Technology and evolving business strategies have led to a growing gap between open positions and qualified candidates. Companies across the U.S. are being forced to refine their recruitment methods as the demand for skilled employees grows. The future of recruitment will change even more as the workforce transitions to Generation Z.
Generation Z and Millennials
Millennials are the generation who reached adulthood around the year 2000 – around 80 million of them. Now 40-ish, these are the people doing the recruitment and hiring at most companies. While Millennials’ connection with technology is strong – they were the first to come of age with the Internet and computer games – Gen Z is quite different. These teens grew up with cell phones, Wi-Fi, and social media. They also grew up with terrorism and the Great Recession.
Different experiences and a better familiarity with technology have created separation between the two generations. Gen Z has higher expectations from life and culture. They are less tolerant and less patient while stress in the workplace keeps increasing every year. Given their greater access to information and services, they are also less loyal. They care more about “experience” than information. This is the new job applicant that hiring managers must adapt to, and soon.
How Gen Z Sees Their Future
Today’s teens are less optimistic than their parent were about achieving the “American Dream”. They’ve seen their parent’s career choices unravel, and understand that economic and career stability are by no means guaranteed, even with a college degree. The uncertainty of the workplace, and billionaire success of tech company leaders has led Gen Z to admire entrepreneurs and visionaries. To spend life at a routine job, even a well-paid job, is less of a goal and more of a survival strategy.
Teens are worried about obtaining a college degree at all, given soaring tuition rates. But they are also more compassionate and determined. What they want is a team environment where they are supported by, and answerable to, their peers as much as their managers. They want jobs that provide advancement in multiple ways while retaining their own sense of identity.
How Gen Z Looks for Work
Today’s newest job applicants set the tone for how Gen Z will shape the future of recruitment. They recognize that a resume is now far more than a piece of paper. Gen Z understands digital networking. The resume of tomorrow is a profile on social media sites. Tomorrow’s workforce understands that self-marketing is very much a digital issue.
How they pitch this digital resume in the job search is very much tech-oriented, as well. Mobile apps, social media, job sites, and career blogs are far more likely to be employment resources than newspapers or job fairs. Teens are acclimated to a sense of digital community. They want jobs and companies that continue and extend this.
Basic computer and even marketing skills are practically a given, and they expect this will have value. What they want is what they lack – constructive work experience.
How Gen Z Recruitment Works
Internet searches and HR software are becoming more sophisticated. Recruiters can turn up a list of online candidates based on education, skillsets, experience, and so forth.
But the digital world can tell companies more about a job applicant than even a digital resume. Degrees and certificates can often be verified online. More hiring managers follow up on a promising resume by immediately checking social media sites for posts that reveal far more about who that person is. Skills can be verified through online testing. Background checks follow.
The trend in hiring over the next decade will be toward software that automates this whole process to narrow hundreds of applicants down to a list of finalists in moments.
Using Big Data as a Tool for Talent Acquisition
A vast amount of information is being collected online activity, such as demographics, likes and dislikes, search activity, and more. While this is mostly for marketing purposes, the same principals apply to identifying the best job candidates. While data models need some adaption, companies using big data will be able to not only identify, but analyze and pursue, gifted employees.
Gen Z and Their Workplace Expectations
Less patience, higher expectations, and less loyalty means more stress from Gen Z workers, both on the job in professional relationships. This is already becoming an issue with disability claims stemming from work-related stress continue to rise. Employers must find ways to counter this, such as providing a positive work environment, more passive communication (text and email), and fitness programs to burn off energy. More companies will implement work-from-home policies – a perfect fit for Gen Z.
The future of recruitment is big data tools that work with the online footprint of the job candidates themselves. This will help hiring managers not only locate the best candidates, but as AI software and candidate modeling appear, determine who will be the best fit with the company culture and the most likely to remain with the business.
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