The Gen Z Hiring Process Needs to Change

The Gen Z Hiring Process Needs to Change

The traditional approach companies have taken in regard to their hiring process just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to hiring Generation Z.

One thing that has been identified regarding hiring Generation Z is a skills gap. Many members of this generation struggle with things such as:

  • rigorous self-evaluation;
  • taking personal responsibility;
  • maintaining a positive attitude;
  • taking good care of themselves outside of work; and
  • self-presentations, such as timeliness, organization, production, quality, follow-through and initiative.

This is a lengthy list and might seem somewhat overwhelming to hiring managers. The good news is I have some tips to redesign entry-level work for Gen Z and the hiring process itself.

New thinking is needed

When you first think about acquisition, what probably comes to mind is traditional thinking around the process—campus recruiting, technical skills, specific experience, job postings and head hunters. However, you might need to look at things differently. New thinking involves looking at a broad spectrum and engaging in new ways.

With that in mind, here are five keys to recruiting Generation Z.

Key No. 1: Become highly engaged in the hiring process.

Key No. 2: Highlight examples of personal and corporate integrity.

Key No. 3: Demonstrate genuine ties to the community and social responsibility.

Key No. 4: Show them there are opportunities for advancement

Key No. 5: Think about how you’ll retain this generation while you’re recruiting them.

All the above directly align with what Generation Z is looking for when accepting a job. If you can share your insight on these items during the recruiting process, you will be that much further ahead.

After hiring

Once your job offer is accepted, you must think about how you will engage and retain these new hires. This will likely result in needing to rethink your entry-level positions.

Some companies might offer assignments of job rotations. The traditional thinking is linear job progression (lateral growth). A new progressive way to think of it is through mobility, being data-driven and with partners. Companies might consider special projects and experiences.

Next up is thinking through ongoing formal development. Historically, this is done through e-learning, classrooms and technical skills. New thinking suggests experiential learning, soft skills development and apprenticeships. This will require companies to redesign their onboarding process and provide access to different resources.

In terms of informal development, many companies have inconsistent mentoring and on-the-job learning. Companies will want to think through how to transfer knowledge and provide exposure.

Creating a company culture has always been key, but unfortunately most companies place the existence of a strong culture in the “nice to have” category. Generation Z is going to expect things such as paid time off (PTO), family leave, wellness policies, etc. It will be important for companies to determine how they can offer these benefits and raise the culture.

This might seem like a lot to take in, but companies can take small steps to ensure they are recruiting and retaining the best and brightest members of Generation Z.

Ashley Basile Oeken is president of Engage! Cleveland, a nonprofit whose mission is to attract, engage and retain young, diverse talent to the Greater Cleveland area.  Learn more about her organization’s work by clicking here.

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