Gen Z is coming. Is your recruitment process ready?

20 Apr 2023 by Chris Morrison

Generation Z (b. 1997–2012) will account for 27% of the Australian workforce by 2025*, just two short years away. Forward-thinking talent acquisition professionals are preparing for these truly digital-native candidates with recruitment processes that meet the changing needs of a new generation.

Here are some key points to consider when adapting your approach.

Gen Z is coming. Is your recruitment process ready?

Work-life integration on the rise

The oldest members of this generation were just 23 years old in 2020, so many had little career experience before the pandemic. Flexible working practices are very much a hallmark of this generation. In particular, work-life integration is on the rise, where lines are a little more blurred.

Different to work-life balance, where professional and personal lives co-existed in harmony but were entirely separate, work-life integration melds the two. It might be doing domestic chores while on a conference call, bringing the kids into the office, or working shorter daytime hours and completing tasks at night.

Top talent will likely be looking for employers to pay more than lip service to the concept, with policies and documentation or even staff stories highlighting how this is embedded in the culture.

Job search channels will change

Generation Z’s social media usage differs from generations before as well. While it’s likely that traditional platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will continue to play an important role, this generation is looking to platforms like TikTok in the job search too.

If you aren’t comfortable with these platforms in the talent acquisition space, the time to ramp up progress is now. These platforms can be a great place to build your employer brand too, sharing employee-driven content that puts a spotlight on your culture.

Best-in-breed technology is a must

Generation Z is the first generation to enter the workforce that doesn’t remember life before the internet. Connectivity, efficiency and speed aren't 'nice to haves' for this generation; they are a baseline expectation.

And the first experience candidates will have with your tech is the hiring process.

Hiring technologies have accelerated rapidly in the last few years, but ensuring they align with what you want to achieve is key. Referoo Director, Chris Hunter, recently shared some excellent points about talent metrics driving technology decisions.

Think fast, digital and fair

Instant results are expected amongst this ‘now’ generation, so unnecessary lag time won’t be in your favour. In technology terms, this means thinking about how you can build your rec tech spine with your CRM/ATS/TAS at the centre, leveraging integrations to create an efficient and single source of truth.

This generation is far more comfortable with digital interactions than their predecessors too. They are used to using a range of modalities and aren’t worried about learning new technologies or navigating potential security risks because they have confidence in their own knowledge.
This means recruiters can increasingly look to technology to replace manual admin processes, such as reference-checking, identity verification and secure background checks.

And, importantly, they’ll want to know your technology supports a fair playing field. Diversity, equity and inclusion are key to the values of this generation. So when it comes to your technology, it’s critical to make sure your investments improve the quality and equality of your hiring processes.

For example, reference-checking platforms like Referoo mean you’ll ask and evaluate the same questions for each candidate with documented evidence and far less ambiguity than manual references.

At the end of the day, every generation brings a new wish list when they enter the workforce, and the most successful organisations are the ones that are prepared to adapt – fast.

*Source: mccrindle