7 essential tips to recruit people from Generation Z

7 essential tips to recruit people from Generation Z

Generation Z, centennials, digital natives, post-millennials. So many names to add to an HR hierarchy that’s already complicated enough. Generation Z represents 16 million people in France – all of the young people born in the mid-90s, who are now entering the world of work, ready to make the shift to a working life. Members of Generation Z are also increasingly attracted to start-ups and entrepreneurship rather than the biggest groups. In this context of ‘big is not so beautiful after all’, here are our seven tips to attract and recruit people from Generation Z.

1) Provide a genuine development and training policy

Generation Z is thirsty for knowledge. Just like Generation X, I hear you say. True enough, but thanks to new technology, Gen Zs can access it much more easily than Gen Xs could in their time. In a few clicks, they can collect enough information to make a travelling encyclopedia salesman shudder.

And that’s why they are turning their backs on university, no longer believing in the value of a degree – especially among Generation Z members who have had a taste of business. BNP Paribas and The Boson Project carried out a joint survey of 3,200 young people aged between 15 and 20. Only 7.5% answered that formal education will be used to pass on knowledge over the next 10 years.

A young man from Generation Z during a training session organized by his company

Offer comprehensive and varied training

Hence the importance of providing a solid training package. It’s a crucial string to your bow when recruiting. Gen Zs want to learn new skills in a range of fields – for both professional and personal reasons. They expect the company to become a source of knowledge.

And this knowledge is important for a simple reason. Members of Generation Z won’t have just one career, but ten. And they wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. So when recruiting, it’s essential to focus on the projects they’ll get to work on rather than the position itself.

2) Promote projects, not a position

Gen Zs don’t want to work for a company – they want to work on projects. Careers aren’t seen as a linear evolution towards a specific position, but as a series of one-off, varied missions. Internal mobility is therefore a key challenge for HR. During the recruitment process, it’s best to highlight the diversity of the tasks and projects involved, as well as indicating the fields in which candidates can acquire skills.

A young person starting work today won’t spend ten, twenty, thirty years in the same company. But you can build loyalty among Gen Zs by offering them varied and enriching experiences. Gen Zs aren’t looking for a career; they’re looking for fulfilment – so there’s no point trying to lure them in with quick promotions or a salary increase after three years. They just won’t take the bait. Gen Zs measure success using personal fulfilment, not their salary or their job title.

The number of freelancers will soon overtake the number of employees

All you have to do is take a look at the huge increase in the number of freelancers. A vision for the economy of 2040, a study by the Roosevelt Institute and the Kauffman Foundation, shows that in the United States, freelancers now account for 34% of the labour force. And the trend isn’t showing any signs of reversing.

To allow this flexibility and internal mobility to take place, companies will need to break down silos and reinforce collaboration within the workplace.

3) Reinforce collaboration within the workplace

With silos a thing of the past, it’s time to work together. No more inter-department squabbling. To allow your colleagues to change divisions and roles regularly, you need to strengthen collaboration. If you don’t, things won’t click. Increased collaboration will boost innovation within your teams. After all, it’s no secret that diversity is a key factor in creativity. Collaboration and mobility combine to form a virtuous circle.

Young people from Generation Z collaborating on a project

As well as internal mobility, Gen Zs also love geographical mobility. What was once merely tolerated is now sought after. The chance to discover new cities, new countries and new cultures will be an key asset when attracting and recruiting members of Generation Z.

4) Enable geographical mobility, essential to attract Generation Z

According the study by BNP Paribas and the Boson Project, 68.5% of Generation Z could see themselves working abroad. It’s not that they no longer think they have a future at home. But the economy has never been so globalised. So it seems natural that young working people are excited by the idea of discovering what lies overseas.

Companies that can offer flexibility and opportunities such as these will have a winning hand. And once again, this melding of cultures will encourage creativity and innovation.

A young woman from Generation Z working abroad

A change of environment is one of the new ways of finding fulfilment at work. But as we’ve already explained, Gen Zs’ main goal is to flourish rather than to succeed in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, it will be essential to offer them an enjoyable, flexible working environment.

5) Ensure a good working environment

When choosing between identical jobs, 25% of members of Generation Z would choose a ‘fun’ company, 22% would choose an innovative company, and only 10% would choose a thriving company. It goes to show just how much young working people’s priorities have changed in recent decades. It’s not just the salary or prospects of promotion that interest Gen Zs, but also well-being at work.

Create a flexible working space

And key to this is the working space. Spending the whole day sitting at the same desk is totally out of the question. Gen Zs want to be able to move, to work wherever they feel happiest. We see it every day here at Agorize. Our team members might be at their desks, on the sofa in the entrance area, or in the creativity room. After all, if the change of scenery helps them to focus or be more creative, why not? That’s another thing about Generation Z – the need for personalization. And studies on the dangers of inactivity at work show that they’re right (a sedentary lifestyle could be worse for your health than smoking!).

Generation Z and flexible work space

This need for personalization can also be seen in how they approach success. Generation Z doesn’t measure its success through the eyes of others, but through its own personal fulfilment.

6) Review success criteria

There has been a fundamental change in how success is viewed. For 72% of Gen Zs, the most important thing is being proud of yourself. Other people’s opinions don’t really matter.

This means that the relationships they have with their managers is different. Generation Z wants to be challenged, but also to see what their managers are made of. Seniority and experience is no longer a marker of how effective a worker is, and no longer earns automatic recognition.

So you need to be up to the challenge – 47% of people in Generation Z would like to set up their own company. If they think you have nothing to offer them, they might just quit.

7) Modernize the recruitment process

Finally, take the essential step of reviewing your recruitment tools. If you think that Gen Zs will be willing to spend hours writing CVs and cover letters, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Especially given the fact that start-ups are happy just to look at their LinkedIn profile and Twitter account.

A young man from generation Z searching for a job on his mobile phone

Gen Zs no longer see degrees as the Holy Grail, the key that will open the door to employment. They want to be judged on what they can do – and ultimately, it doesn’t matter where they learned how to do it.

Promote the use of mobile recruitment tools

In concrete terms, our advice is that you should focus on dedicated mobile recruitment apps. Or you should at least have a careers site that’s optimized for smartphones. We discussed this topic in one of our previous articles on mobile recruitment strategies. You might be surprised to learn that it’s also the most effective way to recruit the best talent from Generation Y.

If companies don’t change, they have no chance against new emerging models

So, these tips have helped you, but you still don’t know why Gen Zs are so hard to reach? The answer is simple. They know that businesses cannot give them the job security and financial security that their parents had. So you’ll need to offer them other benefits: training, internal mobility, collaboration, geographical mobility, varied projects, a flexible working area.

This is especially true with the emergence of new, more promising models – start-ups, for example. Generation Z knows that 92% of employees working for start-ups are hired on permanent contracts. Only 4% of staff are on fixed-term or temporary contracts, and 2% are on internships.

But companies will still need to watch out for intergenerational conflicts. Managers will certainly have their hands full!


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