What do you know about Generation Z? Do you know how to get them to apply for your open positions? Do you even want them to apply for your positions? In this three-part blog series, we’ll take an in-depth look at Generation Z and what you need to know about them. From the good to the bad as they enter the workforce.

If you Google phrases related to Generation Z and hiring,  you’ll probably be suggested this related search term: What is Generation Z and what does it want?  Although phrased in a way that makes them sound more like aliens than people born between 1996 and 2010, it does illustrate how much we have to learn about the next wave of young adults.

When we take a closer look at the factors shaping Generation Z, it becomes clear who they are and what motivates them. In this three-part series, we look at who Generation Z is and how technology shaped their perspective. We will also examine key motivations and what you, as a recruiter or employer, need to do to attract them. Finally, we’ll go in-depth on how the traits and characteristics of Generation Z benefit you and your business.

The Impact of Technology

If you’re 25 or older, you likely remember your first computer. You might also remember the sound of dial-up internet and printing directions before a trip or (gasp) using a map! This is far from the way Generation Z grew up. They had a much different experience in collecting information. Technology improved and changed at a rapid rate during Generation Z’s youth. Because of this, they benefited from access to information in the palm of their hands at all times.

This constant fixture changed what we can expect from these young people, especially in the workforce.

True Internet Natives

Even Millennials are not as savvy with technology as Generation Z. Gen Z didn’t have to learn how to find information online. It was a part of their development and an established part of life throughout their formative years. Many Gen Zers can’t imagine a time without instant access or when a question couldn’t be answered with a few taps on a smartphone. This constant connection to information made them self-sufficient problem-solvers. A study conducted by the Center for Generational Kinetics found that Gen Z is four times more likely than Millennials, Gen X, or baby boomers to say that age 13 is the appropriate age to get your first smartphone. Having spent their entire lives exposed to smartphones, and owning one for themselves in their early teens, they know how to find what they are looking for, and quickly.

How this relates to you: When you hire a Gen Zer, know that you’re hiring a tech-savvy and internet-proficient employee. They have the power to find solutions at any time and this shaped them into a particularly self-motivated and solution-oriented group of young people. They don’t have to wait for an answer, they’ll find it themselves.

Where they are

Keeping up with the latest technology seems like an impossible task. You might find yourself asking questions like; is Snapchat the one that isn’t ‘in’ anymore? Whatever happened to Vine?

Of course, members of less technologically sophisticated generations can find what they’re looking for online. Looking for a good restaurant? You’ll likely go to Yelp. Doing research on a potential new employer? Glassdoor comes to mind. Many pre-Generation Z technology users associate a specific platform with a solution to a question. This is not the same way Generation Z utilizes social media and the internet. As Google gets smarter and social channels like Facebook try to capture the entire online experience in one platform, savvy internet users don’t have to depend on content-specific channels. Information is everywhere, and channels are all competing to be the place for news, reviews, shopping and everything else we do online day to day.

How this relates to you: Posting a job to Monster or CareerBuilder isn’t enough. Yes, you need to be on these sites. But, to reach younger employees, you need to cast the net far and wide, including social media. With the launch of Google for Jobs, along with other job search engines like Indeed, Jobs2Careers and Juju, job seekers are even less dependent on career sites. These job search engines bring jobs from all boards and corporate career sites together in one search. This means that you need your jobs to be competitive not only with the other jobs on Monster or CareerBuilder but ALL other jobs from the massive number of boards and job aggregators. You can’t just pick one board and hope for the best, you need to be on many boards with a tailored, well-written job description.

Where They’re Comfortable

Tell anyone under the age of 25 to make a phone call and you’ll be met with a little hesitation. Growing up behind a computer screen with many conversations taking place via text message, group chats, and social platforms, Generation Z is not the most comfortable on the phone. This doesn’t mean they don’t value personal interaction, they just prefer face-to-face communication or the efficiency of text.

How this relates to you: Your Generation Z workers will respond quickly via email or in work chats. They might need some additional phone training to be completely comfortable picking up the phone in situations that warrant a phone call over other forms of communication.

Generation Z was shaped significantly by the internet and technology. These are just a few of the contributing factors that make up the next generation of employees. Follow our series and watch for part two on Generation Z’s Key Motivators!