Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes Every Company Makes When Recruiting Generation Z Candidates

Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes Every Company Makes When Recruiting Generation Z Candidates

The time has come to look for some new employees, maybe some fresh-out-of-college kids who are eager to gain some on-the-job experience. 

This generation of workers, Gen Z, has a different set of expectations than workers you’ve hired in the past. They want different things and don’t necessarily view agreeing to take a job as making a lifelong commitment to a company. Instead, they use social media as a way to share their good news and an avenue for airing dirty laundry in every aspect of their lives. 

How do you, as a manager, address this new aspect of the workforce? How do you recruit these employees and help them fit in? What mistakes should you be wary of? 

Here are a few tips to help. 

1. Don’t neglect the digital world.

These new workers are the first generation to grow up online. They know how to navigate the internet and use social media better than anyone else. How does your website look? Do you have a social media presence, and do you use it effectively? How often do you update your profiles? When was the last time you posted to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.? (Do you know what they are and how they’re used?) Use these free social media channels to not only raise your profile but to tell a compelling story about your company. This will, in turn, help you find bright, energetic, and excited new workers. 

2. Don’t generalize; personalize.

This might seem a little counterintuitive, but Gen Z workers want to know you’ve put in the effort to get to know them as individuals and not just part of an anonymous statistical grouping. Do a little research before interviews and have a sense of who your candidates are — what matters to them, what they represent, their values, their history, etc. You’d expect a candidate to do their homework on your company; take a few minutes to review a candidate’s application to look up a few facts about them. Ask what they liked most about their university or how they went about getting an internship. Ask how they coped with COVID and how they feel they came out of it prepared for the working world. Reviewing a candidate’s resume and doing your own homework is a personal touch that says, very clearly, you’re interested in bringing in the person, not the resume. 

3. Don’t rely on “older” methods of communication alone.  

Younger workers are less likely to use their cell/smartphones for traditional voice calls. If you incorporate technology into the recruiting and interviewing process, you’ll meet candidates where they live. Try reaching out via text message. Do you have an app for recruitment? Build one and utilize it as a way to get to know your candidates as part of the screening process. Don’t limit your social media presence to such “legacy” platforms as Facebook and LinkedIn; establish a presence on Snapchat, TikTok, Clubhouse, and others to not only expand your reach but to host conversations and post relevant content. Be in the world, not just of it. 

4. Don’t just explain the details of the job; talk about why it matters.

Gen Z doesn’t just want to work a job to pay the bills. What does your company do to help the world around you? What kind of work-life balance does your company promote and embrace? If someone takes a job with your company, will they have an opportunity to give back? It’s not enough to just earn a paycheck anymore. Younger workers might be more interested in what their job can allow them to do in their communities, how it can help them grow as individuals and citizens, not just what they’ll be doing for 40 hours a week. What does your company do and offer, that sets it apart from competitors when it comes to making the world a better place? If an obvious answer doesn’t come to mind, it’s time to take a deeper look within. 

Generational shifts happen. They’ve happened forever. But this generation of workers has different priorities and values than those who came before, and they might be more skittish about signing up for a “traditional” role that doesn’t meet and reflect the world around them. 

Find Top Talent

If you’re looking for other tips on recruiting and hiring younger workers, contact LeadingEdge Personnel. We have a long list of highly qualified candidates eager to get to work with the skills you’re looking for, and we can help provide additional guidance on how to find the best and the brightest young candidates. So contact LeadingEdge today, and let’s get to work! 

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