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Why a Digital Forward Approach is Critical in Gen Z Recruitment

digital forward approach

They say that in recruiting, there are no good or bad experiences – just learning experiences. And one of those learning experiences today’s recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are wrestling with, is how to navigate the newest generation to join the workforce – Gen Z. Navigating a new generation with an entirely different set of expectations (not to mention and entirely different set of characteristics), presents, well, and entirely new set of challenges! Unfortunately, there’s no turning back the clock when it comes to the constantly evolving workforce. So, it’s essential to have an effective recruitment strategy in place for meeting the expectations of this fresh, new pool of talent that is Gen Z. But before we talk strategy, let’s cover some of the basics.

Who are Gen Z?

If you were born between 1997 and 2012, welcome to Gen Z. This group of tech-savvy, digitally driven folks make up the youngest generation in today’s workforce. Tech-savvy and digitally driven because Gen Z grew up in an era where technology has always been a part of their everyday lives. Also known as Zoomers, Gen Zrs were practically born with a smartphone in their hands! They’re certainly the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media being completely commonplace. But they’ve actually never known a Twitter or Instagram-free world and their perspectives have been shaped by virtually instant access to information and communication.

With 69.58 million Gen Zrs in the U.S. alone making up a significant portion of the workforce, it’s easy to see why recruiters and hiring teams are looking for the best way to target, recruit, and hire Gen Z workers.

How is Gen Z Different from Millennials?

It seems like yesterday employers and talent acquisition professionals were trying to figure out how to effectively target, recruit, and hire the much talked about generation preceding Gen Z – Millennials. And while we’ve established that Gen Z are the most tech-savvy, digitally connected generation to date, Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) come in a close second when it comes to being digital natives.

But there are some very different characteristics between Millennials and Gen Z. Some of those are highlighted by a study conducted by staffing industry leader, Adecco about the differences between the two:

  • Members of Gen Z are more concerned about the cost of education (21% of respondents), compared to Millennials (13% of respondents).
  • Millennials value stability (34%), while Gen Z puts more of an emphasis on finding their dream job (32%).
  • More Gen Zrs follow their parents’ influence (42%), compared to their Millennial counterparts (36%).

One major difference between Millennials and Gen Z is in the way they consume content. Gen Z are more likely to consume content in bite sized, Tik Tok-like pieces that offer instant gratification. That makes quick content generating platforms like Tik Tok and SnapChat very attractive to Gen Z.

Gen Z are also well known for being the most diversity driven generation with a more diverse and inclusive mindset than any previous generation. They’re generally more accepting of racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation differences. Considering their exposure to so many diverse communities on social media, it’s not surprising Gen Z possesses a more global perspective.

Why a Digital-Forward Approach is Important in Gen Z Recruitment

For Gen Z candidates, a digitally focused recruitment strategy is practically a necessity. Elements such as a company’s online presence and digital engagement can be more important than even physical appearances or traditional benefits to Gen Z. So, what comprises a digital-forward approach? Several things actually. But it’s really about connecting with Gen Z candidates using the online mediums they use the most.

Top Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Gen Z Candidates:

  • Social media platforms – Social media platforms are one of the most powerful tool for recruiting Gen Z candidates. Companies can use social media to post job listings, showcase their company culture, and create buzz around their employer brand. It can also be used to engage candidates through interactive content, such as polls, quizzes, and even contests.
  • Virtual job fairs – The pandemic created a whole new appreciation for online video conferencing platforms like Zoom, and Teams. Recruiters can leverage these tools to host virtual job fairs where Gen Z candidates can interact, ask questions and Learn More about the company and/or role. It’s safe to say that Gen Zrs would be more likely to gravitate towards these types of interactive, online events.
  • Mobile applications – Yes, Gen Z’rs were practically born with a smartphone in their hands. In fact, 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone. That makes mobile applications an incredibly useful tool for companies looking to attract Gen Z candidates. Many companies have started to create mobile apps specifically for job seekers, allowing them to apply for jobs directly through their phones. These apps can be personalized to each candidate and make the application process much more accessible and streamlined.
  • Create a strong online presence – Build an engaging career website that showcases your company culture and values and boost your social media efforts by including interactive elements on your website.
  • Focus on professional development opportunities – Gen Z values continuous learning and growth, so be sure to highlight the professional development opportunities your company offers during the recruitment process.
  • Keep things personal – Gen Z values authenticity and personalized communication, so keep your messaging friendly and personalized to their individual interests and needs.
  • Adopt the right AI-powered recruiting tool – One powerful way to increase your ability to target and capture Gen Z talent is by implementing the right technology tool. One such tool is the award-winning sourcing platform – Arya by Leoforce. With a multichannel communication dashboard featuring talk, text, email and chatbot, Arya allows you to personalize, and streamline talent engagement and communication for not only Gen Z candidates, but all candidates.

No matter what industry you’re working in, the key to success comes down to arming yourself with the right tools. And for talent acquisition and recruiting professionals, the best tool for achieving your Gen Z recruitment goals is Arya. With the largest talent database in the industry, Arya clients have immediate access to a continually growing database of more than 850+ million candidates sourced from 70+ channels.

But that’s not all. The advanced AI in Arya is revolutionizing the recruiting industry by using 300+ parameters and 7 multi-dimensional data points to score and rank talent for compatibility. Arya simultaneously sourcing candidates from multiple channels on 90% of jobs across more than 150 industries – in under 5 minutes, reducing candidate review and shortlisting time by 50%. If you’re looking for a single-platform solution for all your recruiting and talent acquisition needs, book a 1:1 demo or Arya today and see for yourself what the power of AI can do for your business!


  • https://www.statista.com/topics/10522/generation-z-in-the-united-states/#topicOverview
  • https://www.adeccousa.com/employers/resources/generation-z-vs-millennials-infographic/
  • https://www.zippia.com/advice/gen-z-statistics/

Ashleigh C. Swain


Ashleigh C. Swain is an accomplished HR professional specializing in recruitment. With five years of experience across diverse HR functions and a strong academic foundation (including a Master's in communication and aPHR certification), she excels in finding and developing top talent. Ashleigh's commitment to positive employee relations underscores her ability to build trust and drive organizational success.

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