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Home Resources blog Hiring Trends: How to Source, Select, and Assimilate Gen-Z Employees

Hiring Trends: How to Source, Select, and Assimilate Gen-Z Employees

Move over millennials – there’s a new sheriff in town. Or, shall we say, a new group of people claiming the spotlight across the societal landscape, but especially in the workforce. We’re talking about Generation Z, or as the cool kids say – Gen Z, also known as the internet generation. This latest generation of young adults, born somewhere in the vicinity of 1997 – 2012, are currently making their debut into the workforce and creating a lot of questions for recruiters and employers alike.

The rise of Gen Z

If you’re wondering why should we be concerned with this band of social media savvy, tech-hungry, TikTok super fans, consider the fact that Gen Z is the largest generation in American history, making up 27% of the U.S. population[1]. And they’re entering the workforce at a time when competition for top talent is crashing into a massive number of unfilled jobs[2], creating a perfect storm of opportunity if you happen to be a Gen Zer. Of course, if you happen to be a recruiter or an employer looking to fill a plethora of open roles, you may need to adapt your recruiting methods and hiring strategies in order to engage Gen Z candidates. Let’s start by doing a deep dive into some of the things you should know if you’re looking to source, engage and assimilate Gen Z talent into your workforce.

What recruiters need to know about Gen Z

Gen Z is tech-savvy

It almost goes without saying that Gen-Z candidates are digital natives, many of whom were practically born with a smartphone in their hands. That means they’re well-versed with using technology and social media for, well, just about everything. But definitely for job searches. So, when it comes to recruiting Gen Z candidates, recruiters can be more effective by adapting their techniques to reach this tech-savvy generation.

Gen Z is more ethnically and racially diverse than previous generations 

Only a little more than half of Gen Z identify themselves as non-Hispanic white, with the 1 in 4 identifying as Hispanic, 14% black, 6% Asian, and 5%[3] a different race or mixed race. Having grown up in a more globally connected world, Gen Zers care more about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) than other demographics of the population. A powerful DEI recruiting strategy is going to be essential to successfully recruit top talent in such a diverse talent pool.

Different workplace philosophies 

Partially due to their hyper-digital connectivity and partially due to the rise in remote work pandemic during and after the pandemic, Gen Zers value flexibility when it comes to where and when they work. They also prioritize competitive pay and benefits in their career searches. One poll[4] found that 35% of Gen Z participants named salary and benefits as the most important factors in their job search. 10% said the ability to work remotely is what mattered the most[4]. They also prioritize mental health and place a strong emphasis on a positive company culture that is inclusive and welcoming.

Gen Zers are more competitive 

With their lives often on display front and center on social media, they have a deep sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) which makes them more competitive in many ways. They’re also more concerned with growth opportunities in a career than prior generations.

How to attract, engage and retain Gen Z talent

Now that we’ve covered a bit about what makes Gen Z candidates unique, let’s discuss some ways to bring them to the table.

Source Gen Z talent their way 

Via technology. Creating job postings that are more interactive, utilizing social media and through multiple communication channels like texting, video interviews, chatbots, and mobile friendly application processes are steps in the right direction.

Offer flexible work options 

While it’s not always possible to provide remote or hybrid work options, where employers can be flexible – they should be. Work-life balance is important to the Gen Z population so even offering more flex time is a good way to meet them halfway.

Make sure diversity is a priority and that it shows 

As the most diverse generation yet, how you handle diversity in the workplace is critical to making the right impression and recruiting top Gen Z talent. It’s important to openly communicate your diversity goals and be transparent about efforts for reaching them to potential candidates.

Prioritize candidate engagement 

This is important no matter what pool of candidates you’re targeting but with Gen Z, it’s even more so. Gen Z candidates want to feel valued and look for personal connections. So, the more you can personalize candidate engagement and nurture Gen Z talent, the more likely they are to trust you and what you’re offering.

Attracting Gen Z talent and getting them in the door is only part of the battle. Once they’re in, now the question is, how do you assimilate and retain them?

Assimilating Gen Z employees into the workplace

There’s no question Gen Z will be bringing new ideas and perspectives to the workforce, and that’s a good thing! But it’s important to create a supportive environment that encourages collaboration, learning and inclusion to keep Gen Z employees happy and productive. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Create a great first impression 

This means rethinking what onboarding means to you. One of the key elements to successful Gen-Z recruitment and retention is creating a welcoming atmosphere. Make sure you loop existing employees into your goals and create a sense of community with onboarding activities or teambuilding events. Throw a little branded swag at your new Gen Z team members. Remember, this is a generation who are all about branding.

Offer better than the minimum in compensation 

Gen Zers are all about being paid a fair wage. And while you don’t have to pay them a salary the position doesn’t warrant, starting out a bit above the bare minimum will show you’re commitment to investing in them as an employee.

Explore your company’s culture and close any gaps 

Make sure the work environment you’re bringing Gen Z employees into is one that has a positive company culture. Offer employees perks that boost morale like the ability to take a mental health day periodically for any old reason. Or implement other perks like ordering in lunch on a monthly basis for your team or offering gym memberships. You’ll find happy, healthy employees are worth the investment.

Offer mentorship programs 

Provide opportunities for Gen-Z employees to learn from experienced employees in their field. Consider introducing mentorship programs that allow Gen-Z employees to receive guidance from senior employees. This can lead to not just seamless assimilation but also improved job satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately better results for the business.

To keep the most diverse generation every happy, you need to be diligent about diversity, equity and inclusion. Talk the talk, but more importantly, walk the walk and promote diversity throughout your company culture with targeted initiatives like diversity training and events that promote diversity.

Adopting AI Hiring Tool for Gen-Z hiring

Finally, when it comes to successfully sourcing, selecting and assimilating Gen Z, recruiters and hiring teams should consider arming themselves with recruiting tools that do some of the work for you. An AI-powered sourcing platform like Arya can not only automate routine tasks, amplify candidate engagement, and source, score and rank those ideal Gen Z candidates using more than 300 attributes, it also has diversity built-in. If you’re ready to take on Gen Z, you need a sourcing tool that covers all the bases. Arya Quantum is that tool. Book your demo today and see for yourself how AI-powered sourcing can up your recruiting game to the next level.


[1] https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/aging-population-healthcare/

[2] https://news.yahoo.com/why-so-many-jobs-are-going-unfilled-165522107.html

[3] https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/05/14/on-the-cusp-of-adulthood-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far-2/

[4] https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11296-what-gen-z-workers-want.html

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