How recruiting Gen Z differs from hiring millennials

Last updated:
December 14, 2020
December 21, 2021
min read
Sim Samra
recruiting millennials
Table of contents

Did you finally get your head around hiring millennials? Now it's time to adapt your hiring efforts again as we make way for Generation Z. They are loosely defined as people born from 1998.

Although many Gen Z'ers have older siblings that are millennials, the generation gap between the two is significant. When you're looking at the differences in recruiting millennials versus Gen Z, it's easy to see how you may need to tweak your recruiting models for the future.

Gen Z are more expensive

While millennials tend to prioritize happiness in their jobs over a hefty paycheck, it is already looking like Generation Z expects higher pay. Remember, millennials grew up in the cushy 90s and were already young adults during the recession of the mid-noughties. Gen Z'ers were very young when the recession hit, and they watched their parent's stress and struggle when it came to money; they don't ever want to be caught in the same situation.

When you look at it from that perspective, it's easy to understand why a higher paycheck is more important to the younger generation. But what does that mean for you and your company? It's a good idea to start crunching numbers and looking at how you can adjust your pay scale to obtain and keep the talent that you're looking for.

Smartphones are to Gen Z what the internet was for millennials

The magic of the internet was no big deal by the time Gen Z was born; indeed, by the early 2000s, it was becoming more common every day for households to have internet service of some kind. Smartphones are the technology that Gen Z can claim as their own, forever changing the way that humans communicate and respond to one another even in professional situations.

This means everything from texting to checking email and using applications to help solve everyday problems; technology is just a natural part of this generation's reality.

If you're stuck in an aging mindset, it's time to start rolling with the changes. When you're looking to recruit a younger audience, you need to have the resources available to them that they're more likely to come into contact with.

What kind of hiring process do you use; that is, do you still have paper applications that people must physically fill out, or have you got a digital option set into place?

How do you feel about texting prospective employees? This might feel unprofessional and make you a little uneasy, but don't worry: When it comes to younger hires, texting is entirely appropriate and even expected.

Have you embraced the art of using apps yet? Thanks to growing up with them, Gen Z are masters at finding precisely the right app no matter what the circumstance and can help you learn to use them too.

Gen Z follows a different path from their predecessors

The idea of education has changed drastically between millennials graduating college and Gen Z seeing the effects of their older counterparts' decisions. Although bettering yourself through getting an education is never a waste of time, this generation is following a different path than its predecessors.

Interestingly, many companies are seeing that practical knowledge over an expensive framed degree can make a huge difference. Given a choice between someone with a fresh bachelor's degree and no experience versus someone who has been working in the field for a decade and has no degree, which applicant would you be more likely to pick?

Students leaving high school are beginning to understand that it's not always necessary to spend the next four years going into slow debt thanks to outlandish student loans.

Gen Z are problem-solvers

Instant gratification and knowledge at their fingertips is something unique to Gen Z. If there's a process that is taking too long, whether it's in life or at work, you bet that people who fall into the Gen Z category will try to find a quicker, more efficient solution to take care of it. This makes them fantastic for fresh ideas and new thought processes — but it can be problematic in some areas too.

It's admirable that they're excited to get things done and want to find quicker processes, but there are reasons why you have these processes set into place at all. It sounds almost laughable, but the truth is that you may need to explain why each step is necessary for accomplishing the task. They're logical thinkers, they can understand — it just might need some gentle explanation first.

They like a challenge, but they like comforts too

Despite some of the drawbacks, the constant need to find a solution is one unique trait that makes this incredible group entrepreneurs. After seeing Mom and Dad's jobs come under fire during the recession, it's a natural thought process to find an alternative career solution. Generation Z is notable for creative small businesses and startups, solving everyday problems simply by finding the easiest solution.

What does the entrepreneurial mindset mean to you? It means that you're going to need to give your employees some good incentives to stay at your business after hiring them. Surprisingly, traditional work benefits are much more important to this group than you might realize, especially after growing up in an uncertain time. A benefits package might include things such as:

  • Medical and dental benefits
  • Paid time off: Vacations, holidays and personal leave
  • A solid retirement plan

Eager and energetic, but bringing something new to the table

If you thought that recruiting millennials was a learning curve, Generation Z is on its way to giving you a run for your money. This growing generation of young people is already shaping the world with their acceptance and enthusiasm to make the world a better place, but we don't know them very well as adults quite yet.

As you start to see applications from younger job-seekers, remember that your hiring process is going to change as time goes on. You might have to make decisions that change methods that you have had in place for years. It's worth knowing as much as you can about the latest generation of people entering the workforce so that you can ensure your company is appealing to those young adults.

Get the MidWeekRead
Get the exclusive tips, resources, and updates to help you hire better!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linked In
Go to the top

Hire better, faster, together!

Bring your hiring teams together, boost your sourcing, automate your hiring, and evaluate candidates effectively.