How to Recruit Generation Z-ers and Keep Them Happy

Generation Z professional image

Here are some interesting facts about Generation Z-ers, which are the most ethnically diverse generation in the country. They actively shop online and consume more YouTube content than Millennials. Recruiting, hiring and keeping Generation Z-ers happy is challenging because workplace and social trends are changing. HR professionals will know how to source the best and brightest Generation Z talent by better understanding the Z-ers' background and adjusting their recruiting methods accordingly.

Understand the Differences

cap and gown for graduates

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) states that Gen Z-ers were born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, so many of them are now graduating college and searching for jobs.

Because over 72 million members of this generation were raised through parental tough-love and self-esteem-building, they are more likely to be practical and independent when it comes to their careers. Z-ers are also more likely to experience multiple careers in different industries than previous generations.

They are the first generation of digital natives, so they may dislike apps that can’t swipe and phones that aren’t smart. Z-ers will want to work for companies in which they can utilize their tech skills.

Generation Z-ers are replacing the Baby Boomer generation, but, interestingly, they are more likely to take a pay cut and sacrifice for the company in return for a satisfying and rewarding career.

Understand their Expectations

Generation Z-ers tend to share similar goals and expectations during the hiring process. Because many are beginning their careers, they appreciate mentoring and encouragement.

Gallup states that managers account for up to 70 percent of employee engagement variance. However, Generation Z-ers may be more prepared and willing to fire their bad boss, so being honest and supportive are important.

give and take discussion - feedback

Organizations that create accommodating work spaces are also more likely to attract every generation of worker, especially when they recognize outstanding performance and provide employees with consistent job performance feedback. Some of the most innovative, successful and enjoyable companies to work for are found in Silicon Valley and other technology industries that know how to “move people.”

Understand their Concerns

One of the biggest worries of young people entering the workforce is financial stability. Therefore, it may be difficult for them to concentrate on being model employees if they are over-anxious about their jobs and personal finances.


Many young people want their jobs to have meaning and want to feel valued in their position, so offering financial transparency, such as published wages, and support services, such as financial counseling, will help create a positive environment.

Because Generation Z-ers tend to want more feedback about their performance, supervisors should be continually trained on how to offer constructive criticism, create individual improvement plans, and recognize skill development opportunities.

Understand their Ambitions

Generation Z-ers are more ambitious than previous generations because they are more confident, open to change, and technology-proficient. Perhaps this is why Entrepreneur magazine says that they are more likely to become independent, small business owners than Generation Y-ers.

leadership - group of people

Instead of contending for high-profile and powerful positions many years down the career road, they are perfectly happy with temporary or project-based leadership positions. Many want to be team and unit leaders in their organizations within a few years, so they are looking for jobs with leadership training and professional development opportunities. Companies will attract more Generation Z-ers by offering mentoring programs, especially those that cater to diversity and gender equality.

In fact, Generation Z-ers care deeply about equality and social change. Forbes reports that Generation Z is concerned about human effects on the planet, so they are becoming change agents through online activism, sometimes sardonically referred to as slacktivism.

Therefore, recruitment marketing content may yield more "leads" when focused upon development programs and opportunities to give back to the communities.

Understanding the unique qualities, expectations and ambitions of Generation Z will help you greatly in your talent acquisition efforts; however, if you need additional assistance in meeting your recruiting and hiring goals, please contact Brannon Professionals today.