Research: Gen Z’s Favorite Places to Look for Jobs5 min read

August 6, 2019 Campus Recruiting

To attract top talent to your organization, you need to understand the job search habits of your Generation Z candidates, the newest kids on the block. So which channels should you focus on to attract Gen Z job seekers?

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Move over, millennials. Generation Z is entering the workplace, and according to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, this generation is anxious to disrupt current recruiting, retention, and culture trends. Although raised with technology like millennials, Gen Zers differ in many ways from any other generation. These younger workers expect a stellar candidate experience, care more about meaning than money, and prefer face-to-face conversations over digital communication (yes, you read that right).

So, how can you get the jump on this young, promising, ambitious generation of employees? Before anything else, you need to know where Gen Z is searching for jobs. These candidates start searching for jobs early, with a quarter of students looking for jobs within their first two years of college. Employers can no longer expect these students to come to them; companies need to meet Gen Z where they are.

Gone are the days of turning up at a college job fair, collecting resumes, and showcasing your business, knowing you’ll get young talent in the door. Gen Zers aren’t having any of it. These students receive multiple job offers, demand forward-thinking technology, and expect transparency. To attract and retain this discerning generation, employers need to be more strategically personal, get social, and encourage referrals.

Let’s look at Gen Z’s most valuable job search sources.

Invest in College Recruiters as Trusted Advisors

Generation Z students not only start their job searches earlier than previous generations, but they expect the white glove treatment during the recruiting process. While searching for their first job out of school, this generation anticipates collaborative, personalized, face-to-face interactions. Gen Zers also expect the recruiting process to take less than a week, from initial interview to job offer, satisfying their need for instant gratification in a real-time technological world.

Enter the college recruiter. Gen Z ranks recruiters as having the biggest impact on their decision to accept a job, beating out other expected factors like technology and an accelerated hiring process. Gen Zers want recruiters to be trusted advisors, emphasizing a personal touch and collaborative coaching. Gen Z doesn’t want to be talked to; they want to participate in a shared process.

Boost your college recruiting efforts by engaging job applicants at each stage of the recruiting process. Gen Z students want to know the who, what, where, when. To them, lack of communication means disrespect. 74% of Gen Z candidates would rather connect face-to-face (not necessarily in-person) than any other way. Think video interviews and facetime.

While evaluating your communication methods, don’t forget texting. By shifting to texting, you align yourself with this generation’s preferred communication method. Send these young job seekers an email, and you may not get a response. Through text, recruiters can develop personalized relationships with Gen Z candidates, delivering timely and relevant messages in their desired format.

Embrace Social Media and Technology

If you haven’t jumped on the social media and technology train, you may lose out on highly qualified Gen Z job candidates. Even though 51% of this younger generation thrives on in-person communication, don’t think that they don’t value technology. After all, this is the first digitally native generation, growing up with the iPhone, Netflix, and YouTube, among myriad others. These job seekers not only understand digital technology and social media platforms but appreciate the fact that a digital world makes life easier and more flexible.

When recruiting Gen Z, companies need to engage candidates in current hiring methods. If not, you could lose out on recruiting the next generation. For example, 54% of Gen Z won’t complete a job application if a company’s recruiting methods are outdated. 26% would be deterred from accepting a job because of the lack of recruiting technology. Adopting and implementing technology in the recruiting process, such as video interviewing or email campaigns, will help attract talented Gen Z’ers to your organization.

Encourage Referrals

Above any other recruiting method, Gen Z candidates prefer referrals. Over 60% of Generation Z prefers and relies upon referrals from an employer’s current or former employees as the most trusted job-search source, with job boards coming in second at almost 56%, company websites coming in at 55%, and career centers coming in at 54%.

Generation Z’s Most Valuable Job Search Sources

95% of working graduates want to refer their friends to their companies. So, why isn’t this hiring method taking up all the oxygen in the room? Consider leveraging your employees to streamline sourcing while creating a collaborative, valued company culture.

Beyond collaboration, referred candidates are hired faster, less expensive, and stay with their company longer than traditional candidates. Encourage your employees to refer their friends by offering perks such as public recognition, cash prizes, or days off work. Help your employees refer by telling them who they know. Search your employees’ social networks, finding the right talent for your organization. Build your corporate culture around referrals, encouraging employees to serve as company ambassadors.

A new generation is here, and it’s time for us to adapt. Meet Gen Z where they are. Incorporate a talent acquisition platform delivering the personalized experiences that Gen Z expects. And, don’t forget to bring your A-game. Gen Zers are quite discerning.

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