As recruiters, we’re all looking for the next generation of great talent. Today, this means turning towards Generation Z.

Every generation has its own needs, expectations, and quirks. Understanding Gen Z is essential to successfully attracting the best and brightest.

Generation Z refers to people born between 2001-2019. They are true digital natives and are the first generation to have spent their whole lives with smartphones and social media.

These technical skills make Gen Z attractive new hires. We’ve already talked about attracting Gen Z team members, but we also need to keep their attention and enthusiasm.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Gen Z has a different perspective on recruitment than those who’ve gone before them. A recent study found that 75% of Gen Z workers have abandoned a job they were interested in partway through the application process.

Having spent time and energy finding great applicants, how can we ensure that our Gen Z candidates remain excited about our jobs? What changes can we make to help ensure they stay with us until the end of the recruitment process?

Let’s take a look.

The problems with current Gen Z hiring processes — and how to solve them

If we want to keep Gen Z applicants, we need to understand the problems that are leading them to drop out.

Here are the most common reasons Gen Z candidates withdraw from recruitment processes, even when they like the job you’re offering.

Problem: the process takes too long

Finding great talent takes time, but Gen Z candidates aren’t inclined to wait around for inefficient recruitment processes. This generation has grown up with Netflix, UberEats, and next-day delivery as normal. If your recruitment process is slow, they’ll quickly run out of patience.

This isn’t just a sign of impatience — it’s often a sensible career decision. Gen Z candidates are often proactive when looking for work, submitting applications to various roles at once. A slow-moving recruitment process allows other companies to make job offers while you’re still interviewing.

Solution: keep it quick

The length of your recruitment process is a trade-off. You want enough time to allow great talent to apply and to ensure you make the right decision without dragging it out for longer than necessary.

Clear, streamlined processes allow you to make good decisions without feeling rushed. Look for ways to automate aspects of your recruitment to reduce delays and facilitate decision-making.

Streamlining your recruitment process starts before you advertise vacant roles. Creating a great job advert and being transparent about important information like salary and benefits helps candidates know whether your job is a good fit for them.

This slightly reduces your candidate pool but avoids wasting time on candidates who won’t be a good fit.

Problem: lack of communication

Gen Z are used to easy and instant communication. They expect companies to communicate effectively throughout the process and see a failure to communicate as a sign of a potentially poor working environment.

This generation (rightly) hates ghosting in romantic relationships, and the same goes for potential employers. Failing to communicate with unsuccessful candidates can sabotage your future efforts at reaching this cohort.

Solution: have regular, personalised communication

Keeping candidates informed and involved in your recruitment process is key to avoiding dropouts.

This isn’t just about how often you reach out to applicants. Think about how you communicate with candidates at different stages of the process. Communication shouldn’t be an add-on to recruitment. A great communication and messaging strategy is integral to building relationships with candidates. 

It’s also important to keep things as personalised as possible. Nobody likes getting a form email, and Generation Z candidates can spot one a mile away. Take the time to reply to candidates as personally as possible — they’ll appreciate that you’ve made the effort to see them as people, not just a number in your list of candidates.

Problem: complicated recruitment processes

As we’ve mentioned, Gen Z candidates will often apply to many different jobs simultaneously. An unnecessarily complex or frustrating recruitment process will often encourage them to move on to another organisation.

As digital natives, these applicants know that there is no excuse for repeatedly asking for the same information or not being able to check on the status of their application. They expect you to streamline your processes.

Solution: keep it simple

When you look at your recruitment process, consider what you are trying to achieve at each stage and ask whether there is a simpler way to achieve the same goal. 

For example, have a look at your interview process. Are you asking candidates to attend in-person interviews or multiple interviews with different members of your team? Consider remote interviews which can be more convenient for applicants than face-to-face conversations. And look at how many people need to be involved in interviews, and at what stage. Can you condense multiple interviews into one?  

Look at your entire recruitment pipeline to identify where you might lose candidates. This will tell you where you can make the most significant improvements.

Problem: not feeling valued

This is a slightly more abstract problem, but it can significantly impact the success of your recruitment strategy. Gen Z knows their worth, and if they don’t have a clear sense that you value them, they will look for an employer who does.

They have no interest in jumping through hoops to impress you when there are many other jobs they could apply for.

This is the overarching theme when recruiting Gen Z. They don’t just want to be treated with respect — they expect and require it.

Solution: focus on user experience

Your website and application should be as streamlined and easy to use as possible. There are simple steps you can take to ensure potential candidates have a great first experience with your company.

Consider allowing applicants to save their applications, especially if you require lots of information. Try asking for information in a logical order and only ask for information that you will actually need and use.

It’s a good idea to get your recruitment team to try out your application process to see how easy it is to complete. Remember that many applicants will be in busy, noisy, or awkward environments, and ask your team to replicate this.

Is your process easy to complete with children in the background? Or on a smartphone? If not, it’s time to make some improvements.

The more you can improve your user experience, the more you can show candidates that you value their time and effort — giving them a great impression of your employer brand in the process.

Need help updating your hiring processes? crooton can help

These tips may be particularly important for attracting Gen Z talent, but they are valuable for candidates of all ages.

An outside perspective can sometimes be helpful when you identify improvements in your recruitment process. Get in touch with us at crooton and our expert team can help you make improvements that win over candidates of all generations!