Gen Zers know what they want, what they’re worth, and what they’re looking for in an employer. And while they might not be familiar with the specific recruitment technology you use, their expectations are high when it comes to innovation and streamlined tech solutions throughout the hiring process. The resulting candidate experience can be a deal-maker or -breaker when it comes to applying for or accepting a job.

With candidate ghosting and offer reneging on the rise, employers are realizing the importance of candidate experience more than ever, and are seeking new technologies to speed up the hiring process, build a stronger employer brand and better meet the tech-first expectations of Generation Z and millennial candidates.

Only 26% of employers believe their candidate experience practices are very effective. Companies that rated themselves somewhat or not effective were 33% more likely to have an offer-decline rate of 26% to 50%.

Source: The Brandon Hall Group

So what do Generation Z job seekers expect when it comes to the candidate experience and recruitment technology? Read on to find out. 

What Gen Zers Expect from the Candidate Experience

The Yello Recruiting Study sheds light on Gen Z expectations for the job search. Findings show Gen Zers want:

  • A good relationship with their recruiter. Having a trusted advisor throughout the process is more important than technology or the speed of the process, and is the number-one factor Gen Zers consider when deciding whether to accept a job. 
  • Easy-to-use, up-to-date, time-saving technology. One in four Gen Zers say a lack of technology throughout the hiring process would affect their decision to take a job. One in five would forego a position if they weren’t able to apply via their phone.
  • Quick decisions. The majority of Gen Zers believe the entire job search process – from start to finish – should take three to four weeks, with an increasing number of job seekers expecting the hiring process to take one week or less. Generation Z says waiting to hear back after an interview is the most frustrating part of the entire experience.

For more Gen Z hiring insights, download the Yello Recruiting Study. 

How Recruiting Technology Can Improve The Gen Z Candidate Experience

Gen Zers are nearly twice as likely as millennials to say that hiring events and career center resources are their most valuable job search source. That means employers should hone in on building a strong employer brand on campus, devising a recruitment event strategy, and developing stronger relationships with career centers and other university contacts.  

Recruitment technology makes achieving these goals is easier, and offers a stronger candidate experience for Gen Z job seekers:

  • Researching potential employers: Make it easy for candidates to learn about your employer brand, find the right positions, and apply with a stand-out career page.
  • Applying for jobs: Job boards software can simplify the application process with mobile-friendly solutions that allow Gen Z candidates to apply from anywhere, on any device.  
  • Scheduling screenings and interviews: Interview scheduling software significantly decreases one of the most time-consuming parts of the interview process, and moves candidates through the pipeline faster. 
  • Completing screenings and interviews: Video interviews offer flexibility and allow Gen Zers to connect at a time that’s convenient for them, while still offering the face-to-face communication they crave.
  • Waiting to hear back after an interview: Candidates stay engaged and learn more about your organization with automated and customized email and text communications, while employers use candidate evaluation solutions to speed up the decision-making process.

Top tasks preventing candidate engagement

According to HR professionals

A Day in the Life of a Gen Z Job Candidate: How Recruiting Technology Makes a Difference

While recruitment technology may just seem like a nice-to-have, there’s real danger in sticking with the old way of doing things. A “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality can mean losing candidates to competitors with a more modern hiring experience.

So what does life look like for Gen Z candidates who encounter (or don’t encounter) recruitment technology during the job search? Let’s take a look:

At a Career Fair

With recruitment technology:

The student pre-registers for the career fair online, and creates a digital profile to share with the employers who will be present – no paper resumes required. They meet with a recruiter on campus at a pre-scheduled time, participate in an initial screening, and receive a link to schedule a second interview. In the meantime, they’re now signed up for the employer’s talent community so that they’ll receive ongoing news and communications about open positions.

Without recruitment technology:

The candidate prints out several resumes, shows up at the career fair and stands in line waiting to speak with employers. They hand their resume to a recruiter and watch it go into a pile with all the others. The student is instructed to go to the employer’s website for more information, and to apply to open roles on their own time. They’re told that the company will be in touch if there’s a possible fit.

Networking with a Current Employee

A student talks to a family friend at a get-together and mentions they’re looking for a job.

With recruitment technology:

The family friend takes out their phone, connects to their company’s employee referral platform, searches open positions, and recommends the candidate for a couple of jobs. A few days later, the employee returns to the referral platform to check on the status of the student’s application, which they then inform the candidate about. A week later, they receive an email from their employer thanking them for the referral, letting them know their connection has been hired, and that their referral bonus will be deposited shortly.

Without recruitment technology:

The family friend tells the student to go to their company website to look for open positions, and to send over their resume if they find anything of interest. A few weeks later, the family friend receives an email with a resume attached and a short note about a job that interests the candidate. When the friend finds time between their regular job responsibilities, they reach out to the hiring manager to inquire about the position. They’re instructed to go to HR, and wait a few days to find out which recruiter is handling the placement. Finally, they get the right contact and forward the candidate’s resume. They don’t hear anything else about the position and neither does the candidate.   

Applying on an Employer’s Website

The candidate Googles your company’s career page on their phone, and searches for open positions.

With recruitment technology:

The student is greeted by a few bullet points on why they should work for your company, along with engaging photos and video testimonials from employees that show off company culture. Convinced this may be a match, they easily find where to search for jobs. A list of open roles loads quickly, and the candidate uploads their resume to apply. After doing so, the remaining application questions automatically populate based on information from their resume. After providing a few additional bits of information, the student submits the application within minutes. Almost instantaneously, they receive an email confirming receipt, explaining what’s next and inviting the candidate to join the talent community.

Without recruitment technology:

The student is greeted by an overwhelming amount of content and links, and initially can’t find where to search for entry-level jobs. After a bit of back-and-forth, they finally arrive at a page to search for open roles. The page loads slowly, and half the jobs presented don’t meet their criteria. When they finally find one they’re interested in, the system prompts them to submit their application from a laptop or desktop device. Pulling out their laptop, they finally upload their resume, and are asked to answer 20 qualifying questions. Persisting through pages freezing, content taking forever to enter or continually having to start from scratch, they finally hit the submit button. They close their computer wondering what’s next, but never receive a confirmation email that their application was received.

Scheduling Screenings & Interviews

The student receives the great news – they’re moving on to the next round of screenings or interviews.

With recruitment technology:

They receive a text via their smartphone with a link to self-schedule a screening/interview. They select the date and time that works best, and shortly thereafter receives an email confirmation with location, information about who they’ll be meeting, and how to prepare. The day before, they also receive information on who to ask for upon arrival, driving directions, parking and security – all in a mobile-friendly format.

Without recruitment technology:

The candidate receives an email and is instructed to call their recruiter to set up an appointment. They leave a message. Later that day, the scheduler calls  back to confirm availability and says they’ll be in touch soon. Over the next two days and too many emails to count, the recruiter is finally able to figure out a day and time that works for both the candidate and the hiring panel. They email the candidate to confirm, only to find out the candidate has accepted another offer at a competing employer.  

Participating in Screenings & Interviews

With recruitment technology:

The student goes to school in Boston, but is applying for a job in New York City. To save time for both the student and employer, the student completes a pre-recorded video screener at a time and location convenient for them. The candidate is then approved for an on-site interview, and travels to New York to meet the hiring team with a pre-set agenda. 

All staff involved in the screening/interview have access to the applicant’s resume and application online, as well as standardized interview protocol. At the end of the day, the hiring team fills out a candidate evaluation form to speed up the decision-making process.

Without recruitment technology:

The candidate shows up to the employer’s location for an in-person interview. They guess on where to park, and wait 15 minutes at security while the guard tracks down the hiring manager. The day is full of hits or misses, with interviewers scrambling for private rooms, and interviewers scanning paper resumes. After hearing more about the candidate’s background, the hiring team realizes that the student isn’t a great fit for the open role after all, and move on to the next candidate.

Waiting for an Offer

With recruitment technology:

Immediately following their interview, the candidate receives an email thanking them for their time and confirming a timeframe for when they should expect to hear back. Throughout the next week, she receives automated communications inviting them to learn more about the company’s culture, values, business and benefits, with links to videos and more information. Within days, the candidate’s mobile phone rings. They see their recruiter’s phone number and excitedly answer.

Without recruitment technology:

The next day, the candidate expects an update from their recruiter, but hears nothing. They reach out to their recruiter to ask for a hiring timeline and receive a vague answer. Three weeks later, their recruiter tries calling the candidate several times, leaves numerous messages and sends a number of emails, but never hears back from the candidate. Why? They’ve already accepted an offer from another company.

When it comes to recruiting Generation Z, modern technology is crucial to attract top talent. Invest in the right solutions for your organization to streamline hiring processes, improve recruiting ROI and offer a stronger candidate experience.