Hi Generation Z, it’s nice to meet you. Tell us a little about yourself.
Whilst the youngest are still only 5 years old, the oldest of this generation (aged 22) have started working. They’re still only entry level employees or apprentices but working nonetheless. They are the generation that knows nothing other than digital, smartphones and technology. They do not know a world without the internet, digital downloads, streaming or selfies. In terms of numbers they are a larger cohort than the Baby Boomers or Millennials.
Gen Z processes information faster and better than any generation before. They prefer information in bite-sized chunks and consume it mostly on their phone or computers. Two screening is second nature which means they are very capable of multi-tasking. Even multi-multi-tasking. They are masters of switching between work and play and work competently with many distractions. In a recent poll by YouthLogic, Gen Z click on less online ads compared to Gen Y (71% compared with only 59%) so how you are utilising technology and social media is critical in presenting your company and/or job adverts. According to Statista Generation Z spend 6-10 hours per day on their phones and I suspect many of us are not too far from that ourselves.
We can’t ignore that society today is defined by a culture of consumerism like never before. We hungrily devour every type of product and service across all industry and it’s Gen Zers that stands at the front leading the mass of insatiable purchasers.
So what does this all mean for recruitment & HR? Generation Z believe that use of a phone is acceptable in almost every situation. Including at work. So when they whip out their iPhone during the interview or ask you to Bluetooth your business card to them, don’t be alarmed or put off. Their comfortableness with technology is something to embrace, the world isn’t going to go backwards!
As individuals and as a society as a whole we have become accustomed to instant gratification. We expect the device to give us what we want, when we want it. Generation Z have grown up knowing nothing other than instant demand. Combine the internet, constant innovation and an endless stream of technological and digital new gadgets and you can understand why Gen Z have very little time for lengthy, drawn out processes. Recruitment & HR professionals must use industry app, technology and software available not only to appeal to this new generation but also to eradicate unnecessary administration associated with recruitment & HR processes.
When it comes to getting in front of Gen Z embrace social media but remember to avoid unnecessary questions for the application process. Perhaps even consider an Infographic instead of a traditional written job description to highlight the benefits of the role or the type of candidate you’re interested in hearing from. Gen Z is particularly susceptible to what they see and hear on social media and it can directly influence what they think more than the rest of us so make sure your employee branding is what it should be online.
Gen Z know how to present themselves and have much more natural confidence than any generation before due to the nature of their use of selfies for social media apps like Snapchat. Admittedly we don’t want them turning up with bunny ears or dog noses but perhaps we should also give them a bit more credit than that!
The younger you are the more likely you are to check your phone every few seconds, a study carried out by Tech.co found. And even 11% of Gen Z’ers check their phone whilst they're in the shower. Calling is the least popular way they use their phones. All important considerations when it comes to how you communicate with them throughout the interview process. Text might seem impersonal or even unprofessional but to those members of Gen Z it’s one of the best ways of communicating with them. I was amazed to see Sky have introduced text and Facebook messaging for query handling, something very easy to implement.
Most importantly, use technology and effective communication channels in the same way they do for the interview process itself, embracing software wherever and whenever you can.