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Gen Z Characteristics: What They Really Look Like

By collegemktgrp | January 6, 2020 | Student Employers

Gen Z is one of the largest and most diverse generations making up at least 27% of the U.S population. Succeeding Millennials, this demographic cohort consists of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. If you’re hoping to recruit Gen Z employees, then it’s important to get to know who they are, what they believe in and what they want.

Here are 7 Gen Z characteristics to help you shape your recruitment strategy. 

1. They are Technologically Savvy

Generation Z grew up in an age of technology, social media, and the World Wide Web. They look to the internet for answers and use resources online to validate the credibility of companies, products and even their peers’ social media profiles. 

How does this impact your recruitment efforts? Rest assured, they will investigate your website and social media, so be sure to create profiles that provide an inside look on your company’s culture and continually publish relevant content.

It is important to find ways to connect and resonate with Gen Z through multiple online platforms. Try promoting engaging videos that capture your audiences’ attention. Express your company’s culture and what it’s like to work there, while showcasing real employees and authentic moments. Make sure your marketing message and collateral are all mobile friendly because that is where Gen Z spends a lot of their time doing their research.

2. They are Entrepreneurial

They grew up in a startup culture that was innovative, creative and aspirational. Successful figures and their role models taught them that anything is possible if you put in the work. They have had more access to resources and information than any other cohort and are comfortable with taking the initiative to build their skills.

When you are communicating with this target market, your company should highlight how you welcome their ideas and how you can provide them with opportunities to grow and create new initiatives.

3. They Want to Bring Value

When it comes to their career, they want to have an impact and bring meaning to their work, investing in a job that fulfills them. If Gen Z employees feel as though they are not getting enough out of their position at your company, then your retention rate will not look good. Gen Z grew up in an age where they have choices with who they work for and what they do. They are not afraid to reach out to their network or look for other options.

When recruiting Gen Z, make sure to express the value your open position holds and how their role can make a difference in the company’s goals and missions.

4. They are Diverse

From race, gender, identity, and orientation, Generation Z is diverse and that matters to them. They are interested in being a part of a team that ensures equality, inclusion and acceptance of different perspectives. Find ways to highlight and integrate diversity into your website, brochures, presentations and recruitment staff.

5. They have Good Advertising Filters

Generation Z has learned over the years how to filter out all the advertising noise. In order to truly resonate with this target market, you need to create company stories that are compelling and engaging. You are more likely to capture their attention by creating a video of your employees’ experiences rather than blandly listing characteristics about your company.

6. They Like Transparency 

They expect employers to be completely transparent, which is why they like websites like Glassdoor.com. They want you to be authentic and true in your advertising messaging and interview process. If they enter into a job or company culture that was misleading, both parties will end up being unhappy. At the end of the day, they will respect your honesty over anything, so always be authentic! Communicate your strengths and do not hide your company’s weaknesses.

7. They are Independent

Gen Z appreciates companies that are able to trust their employees and provide them with opportunities to prove themselves by working independently on projects or research. They do not want to feel suffocated or micromanaged when they are more than capable of getting the job done. As far as company culture is concerned, they also enjoy the flexibility to manage their schedule and work remotely when needed. They do not need an open office floor plan with everyone arriving strictly from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to keep them motivated and complete tasks. They like being efficient and owning their projects and they want their employers to believe that as well.

Generation Z has a lot of talent and you have hiring needs. What can you do with this information now? Integrate these 7 characteristics into your marketing strategy, highlighting how your company is relevant to their needs and wants.

If you have more questions about marketing to Gen Z or how to get your recruitment campaign started, contact us for a free consultation. We work with startups, universities and national brands to hire top talent and hit recruitment goals.

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