How Gens Y and Z are changing the recruiting game

Jul 12, 2017 |

Every industry is struggling with how to make its process relevant and effective in the face of unprecedented technological change. In the talent acquisition field, the generational shift — driven by Gens Y and Z — have dramatically affected how candidates search for jobs and interact with prospective employers, primarily because of:

  • The ubiquity of mobile technology across generations
  • Changing attitudes toward full-time employment
  • The expectation of personalized interactions — without person-to-person involvement

What does that mean for talent acquisition professionals? That we have to change how we recruit in order to meet candidates where they are and exceed their ever-higher expectations. Here are a few ways to do it:


Career sites must be mobile-friendly.

According to Indeed Hiring Labs: Three Generations of Talent: Who Is Searching for Jobs Today report, more than 70% of Millennials use their smartphones to search for jobs. That percentage is nearly identical for Gen Xers and an impressive 48% for Boomers. Considering that Millennials and Gen Xers comprise more than two-thirds of the workforce, your career site — and every one of your job postings — should first and foremost be a mobile experience.


Millennials won’t settle.

Thanks to the gig economy, full-time employment doesn’t hold the urgency that it once did. As long as they can earn freelance income, Millennials can hold out for their dream job.

On top of this, Millennials are looking for a deeper connection or belief in the work, or at least an affinity to the organization. Without a compelling employment brand, how can an organization express its purpose or personality to Gens Y and Z?

If there’s one thing every talent organization should do in the next year, it’s to uncover your employment brand and find a way to creatively, resonantly express it to candidates.


Personalize digital experiences.

One way that consumer marketing’s success adapting to new technology has changed the game for talent acquisition is through its personalization of digital experiences. When every email, paid social post and remarketing ad is generated because of specific online actions you’ve taken, the result is more relevant marketing experiences.

In talent acquisition, this translates to finding which areas of the candidate experience should be personalized and applying the right tools to do so automatically. This creates a richer candidate experience while freeing recruiters to engage in the kind of strategic career advisement that younger generations are expecting.


Full speed ahead

In just three years, Gen Z will make up one-fifth of the full-time workforce. Since this generation can’t remember a world before mobile ubiquity and digital media, there’s no signs that talent acquisition will need to do anything but charge forward on these fronts.

Read the IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization 2017 State of the Industry to learn more about recruiting the newest members of the workforce.

Download the 2017 State of the Industry Paper

Amy Osorio

Amy Osorio

Amy Osorio oversees strategic direction of service offerings, managing a global team of recruitment and branding professionals. With more than 12 years of exper...

Read More


How to Use Your Employer Brand to Build a Strong Candidate Pipeline

Building a strong candidate pipeline doesn't..

A Journey Through Your Online Employment Brand Part 1: Receptive Ramon

As a talent acquisition professional, one of..

The Benefits of Using RPO

Recruitment processing outsourcing (RPO) is..