Expectations of Gen Z during recruitment processes

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What consists of a 'good' recruitment process when hiring junior to mid-level talent?

Hiring the youngest members of the workforce, Gen Z, has become a more complex process for businesses throughout the years; their expectations are high and they won’t hesitate to sing praises or call foul play to peers based on their experience. Now more than ever, a well –thought-out recruitment process is essential for businesses, and one that is tailored and highly communicative is needed to meet these high expectations. Our 2021 Gen Z report identified that 68.3% of junior and mid-level talent stated that their experience during the recruitment process impacts their final decision when accepting or declining a role. What are the defining features of an exceptional process and how can you ensure yours is securing top talent in a candidate short market, rather than driving it away?

Lack of feedback

Year in, year out we hear from our 1,500 respondents that the largest cause of frustrationin a recruitment process is little to no feedback. These individuals (most of the time) go through the process of researching and preparing for phone interviews, assessment centres, and gruelling interviews, so understandably to then be left with a generic response saying they were “unsuccessful this time” is difficult to swallow.

It’s not always possible to get back to every applicant, however, attempts should be made from businesses to find a middle ground to offer applicants some form of feedback or advice. A simple solution is offering tips for future interview preparation, podcasts, or helpful reading materials and this will also soften the blow of rejection and will ideally create a more positive outlook from peer to peer perspectives.

Interview process

Rigorous interviewing is what separates the best from the crowd, but interview processes with round after round can seem unnecessary, pending the type of role. Too many stages was deemed the third biggest frustration amongst Gen Z during a recruitment process; what can you ascertain beforehand to ensure you’re not adding unnecessary stages?

  • Identify early on the traits you’re looking for within a candidate. If an individual doesn’t meet the requirements there’s no point bringing them through the process, you’ll end up incurring more work for both you and them.
  • Take measurable actions early on in an interview process to identify key decision makers, by pinpointing this early on it will narrow down which applicants will thrive in the role and who may not.

Gen Z want responses and don’t expect to wait for them. 85.8% respondents expect a response/update every two weeks, but in a process with hundreds or thousands of applicants, this isn’t always feasible. Managing expectations throughout the process by signposting response times will prevent applicants becoming frustrated or feeling ignored. And in some cases when there isn’t even an update, the applicants will appreciate the effort that’s been made to reach out to them.

Beyond remote process

The last 18 months we have seen majority of recruitment process turn to online platforms, which at times offers ease and convenience but has also resulted in more candidates reneging roles due to lack of commitment. 89% of Gen Z stated they’d feel more pledged to a role had they met their interviewer/team in person and 57.2% believe a fully remote interview process hinders their recruitment experience. So, the question is, how to harness the increased efficiencies of digital technologies while still ensuring that what is at the core a “human to human” process, doesn’t feel robotic?

  • Try host at least one in person interview, the candidate will feel more of a connection with you and get a better idea of the role from meeting you in person.
  • If the applicant has accepted the role but the start date is in the future, arrange regular socials, be it over a coffee or an after-work drink. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to meet you in a non-pressured environment.
  • If there’s an intake of multiple new joiners, arrange a networking event amongst them, the opportunity to meet future colleagues will bring more persuasion prior to starting.

The recruitment process looks simple, but can be difficult to get right and the majority of businesses struggle for a myriad of reasons to create something streamlined that secures top talent. Our report takes a deep dive into the data and provides detailed insight into how you can build an effective recruitment process for junior talent. Book in to speak to one of our Early Career specialists about the findings here; the report is highly detailed and there’s a lot of nuance, we want to ensure the detail is clear and our team will help to make that path clear.

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