With more and more Generation Z’ers aging into the workforce, we begin to question how to go about recruiting them and how they will stand out in the workplace compared to previous generations.

This generation also places importance on individuality, being able to customize products, experiences, and everything else to their individual preferences and needs.

Although sources mildly differ, for the most part it is agreed that Generation Z refers to the group of people born between 1995 – 2010. Having been born well into the internet age and never knowing the struggles of having to write letters, use a payphone, or waiting for the loud screeching of a dial-up loading screen to end, that Generation Z brings unique values into the workforce than the previous generations.

However, it is surprising that Generation Z tends to stick to older methods of job hunting and communication, preferring personal references and email. In other words, sliding into social media DMs (direct messaging) should be left to the dating scene. According to Millennial and Generation Z speaker and generations expert Ryan Jenkins, companies are still encouraged to keep a strong presence on the top recruiting sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn, maintaining that “Seventy percent of candidates look to [company] reviews before they make career decisions and 69 percent are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.” 

Though they use a variety, the top five methods Gen Z is using to job hunt are:

  • Searching within the company website
  • Word of mouth
  • Career services office
  • Job Fairs
  • Local recruiting websites

Having been raised in an age highly consumed by the virtual world, one would think that they would prefer communication through similar, more up-to-date methods, but this is not the case. While they do make use of their everyday social media apps, it seems they largely prefer email and face-to-face networking over any other type of recruitment. Relying heavily on personal contacts, networking events, and even (in a shocking turn of events) printed publications/newspapers, this digital centered generation seems remarkably old school.


Speaking to Generation Z

Growing up with instantaneous communication has led to a shorter attention span. While using abbreviated texting lingo or gifs will come off as unprofessional and fictitious, being concise in communication with Gen Z’ers and highlighting positive aspects that interest them will serve well to spark their interests.


What is Generation Z Looking For?

Generation Z has different values and views on life, and it is beneficial in understanding how to recruit them and integrate them into your workspace to understand who they are and what those values are.  By doing so, recruiters can not only hire them but maintain their employment while making better use of their skills as well.


Who is Generation Z?

Besides being the generation following Millennials, an article called “GENERATION Z: CHALLENGES FOR MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP”, written by Sergiu Bălan and Lucia Ovidia Vreja, describes Generation Z as:

  • Phigital
  • Hyper-Customizers
  • Realistic
  • Webeconomists
  • Driven
  • Independent

Generation Z’s lives exist not only in the physical world, but the digital as well. The overlapping “phigital” aspects of their lives have left them with high expectations when it comes to technology. This generation also places importance on individuality, being able to customize products, experiences, and everything else to their individual preferences and needs.

Although they may enjoy individuality, Generation Z tends to favor a collective view when it comes to the values of a company and organization. Being apart of a team where their ideas are heard is of high importance in their careers. They want to make a social impact and be an active part of the discussion to find solutions. Growing up in a web centered world and being apart of its social aspects has had a large influence in the formation of this “webeconomist” view.

Since Gen Z’ers have spent their entire lives with next-to-constant access to rapidly evolving technology and web centered content, they have become independent in the way they work and are driven to find solutions themselves.


What does Generation Z value in the Work Place?

  • Access to sophisticated technology
  • Individuality
  • Multifaceted job roles
  • Inclusion in decision making processes
  • Competition

Generation Z places a high importance on success, but surprisingly they do not solely link this to their salary. While money is still high on the list, they also place a large amount of importance on social recognition and being able to have the type of job role flexibility that will allow them opportunities to grow in multiple directions. Gen Z’ers are often highly skilled in multi-tasking and tend to work best in roles that allow them to wear multiple hats.

Because they are still young, Generation Z is less concerned with retirement plans.  Instead, they’re more interested in the possibility for growth. While this will not always be the case, integrating their current concerns into recruitment publications and communications will give recruiters an advantage in the years to come.



Mallori Black is a future graduate of Texas A&M University – Commerce and a writer of fiction and non- fiction. Mallori has 7+ years of experience working in the small business industry. Active in contemplating human behavior and the in and outs of the current world around her, she enjoys employing her experience and these aspects into her writing.