Know the ABCs of Recruiting Gen Z


By 2030, Generation Z will represent 30 percent of the work force according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Attracting the best and brightest Gen Z applicants requires an understanding of how this generation thinks and what is important to them.

Who Are They?

Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gen Z will soon pass Millennials as the biggest group of the world population. Gen Z is also the most ethnically diverse generation in history. Often referred to as “digital natives,” Gen Z has stereotypes such as being addicted to technology and being active about social causes they are passionate about.

What Are Their Values?

According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, the “search for truth” is at the core of Gen Z and their behaviors. “Truth” includes expressing individuality, having open dialogue, having realistic expectations, and understanding the viewpoints and backgrounds of others.

Recruiting & Retaining Generation Z

Employers will need to evaluate current practices and ensure that not only are they good global citizens, but that their impact is visible to both potential job candidates and current employees. As they enter the professional world, Gen Z’s ideal work environments include:

  • Flextime
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Upward mobility
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Expanded benefits
  • Community involvement
  • An ability to utilize advanced technology

Laying out career paths will help Gen Z visualize and work toward goals. A mentorship program can both address intergenerational gaps and help new talent achieve these goals. Making changes and additions to your company culture now will allow you to attract and retain this young future talent.

Doug Kramer, SPHR, is an HR consultant and trainer at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact him at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or