Generation Z, born between 1996 and 2010, is the newest generation to start entering the workforce.

Currently, Gen Z accounts for about one-fourth of the overall population and is on its way to becoming the most well-educated generation. Gen Z will make up 30 percent of the workforce by 2030. This means that focusing your recruitment efforts and honing your recruitment strategies aimed at Gen Z should be starting now as they make up a bigger and bigger portion of the workforce.

Recruiting for different generations can be tricky, though. Each generation has characteristics that — on the whole — make them unique. With unemployment at the highest it’s been in decades and the pandemic significantly impacting the workforce, Gen Z is rising up in one of the toughest times in modern history. It’s a defining moment for this generation — but it’s not the only thing that defines members of Gen Z.

What Gen Z characteristics will help them during this time? And how can recruiters use this information to reach them? Let’s look a bit closer.

Gen Z Characteristics Driving Workplace Success

Despite the number of obstacles, Gen Z characteristics and values are driving these young workers to find success. Here’s how.

Naturally Digital

It’s no surprise that growing up with modern technology has put Gen Z at an advantage in the modern climate. Using computers, phones, and other tech from a young age has positioned this generation to be naturally digital.

It’s estimated that 80 percent of Gen Z aspires to work with new & innovative technology and a whopping 91 percent said technology would be a deciding factor for them when evaluating job offers.

According to economist Nicholas Bloom, “42 percent of the U.S. labor force [is] now working from home full-time.” 

With remote work looking like the new normal, a deep understanding and passion for technology gives Gen Z workers (and their employers) an advantage. 

Especially since this is an advantage that Gen Z is willing to share. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Zers are willing to act as technology “mentors” for others in their company. So despite their relatively young age, Gen Z can still teach others a lot in areas related to technology.

Talent acquisition teams can use this information to their benefit when considering candidates during the interview process. For example, not every technology experience or example a candidate offers while answering behavior-based questions needs to come from a professional setting.

Many Gen Z candidates may have personal examples they can highlight while speaking about technology, so be sure to open the floor and consider any relevant “non-work” examples. You may be surprised to hear some creative experiences.

Stability and Security

Gen Z also grew up during the 2008 recession & financial crisis. Living through one of the toughest economic times in recent history (and now the current one) has led to this generation dealing with astronomical student debt, parental layoffs, and high unemployment from a young age.

Understandably, this has shaped this generation to value security, stability, and practical benefits.

Most of us have heard that job perks like gyms and free food are important to Millennials and Gen X. Not so much with Gen Z, though. 

Unlike the similar Millennial, the majority of Gen Z (70 percent, in fact) puts salary as their top priority. Keep this in mind when crafting a job posting. Not only can including a salary help your job post gain visibility in Google for Jobs, but it can also resonate with Gen Z.


Why is it so important to include salary in a job description?

Learn why in our article here.


The other crazy work perk that 70 percent of Gen Z ranks as their top must-have? Health insurance.

The good news for employers is that you can focus on recruiting Gen Z workers with practical and stable salaries and benefits instead of worrying about funding elaborate job perks, trips, and events during a tough economic time.

All you need to worry about now is getting your job postings on the major career sites. Learn how Jobiak can help with recruitment marketing, job post optimization, and more here.

Putting in the Work

While the Millennial generation ranks work-life balance as one of their top priorities from an employer, only 38 percent of Gen Z employees think that work-life balance is important. 

Gen Z tends to start their career search early on with one quarter beginning the search within their first two years of college. Only 10 percent wait until after graduation to look for work.

The takeaway? Gen Z is driven and hardworking. Fifty-eight percent say they’re willing to work weekends and nights (as long as they’re compensated fairly) and 76 percent describe themselves as the driving force in their career.

This driven mindset is great for Gen Z at work as more entry-level positions open up as Millennials climb the ladder. Young men and women coming out of college are willing to put in the extra work & hours to complete a project, and they’re willing to work high-demand service & industry jobs on weekends, nights, and odd hours.

Because Gen Z tends to start looking for work early on in their education, it’s a great opportunity for employers to recruit and retain talent in the long-term.

Talent acquisition teams can do this by partnering with colleges and universities directly, attending job fairs, and creating a “pipeline” with alumni relations specialists at schools. Colleges are invested in finding their grads jobs, so they are often open to talking about how to get their most qualified grads employed. Start a conversation.

Consumers and Workers

It’s estimated that 40 percent of the consumer and workforce population will be made up of Gen Zers by the end of 2020. 

As more and more Gen Zers enter the workforce and become a huge portion of consumers, Gen Z workers will be best suited to understand the wants, needs, and values of their fellow Gen Z consumers. 

Gen Z at Work: Bottom Line

Gen Z at work can do much more than just social media. Gen Z characteristics range from innovative to driven to diverse; understanding these characteristics is key for recruiting and retaining Gen Z talent. 

As you craft your job postings and create your talent acquisition strategy, keep these ideas, wants, and needs in mind along with job post optimization, proper schema, and job descriptions. 

Need some help keeping all that straight? Want to focus on the many other aspects of your job? 

Jobiak can help. Our AI-powered technology will generate optimized and properly formatted job postings that can target the job seekers you’re looking for.

Learn more about our tech here.

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