This year marked the entry of Gen Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—into the U.S. workforce. On track to be America’s most diverse and educated generation in history, our country’s first true digital natives are in great demand among employers. Thus, understanding Gen Z perspectives, preferences and job search behaviors is one of talent acquisition’s biggest priorities.
Helping to shed light on what matters most to members of this cohort, GR8 People published insights regarding the latest Gen Z recruiting research and trends throughout 2019, including key takeaways across recruiting technology, job attributes and the hiring process.
Key Takeaway #1: Campus Recruiting Technology = Better Interaction
One of GR8 People’s earliest blogs of the year, How to Win at Campus Recruiting: Get Personal, is a good reminder that the best reason to integrate technology into the campus recruiting experience is because it allows recruiters to offload many administrative tasks that were taking up too much of their time before, during and after events. For instance, campus and event recruiting software offers automated self-scheduling and screening tools, as well as the ability for attendees to upload their resumes and check-in to your event.
The result is that talent acquisition teams are free to focus their time and energy on interacting with attendees and having the meaningful one-on-one conversations that Gen Z candidates crave as they begin navigating their transition from the classroom to the workforce—exactly the type of experience that can set an organization apart from the competitors that attendees may also be considering.
Key Takeaway #2: Don’t Assume You Know What Gen Z Is About
Relevant messaging is essential to ensuring that recruitment marketing communications resonate with the target audience, however, as we highlighted in Aligning Your Employer Brand Themes to Gen Z Perspectives, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to what Gen Z finds attractive in an employer.
As an example, younger workers are often pegged as job hoppers or preferring gig work over traditional full-time employment opportunities. Yet, research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers finds that nearly 83% of today’s students rate job security as a very or extremely important job attribute. In fact, job security leads all other attributes, though others that were highly rated include opportunities for skills development, friendly colleagues and good insurance/benefits.
We took things a step further as it relates to Gen Z perspectives in Campus Recruiting Strategies: 3 Gen Z Myths Busted. Here, we provided research that questions several common assumptions about Gen Z, from the use of social media to find jobs to their preferred methods of recruiter communications (Hint: It’s not always texting.).
The bottom line is that effective Gen Z recruitment messaging and outreach strategies rely on an accurate and thorough understanding of the target audience, as well as how an organization’s employment experience aligns with Gen Z preferences.
Key Takeaway #3: Gen Z Already Knows About Recruiting’s “Black Hole”
Finally, one of our most popular Gen Z blogs comes straight from the source. Jack Amaral, a GR8 People summer intern who attended the NACE19 conference alongside his GR8 People colleagues, writes about several misperceptions regarding his generation in The 2019 NACE Conference + Expo: A Gen Z Perspective.
One of Jack’s most helpful insights is that, contrary to the beliefs of recruiters and career center directors, members of Gen Z are interested in attending campus events to learn about potential employers and the types of jobs that might be of interest to new grads. “The biggest problem from our perspective is that we rarely hear anything after we connect with a recruiter at an event or apply online as instructed—it’s the same ‘black hole’ that experienced job seekers complain about regularly.”
It’s unfortunate that a generation just beginning to apply for full-time jobs is frustrated by a lack of communications from employers. With candidate resentment on the rise due to factors such as this, it’s more important than ever for organizations to ensure that status updates and regular candidate communications are part of the hiring process for all.
Get more GR8 insights and strategies to help you connect and engage with Gen Z. Download our Campus Hiring 101 E-Book today.