Z is different than previous generations due to their unique traits and perspectives. Make sure your business is taking the time to understand and take active steps to recruit Gen Z, which now makes up more than 32% of the global population.

Learn more about Gen Z’s unique traits and expectations from the candidate experience below.

People often use the word “millennial” to describe the younger, digitally-savvy generation, but Gen Z and millennials are two distinct groups. Millennials are the generation born between 1980-1995, meaning in 2020 most millennials will be in the 25-40 age range. For comparison, Gen Z will be between 5-24 in age in 2020.

Gen Z and millennials are similar in some ways, but they differ in more ways than they’re related. Specifically, Gen Z is different in the ways they shop, interact with brands and view money. While Gen Z and millennials both seek authenticity, Gen Z takes authenticity to a whole new level. This generation demands transparency and value-driven companies. Studies show that Gen Z is more moved by attainable and not overly-polished imagery. With this in mind, make sure you have a clear brand vision and represent your brand accurately. If you cut corners to appear more favorable, Gen Z will notice.

Generally speaking, Gen Z is more pragmatic while millennials are more idealistic. Millennials are a more optimistic generation who are criticized for being catered to by their parents. Gen Z grew up during the recession, while millennials grew up during an economic boom. As a result, economic turmoil and pressure shaped Gen Z, making them more attracted to smart investments and long-term value. Gen Z is more focused on saving their earnings than millennials were at their age. Keep this in mind when discussing benefits with Gen Z candidates.

Gen Z seeks connection and communication during the candidate experience. Surveys show that 74% of Gen Z prefer face-to-face communication over email or other methods of digital communication. When hiring, if you’re unable to interview Gen Z candidates in person, set up video interviews so that those in Gen Z get the face-to-face interactions they desire.

Because of their desire for connection, Gen Z candidates are deterred from applications that seem automated. When possible, connect Gen Z candidates to a person, which will in turn make them feel more comfortable. Stay away from monotonous forms and pre-recorded video responses.

Gen Z is much more diverse than other generations. This generation seeks positive work environments, with 77% citing company diversity as a deciding factor in job decisions. Your workforce should reflect the increasing diversity throughout the United States, specifically recruiting and hiring minority talent. Not only will this make your organization more favorable to Gen Z, but studies show that diverse teams work better together. Combining a number of outlooks and backgrounds on a team makes for more fruitful discussions, ideas and deeper interactions.

Make sure your marketing materials, website and language are inclusive. Ensure that various ethnicities, genders and ages are represented. If you’re unwilling to take a step back and learn, consult the experts and think inclusively about your organization, the long-term effects could be costly.

Gen Z expects applications to be quick and painless. Studies show that 60% of Gen Z spend 15 minutes or less completing applications. Remember that the online application simply serves to provide you with contact information. Make sure your IT team takes the proper steps to make applications and communication mobile-friendly. Additionally, you should share opportunities where Gen Z lives — the internet. While Gen Z still looks at job sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, text and social media recruiting are on the rise.

Before recruiting Gen Z, you must understand what makes them unique. As children raised by Gen X, Gen Z is more entrepreneurial, competitive and financially independent than other generations. If you keep these tips in mind while taking the time to understand Gen Z’s upbringing and preferences, hiring and retaining Gen Z will become second nature.