Gen Z graduates to the workforce—how their job search differs

by | May 22, 2019 | Public Relations

The oldest members of Generation Z are turning 22 this year, and as they prepare to graduate college, many will be entering the professional workforce. New research from talent acquisition software firm Yello educates employers on how to best attract the first graduating class of Gen Z this spring,

The Yello Recruiting Studyexamines the career preparation, job-search and decision-making behaviors of this generation while comparing them with those of millennials and Generation X. The firm gathered survey responses from Gen Z students, student millennials, employed millennials, and employed Gen X members, as well as HR industry professionals.

“Our clients have been asking us how they can best tailor their hiring approach and use of our technology to deliver a best-in-class experience for this new generation of candidates,” said Scott Brandt, EVP of marketing at Yello, in a news release. “The research confirms that growing up with technology has shaped the way Gen Z approaches the job search. While they do have plenty of commonalities with previous generations, there are distinct differences recruiters should keep top of mind while attracting and engaging these candidates.”

Gen Z graduates to the workforce—how their job search differs

Top themes and findings from the study include:

Gen Z is confident in the current job market and their job prospects post-graduation

Likely thanks to today’s tight labor market, about two-thirds of Gen Z students are confident they’ll receive a job offer—and 35 percent expect to receive more than one offer. Similarly, members of Gen Z are clearly setting themselves up to succeed in the candidate-driven environment by starting the job search early. A quarter of Gen Z students start the job search freshman/sophomore year and half start junior/senior year.

Gen Z graduates to the workforce—how their job search differs

Gen Z still values face-to-face communication when vetting job opportunities

Defying the stereotype that these digital natives are tech-first, Yello’s research shows Gen Z values highly personal and oftentimes face-to-face interaction. Fifty-one percent of Gen Z respondents said they prefer to communicate in-person, while a quarter said they prefer to communicate digitally.

Gen Z graduates to the workforce—how their job search differs

Unlike millennials, Gen Z says working with recruiters that are “trusted advisors” is crucial

Recruiters should know that their approach can have a significant impact on Gen Z’s decision to accept a job—44 percent of this group said the recruiter they spoke with has the biggest impact on their decision to accept a job while only 29 percent of millennials agreed. Recruiters should also be sure to treat Gen Z fairly during the hiring process as three-quarters of this group cite being treated unfairly as the top cause of a negative experience while only half of millennials said the same.

Gen Z graduates to the workforce—how their job search differs

Employers shouldn’t forget about HR tech to create a seamless, quick experience for Gen Z and other generations

Though Gen Z places emphasis on in-person communication, they still expect their employers to use technology—especially when it comes to making the application mobile-friendly. Forty-six percent of Gen Z candidates have applied for a full-time job or internship on a mobile device compared to 38 percent of employed millennials and 26 percent of Gen X. Further, 26 percent of Gen Z candidates say that a lack of technology throughout the hiring process would prevent them from accepting a job with the company. This is notable considering only 15 percent of employed millennials and 13 percent of Gen X candidates cited this sentiment.

“While our report centers around examining Gen Z as the new wave of talent, Yello is also uniquely positioned to advise employers on meeting the hiring needs of all generations,” said Brandt. “To be successful in attracting and hiring the best candidates, recruiters and hiring managers alike should adapt to the changing needs of today’s workforce.”

Access the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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