How To Win the Nod of Gen Z Candidates?

Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

The recruitment world has undergone a significant transformation since a new generation of talent, Gen Z, has been slowly joining the workforce. Born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z employees come with a fresh and unique set of perspectives, expectations, values, and preferences that demand a new approach from employers.

Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, you must adjust your recruitment strategies to align with the desires and characteristics of Gen Z workers.

This article will explore the essential strategies that will help you win over Gen Z candidates. It will also tackle the cultures of previous generations, from the Silent Generation to Millennials, to provide a broader perspective of how the generations have changed and which influences remain.

 

Understanding Diverse Cultures across Generations

While your goal is to appeal to Gen Zers, it is still crucial to understand the diverse cultures of previous generations. After all, the modern world is a tapestry woven with many different threads across multiple generations.

Each generation has unique values, experiences, cultures, and influences. Understanding the distinct historical events, socio-economic changes, and technological advancements while appreciating their differences can mean better collaboration, more effective problem-solving, and improved communication across generations.  

Here is a crash course on everything you need to know about the different generations of the modern era.

 

The Silent Generation: The Era of Depression, War, and Reconstruction (Born 1928-1945)

Those from the Silent Generation were born between 1928 and 1945, a period of global conflict, economic turmoil, and political upheaval. These individuals’ early lives were profoundly impacted by the devastation of the Great Depression.

Because of their struggles and hardships, this generation grew up with a strong sense of responsibility and duty that helped them live through the most harrowing events of the 20th century.

As they reached adolescence and adulthood, they had to confront even more horrors with the advent of World War II. With the young men joining the army and the young women left behind participating in the war effort on the home front, they deeply felt the war’s impact.

Despite being at the vanguard of two of the most significant historical events and the post-war reconstruction, the more boisterous and louder generations that followed often overshadowed them. However, no one can deny that the Silent Generation has made a unique and indelible mark on history.

Some of the most famous individuals from the Silent Generation include Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, and even the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. Interestingly, President Biden is the only American President from the Silent Generation, born during the Roosevelt administration in 1942.

 

Baby Boomers: The Era of Cultural Revolution (Born 1946-1964)

The Baby Boomers were a generation born between 1946 and 1964. They stand as a demographic powerhouse that transformed the nature of human existence, society, and culture. Baby Boomers derives its name from the “baby boom” after the Second World War.

After years of wartime sacrifice and uncertainty, the post-war period renewed the people’s optimism and hope. As the soldiers came home and the families reunited, a massive surge in marriages and births resulted in an explosion in the population.

This surge of births defined the essence of their generation. After growing up in the post-war economic boom, this generation has embraced a solid work ethic and ambitious career goals, often associating professional achievements with personal identity.

Baby Boomers are trailblazers of change as they came of age during significant technological, social, and cultural transformations.

In terms of technology, Baby Boomers were some of the first to witness innovations such as personal computers, television, and even the internet. Their adaptability to these technological advancements paved the way for the innovations digital natives enjoy today.

Regarding social movements, they were at the forefront of activism for environmental awareness, civil rights, and women’s liberation, spearheading a revolution that resonates today. They were at the heart of the Cultural Revolution from the 60s to the 70s, challenging authority and traditional norms and advocating individual freedoms.

Despite being bringers of societal change, Baby Boomers also hold onto the traditions and family values of those before them and often value marriage, the nuclear family structure, and stability.

Baby Boomers are the original influencers that reshaped fashion, art, literature, and music. Some of the most notable Baby Boomers include Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, and one of only three former U.S. Presidents to hail from Texas, George W. Bush.

 

Generation X: The Era of Rebels and Individualism (Born 1965-1980)

Born between 1965 and 1980, those from Generation X or Gen X define themselves by their adaptability and self-reliance. Rapid changes in economy, culture, and technology marked the formative years of Generation X, which taught them to welcome innovation and adapt to new circumstances that made them resourceful problem-solvers.

Gen Xers witnessed the rise of personal computing and the early days of the internet, which made them pioneers in adopting and adapting to new technologies. This generation is the bridge that connects the gap between the analog and digital worlds. 

They also experienced the emergence of dual-income households and evolving workplace dynamics while seeing the conclusion of the Cold War, a period that divided Europe East and West. Due to economic instability and political scandals, Gen Xers developed a strong desire for personal independence and skepticism toward institutions.

Regarding career goals, Generation X members value work-life balance and self-sufficiency, striving to keep their identities outside their careers.

This generation was also at the forefront of alternative culture movements that embraced unconventional fashion, grunge music, and punk rock. This rebellion against mainstream norms reflected their desire to break free from societal expectations.

Furthermore, they advocate social change and often show concern about issues such as equality and climate change. Some well-known Gen Xers include Leonardo Di Caprio, Eminem, Mike Tyson, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.  

Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

 

Millennials: The Era of Markus Spiske, The Digital Age Pioneers (Born 1981-1996)

Also called Generation Y by some and born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials grew up during globalization and rapid technological advancements. Because of these circumstances, they have emerged as a defining force that has shaped the modern world.

Millennials were the first digital natives due to growing up in the digital age and are comfortable with social media, technology, and online platforms. Thanks to the internet connecting them to a global community, they can now interact with diverse perspectives and cultures.

This exposure goes beyond a simple, instant message from one person in New York to another in Texas or even a video chat from America to Mexico. Thanks to global connectivity, Millennials can connect with virtually anyone worldwide, and the exposure to different viewpoints has garnered an appreciation for inclusivity and diversity.

Millennials value autonomy and innovation in their careers, drawing them toward freelancing and entrepreneurship. They also seek a balance between their personal and work environment by prioritizing remote work options and opportunities to pursue their passions outside of work.

Some of the most famous millennials in recent years include Bruno Mars, Kaley Cuoco, Connor McGregor, and former king of YouTube, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, famously known as PewDiePie.

 

Generation Z: The Era of Digital Natives (Born 1997-2012)

Born between 1997 and 2012, people from Generation Z or Gen Zers have never known a world outside of their smartphones or the internet. They are the first true digital natives due to growing up in a world of global connectivity, rapid technological advancements, and immeasurable access to information.

Those from Generation Z were born into a world that has already experienced the digital revolution. Gen Zers do not need to adapt to new technology because it is already an integral part of their lives.

Their dependence on smartphones and social media applications has become especially prevalent in recent years due to the pandemic and the rise of platforms such as Snapchat, Tiktok, and Instagram. These apps perfectly emphasize how Gen Zers prefer visual communication in the form of GIFs, short videos, and memes as their favored modes of expression.

Gen Zers typically have an entrepreneurial mindset that values innovation and seeks opportunities to monetize their skills and passions as they finance their studies and beyond, making them ideal candidates for oil and gas recruiters.

Whether from a Democratic or Republican state, Gen Zers are at the forefront of social and political activism. They leverage social media platforms to amplify their voices and push for change, which has raised awareness about issues like mental health and well-being, LGBTQ+ rights, gun violence, and climate change.

Gen Zers also challenge traditional concepts of gender and identity by advocating for more acceptance and inclusivity. This generation is more likely to embrace a broader spectrum of identities and identify as non-binary.

As of last year, some of the most notable Gen Zers include Anya Taylor-Joy, Ariana Grande, Gaten Matarazzo, and Chloë Grace Moretz.

Now that you understand the different generations and their differing perspectives and cultures, you should better understand how to appeal to Gen Zers. Here are some of the most effective strategies you can employ to gain the approval of Gen Z candidates.

 

Embrace Digital Channels

Because Gen Zers are the first generation of digital native individuals, it makes sense that online channels are the most effective way to communicate with them. Your organization should utilize various digital platforms, such as company websites, job boards, and social media, for your brand and opportunities.

Virtual office tours, interactive experiences, and engaging video content are the best ways to capture their attention and provide insights into your company’s culture.

 

Authenticity Matters

Gen Z candidates can be discerning consumers of information that can reliably identify insincere marketing tactics. Your company should commit to their values and strive for authenticity in their messaging.

Showcase diversity and inclusion efforts, social responsibility initiatives, and employee testimonials that reflect the authentic culture of the company. Gen Z candidates are more likely to work with an organization that aligns with their own beliefs and values.

 

Work-Life Balance

The idea of a traditional nine-to-five job is less than appealing to the average Gen Z worker, as they value flexibility and prioritize work-life balance.

Offering remote work options, opportunities for job-sharing, and flexible schedules can make a company more attractive to this generation of workers. It is also crucial to highlight outcomes over rigid hours and establish an environment that fosters productivity regardless of physical location.

Diversity and Inclusion

In recent years, Gen Zers have been the most diverse generation that values representation and inclusivity. Your company must ensure its website, recruiting materials, and overall branding reflect diversity.

Incorporating inclusive hiring practices and featuring a diverse workforce can resonate well with Gen Z candidates, who are more likely to work with an organization that celebrates and values differences.

Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is not only for consumer products. Collaborating with employees to share their experiences on social media is an excellent way to provide candidates with an authentic look into your company’s culture.

Live Q&A sessions, employee takeovers, and behind-the-scenes content can humanize the recruitment process and provide valuable insights.

Win This Generation Over With the Right Strategies

Winning over Gen Z candidates requires a holistic approach that embraces their aspirations, values, and digital fluency. Your company can attract and retain Gen Zers by embracing flexibility, personalization, purpose-driven initiatives, and authenticity.

As businesses adapt their recruitment strategies to cater to this unique generation, they can create a workforce that can push innovation and growth in the years to come.

 

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