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What is Gen Z Looking For In an Employer?

Every new generation changes the world of work when it enters the workplace, and Gen Z is no different. However, this generation is especially notable for its high level of diversity and for the lasting social impacts Gen Zers have experienced as a result of coming of age during a global pandemic. College recruiting teams need to understand where Gen Z is coming from to make successful hires this spring.

Why is Gen Z different?

The Gen Z generation was born between 1997 and 2012, making today’s oldest Gen Zers 26 years old and the youngest just 11. They’ve been labeled digital natives – a generation that’s never known a world without the internet, mobile phones or social media. However, unlike Millennials, by the time Gen Zers started using these technologies, they had access to iPhone 4.0, and internet 2.0, and many choices beyond Facebook. Gen Z lives life intertwined with technologies to an extent that older generations in the workforce can find hard to truly understand.

If you’ve been recruiting Gen Z for a few years now, you’ve faced the difficulties common in modern campus hiring: identifying the best candidates out of a group with similar backgrounds and limited experience, managing hiring logistics more efficiently, and making your employer brand stand out on campus. With Gen Z, you’re also engaging with an audience that has high expectations for sophisticated technology and digital interactions.

How can hiring teams engage and hire Gen Z?

Gen Z’s experiences with the public pressures of social media and the unpredictability of a global pandemic influence their ideas of a desirable workplace. What are they looking for in an employer? Transparency, genuine human connection, diversity and flexibility are on their list of essentials.  If you can align your digital hiring process with the Gen Z mindset, you can find and assess the next generation of talent more effectively.

Recently, Modern Hire introduced the Graduate Virtual Job Tryout™, science-based simulation- and text-based assessment technology that measures competencies and likelihood to stay on the job. The Graduate VJT is designed specifically for entry level roles in which candidates have little to no experience.

Here’s how the Graduate VJT and Modern Hire’s intelligent hiring platform can help you align with Gen Z’s expectations: 

Transparency – Employers are too vague with salary information, job descriptions and the hiring process, according to Gen Zers. The Graduate VJT creates a more transparent experience by giving student candidates a chance to experience job-specific exercises and a realistic job preview. Hiring teams can also share their employer brand via the Modern Hire platform at every step candidates take through the hiring process, so they get a deeper sense of your workplace culture and values. They’re more likely to see themselves in your workplace and find their purpose with this insight.

Human connection – Nobody wants to be treated as just a number, including Gen Z. The Graduate VJT and intelligent interviewing in the Modern Hire platform help you create personalized hiring experiences for talent pools large and small. In addition, because you’re able to efficiently assess candidates quickly, you can spend more one-on-one time with the most promising talent, and let the others know to move on in a courteous and timely manner. Hiring teams can also provide meaningful feedback at scale – a bonus of the hiring experience that’s appreciated by candidates of all ages.

Diversity – Given that Gen Z is the most diverse generation, it’s not surprising that more of Gen Z values an ethnically and racially diverse workforce than any other generation. By providing a fair assessment of an entry level candidate’s skills, you show you are committed to an objective, job-relevant process that reduces bias in hiring. The Graduate VJT enables you to identify the most qualified, diverse candidates likely to succeed on the job. 

Flexibility – Gen Z navigates the world with a smartphone in their hand, so they’re accustomed to flexibility in just about everything they do. Hiring teams can enhance flexibility in their hiring process using Modern Hire. Student candidates can conveniently access the Graduate VJT, digital interviews, scheduling and other aspects of the hiring process on their smartphone anywhere, at any time.

Use science and data to drive better Gen Z hiring

While Modern Hire helps you put your Gen Z candidates at the center of hiring, you also gain the benefits of Modern Hire’s data-driven assessment, video interview, and workflow automation tools. They translate into better outcomes such as:


  • Better quality of hire
  • More efficient hiring
  • Objective hiring that leaves candidates feeling that they’ve been treated fairly, even if they don’t get the job
  • Engaging experiences that encourage Gen Z to connect with you

Read more about how Modern Hire creates hiring experiences that are Efficient, Effective, Ethical, and Engaging.

Each generation has it nuances, and it pays for hiring teams to understand and embrace them. Gen Z is an interesting blend of digital knowhow, virtual connection, and inexperience with how the adult world works. Hiring teams can create positive experiences for the Gen Z candidates they’d most like to join their workforce with Modern Hire’s advanced selection science and hiring technology.