GEN-Z Hiring is on the rise. Here are some quick hacks to accommodate this new candidate pool

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By the year 2025, Gen-Z will make up about 27% of the workforce. This new wave of generation is entering the workforce – bringing a drastic and speedy change in the way companies hire.

According to the 2019 Global Talent Trends report, the old go-to assessments which involve behavioural and situational questions are very susceptible to biases and often elicit well-rehearsed answers. This is why now companies are levelling up to assess their candidates.

Here is what you need to know about these entrants to stay ahead in your hiring game:

First things first – who are these Gen-Z?

Gen-Z is the people born after the Millennials. And though there isn’t a standard defined age range for Gen-Z, most popularly it is the generation born after the year 1996.

Gen-Zers belong to the group who haven’t witnessed the world without smartphones or the internet.

As Koulopoulos and Keldsen write in their book ‘The Gen-Z effect – the six forces shaping the future of business’ – “Technology is the only technology for those of us who haven’t grown up with it.”

For our Gen-Z workforce, technology is just one of the threads deeply interwoven with the other areas in the fabric of their life.

So, why do we need Gen-Z?

Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half says, “Gen-Z employees bring unique values, expectations, and perspectives to their jobs.

They’ve grown up in economically turbulent times, and many of their characteristics and motivations reflect that.”

Witt and Baird in their famous book ‘The Gen-Z Frequency’ shared the following insights they gained from interviewing hundreds of Gen-Z kids, tweens, teens and young adults.

They called it The Gen-Z Markers and it describes the best what Gen-Z brings to the table for the companies –

  • Independent hard workers
  • Lovers of diversity
  • Actively involved in social causes
  • Carries a quick filter of information
  • Pragmatics and financially conservative
  • Manage their online presence in a brand-like manner
  • Good collaborators in both locally and virtually

Recruiting and Assessing Gen-Z: Same Tools, Evolved Approach.

Gen-Z is not some alien generation that is difficult to assess while hiring.

If we look at the core behaviours, it is still the same. For instance, a generation before Gen-Z clicked pictures with a polaroid camera and displayed it in their drawing rooms.

Gen-Z clicks pictures with their mobile phones and displays them on their social media.

One generation back, people used cassettes to make their mix of music, Gen-Z uses Spotify to make the playlist of their favourite music.

But the key difference here is their mode of consumption and which information they’ll be able to retain.

Translating this to assessments, this newer generation just needs an evolved approach in terms of assessment.

‘To hire the best Gen-Z talent, you need to step into their shoes first’.

Keeping that in mind, these are some quick tips that I came up with after careful observation of the Gen-Z pool of candidates, their likes, dislikes, markers, attention span, technological preferences, etc.

So, this is how you hire in the Gen-Z world –

Utilize Their Comfort With Technology

Gen-Z carries a digital-first mindset and has been raised and lived around devices. To utilize this aspect, you need to tune in to technology as well. Use digital assessments that have a user-friendly interface.

Give them the best digital experience. If they are taking an assessment, give them a good reason to stick till the end.

Make sure your website is optimized for different devices including mobile phones short span so that there is a lower dropout rate while they are applying for the jobs or taking an assessment.

Give such an Attention-Capturing Experience that Frustration and Boredom run for the hills

Eight seconds is the estimated attention span of a Gen Z.

This means you have got to extract their personality, skills, behaviour, and fitness for the job in a very short span of time – before they lose their concentration.

Time is the key.

To retain their attention, the assessments need to be as quick as possible. The better you retain attention, the truer the results you’ll get.

Use An Assessment Tool That Utilizes Visuals

Gen-Z is born and brought up around visuals, whether it is sending gifs while texting or scrolling on Facebook.

If you ask someone from Gen-Z how they celebrated their last holiday, they might go to their phone gallery, or Instagram to show you the pictures.

Using the traditional question-answer format in assessments might not resonate with the candidate pool you are targeting.

So let them talk in their language to express themselves the best. Make use of Picture/video/gif-based questions.

Opt For Chatbots

Gen-Z is more used to the quicker medium of textual communication such as chatbots, hence, they are more likely to respond to text notifications rather than a detailed email.

They also constitute the maximum number of users of chatbots including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.

These can be utilized to gather the entry-level basic information about the candidate (such as their openness to relocate) and answer their frequently asked queries (such as the number of work hours).

Chatbots also aid in providing a more personalized experience to Gen-Z.

Hire Through Online Job Portals

Gone are the days when the company would post an advertisement in the newspaper and get the responses. Gen-Zers browse and look for jobs. Gen-Z isn’t the generation that will scroll through the newspapers for job vacancies.

Additionally, with so many websites in the picture, it can be difficult for Gen-Zers to reach an advertisement posted on the company website as well.

So, the companies should post job advertisements on the online job portals (such as Indeed, Monster, etc.) where they would see, and apply more – to not miss out on any potential employee.

Go For Social Media Recruitment

The majority of the newer pool of applicants (approx. 79% – 86%) use social media in their job search. So, design a social media hiring strategy.

One way is to join different social media groups and use relevant hashtags while posting about any job vacancies.

A study done by Recruitics found out that the majority of job seekers are on Facebook, the majority of recruiters are on LinkedIn.

So, the channels to be targeted should be in accordance with the traffic. It should include the most browsed platforms by Gen-Z such as social media (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Give Quicker Feedbacks With Clarity

Gen-Z is used to getting things done with a single click. One curious question in their head – google it.

There you have your answer.

They don’t like to wait for days for an organization to give them feedback regarding their application.

Opt for assessments that use AI to analyze and generate reports faster for them. Along with that choose the assessment platforms that are clear in terms of the results and interpretation.

Stay Transparent With Your Work Expectations

Gen-Z is also called The Honest Generation. According to Forbes, transparency is the key to integrate Generation-Z into the workplace.

They value nothing more than honest information and a sincere approach at the workplace. And it all starts with the first step – the hiring process.

Around 58% of Gen Z trust a company more if it shares the work in progress areas and difficult issues.

So, it is better to be clear about not just the roles, responsibilities, expectations from the candidates, company goals, but also about the areas where you are targeting to improve while interviewing Gen-Z.

#BonusHack: Screen for job-specific skills, but don’t miss out on the essential soft skills

Gen-Z is eager and enthusiastic.

But it becomes important to know if they possess the fundamental soft skills that will help them survive in the twists and turns of the unpredictable business environment.

Around 91% of the talent professionals agree that soft skills are one of the most important elements for future recruitment trends.

Some of the soft skills recruiters should look for in the candidates are – communication skills, collaboration, critical thinking, adaptability, flexibility, emotional intelligence, resilience, openness to learning, work ethic and problem-solving ability.


This is a guest post by Somya Verma, a licensed psychologist and a researcher working at PMaps Assessments. She is a part of the Psychometric Product & Strategy Team and is responsible for creating assessments, conducting research and writing content (Blogs, Articles and Newsletters) for the reading audience.

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