Recruitment Strategy

3 must-haves in your career portal to attract Gen Z candidates

Gen Z's are the new generation slowly coming into the workforce. Therefore, their expectations and demands will differ significantly from those of prior generations. For instance, you might have a Gen X or Gen Y in the workforce who value a work-life balance and clear goals, unlike the newer generation who prioritize wellness and mental health above all else. 

The younger generation is tech-savvy as they were born at the cusp of a technological shift where there had been a slew of technological developments, compared to millennials or generation Y. 

As more workers from this generation enter the workforce, we can see a visible shift in the scope and nature of the working landscape. A report by Manpower projects that by the end of 2022, Gen Z will make up twenty-four percent of the workforce, and this percentage is expected to grow by six percent by 2030. 

While quite many Gen Z's are slowly progressing into the workforce, there are still some who are currently in university today. In a few years, these people will make up a large number of the workforce. Thus, recruiters must become aware of this and prepare to attract them with a solid career portal. 

Not only is the workforce changing in terms of a generational shift of people currently contributing to the working landscape, but the pandemic also created a shift in demands and expectations. The younger workers' perceptions of the world and workforce have changed dramatically. As Gallup cites, many Gen Z's felt anger and frustration as finding a job that met their needs had become more challenging. 

Let's begin by looking at who Gen Z's are and what makes them so different from previous generations in the workforce.

Gen Z’s: who are they?

When classifying Gen Z's, one can categorize them as individuals born anytime after 1996, meaning they are just stepping into adulthood and slowly emerging as independent, young, and proactive individuals.

Not only are they a diverse generation and highly tech-centric, as they were born into a world that has already seen an abundance of technological development, from smartphones to tablets to varying degrees of Artificial Intelligence. They are thus well equipped to deal with technological changes and are incredibly knowledgeable on all the trends.

As stated earlier, there are already quite a few Generation Z's in the workforce, with the first graduating class entering the workforce in 2017. However, many are still completing some level of higher education. For recruiters, it's essential to understand the expectations of the first graduating class upon entering the workforce.

Visual Capitalist reported that eighty-eight percent of the 2017 graduating class entering the new workforce chose their career paths based on the availability of open positions. Jobs in healthcare, biology, sciences, and biotechnology were amongst the top choices as these are high-demand jobs that constantly need highly skilled workers. With an attractive career portal, the chances of hiring and attracting talents for these positions are much higher than those in other industries.

Gen Z's aren't just choosing the first offer they get upon graduating from university. Still, they are making well-informed decisions and taking the time to carefully select the right career path that could determine the course of their lives. Sometimes, based on the information provided to them on a career portal. 

Matching Expectations Through A Career Portal

Now that we've dived deep into what makes Gen Z's tick and have a proactive nature coming into the workforce today let's look at how you as a recruiter can match their expectations through different components and aspects of the career portal.

Since Gen Z’s are considered hip, cool, and a socially aware generation transitioning into the workforce, one needs to be aware of their expectations and how to match them using specific strategies or tools. 

Here are three things Gen Z's expect from their employees and solutions you can include in your career portal to incorporate and attract them into your organization's workforce: 

1. Well-Being

The expectation for well-being is surprisingly high. The American Psychological Association found that more than one-third of Gen Z report feeling stressed or burnout with work. With high levels of stress and pressure, the expectations of employers to care about well-being have become and will continue to be a top priority for this generation. 

This generation will assess whether an employer has the capability and the willingness to provide a robust support system for coping with stress and pressure. When dealing with stress, Gen Z expects employers to offer a flexible working environment with flexible timings and schedules, which would show that an employer is supportive and understands the amount of stress this generation faces. 

Moreover, Gallup has also reported that well-being is a top priority for this generation. It's become an even bigger expectation for Gen Z as we are coming out of the pandemic as daily habits, lifestyles, and how we interact have changed significantly. 

Feeling burnout at the workplace or having feelings of resentment and frustration due to an employer not understanding you can lead to high quit rates. When Gen Z's feel burnout, they do not hesitate to quit regardless of whether they have a new job lined up or not, as stated in this survey carried out by Deloitte.

Solution: Employer Branding

The solution to emphasizing well-being to attract the candidate centers again around employer branding and crafting a strong employer brand in the career portal.

As an organization, crafting a solid employer brand doesn’t mean showcasing the goals and visions but goes beyond that, where you need to show that you are an organization that cares more about the needs of all employees.

The career portal allows you to tell your brand as a story with many different options to choose from. You can opt to have a video message, interactive slides, or infographics that show how you aim to provide support to this generation that needs flexibility and time to take care of their mental health.

Certain ATS systems have a built-in feature for a career page/portal that allows hassle-free integration of your company's existing career section, giving you the freedom and opportunity to put yourself out there, what it is you offer, and showcase your brand.

Suppose your company already has wellness and health programs or even dedicated zones in the company where employees can go and take some time off for an hour or two. In that case, this should also be showcased as your employer brand on the career portal.

Suppose you haven't already emphasized having specific wellness components in your organization. In that case, you should aim to do so as according to a 2021 survey on Employee Health Benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly eighty-three percent of large organizations already have some kind of health and wellness program well-implemented in their company culture.

You wouldn't want to risk facing even more competition in an increasingly competitive industry by not including such programs. Thus, once you do, you can continue reinforcing this as your company's top priority towards treating employees with the correct ethical mindset, which should, once again, be reinforced on your career portal.

Want to take it a step further and reinforce your employer brand as a story? Include testimonials from current and past employees who have positive feelings as a result of benefiting from having their mental health and well-being carefully attended to.

Moreover, these employees will reinforce the notion that the organization has strongly emphasized accessibility to tools and programs available to all employees whenever they face tough times.

2. Purpose or Value

Not only is the expectation of Gen Z's placed highly on wellness and health, but also on more than just making a buck, even though this generation is highly pragmatic about financial matters. They want more, and they want to make better-informed decisions based on their personal beliefs and goals. If your organization can't offer what they want or isn't aligned with its directive. In that case, a generation z employee will not hesitate to quit or sacrifice a high-paying job/salary for a more fulfilling one. 

Gen Z wants a company that makes a difference in a global landscape. They want a company that has been working and continues to work on creating a visible social, political, and or economic change in the world. 

Having a sense of purpose or value isn't just restricted to an organization being socially aware of the environment; it goes beyond that. The workforce should already be diverse to make the transition easier. 

Solution: It’s all about the culture

Again, it all comes down to employer branding and crafting strong company culture. Moreover, it also comes down to portraying a solid message or statement on the career portal – one that does catch the eye at first glance and makes Gen Z intrigued to click to find out more information. 

Gen Z's come from a strong educational background and are incredibly well-informed on the world and its issues. Thus, they expect to see a strong company message upon searching for open offers. If the message isn't depicted well on the career portal, then there is a high chance that they will feel uninterested.

Your message on a career portal should not be lengthy but clear, concise, and to the point. Essentially, you should reinstate your core values and missions and aim to use focus words, possibly in bold or underlined, once again to reinforce your overall message with your employer's brand. published an article that suggests that organizations use certain words to showcase and describe the company's message and culture. Such terms include connectivity, inclusivity, progressive, nurturing, and flexibility which should be included because they align with the values and wants that Gen Z has and are clearly shown on the career portal. 

But do remember that you shouldn't just use these words and deliver empty promises. The terms can be a great advertisement tool for your employer's brand and core message. Still, when Gen Z joins the workforce, you need to deliver on that promise and work proactively throughout the process to ensure that you are fulfilling everything promised.

Crafting a strong culture at the end of the day goes hand-in-hand with the employer's brand; after all, who you are as an organization reflects the kind of culture that a new worker will enter.

Click here to learn more about what it takes to craft a solid company culture that will get you started on attracting the best of the best talents, especially those that are just coming into the workforce today.

3. It's all about building a connection and being interconnected

We already know that Gen Z's are a pragmatic generation and are also those who - like many of us - seek connection.

You might have successfully attracted these candidates, but you might still fail to make authentic connections with them and give them the kind of relationships they desire. Gen Z’s want to come into a work environment with a welcoming aura, making building such connections easier.

The connections they desire are to be in a workforce with people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, as this generation is highly diverse.

Related: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Your Recruitment ATS

Solution: Nurture Your Relationships 

As a company, you need to find a way to build that trust with the candidate so that they may choose to stay with your organization and hopefully gain lifelong relationships. Not sure how to do that? Here are some things you should incorporate into your career portal.

We’ve covered employer branding, crafting a strong message, and employee testimonials which can all be added to enhance your career portal. One more thing to add to make this generation feel like you’re an organization that can provide them with the connections they seek.

Since we've already covered employer branding, crafting a strong message, and employee testimonials, you can add one more thing to enhance your career portal so that Gen Z's feel like you are a company that can provide them the connections they are seeking.

One solution would be to provide an aspect of human touch or connection through live chat in the career portal. Sometimes having the candidate be able to lodge questions with an actual individual instead of just an automated bot can go a long way. It would make the candidate feel desired and aware that they are taken care of right from the start.

It could be responses from a recruiter itself or possible options in the chat from different departments, people of different backgrounds and cultures who can provide a small insight into the organization without revealing any confidential information.

The three above are the main expectations that most Gen Z's tend to have and their solutions. Still, there are other solutions or things you should include in your career portal to ensure that you have the best chance at success in attracting and hiring Gen Z talents.

You can create a robust career portal that sells the company message and brand and makes Gen Z's feel like they can connect/relate to existing employees through employee testimonials. However, what good is a career page filled with technical issues such as bugs?

As Gen Z's are a tech-centric generation, they are more likely to pick up on bugs or technical anomalies on the career portal. The solution? Optimize your career portal regularly to ensure that all bugs get fixed. Moreover, the overall look of the career portal shouldn't be challenging to navigate.

You should ensure that you have clear links, such as a one-click or all-access button that a Gen Z or any other candidate can easily click on to apply for the position or if the candidate wishes to leave feedback. 

Take it one step further and link the career portal to any social media handle such as Instagram, a platform commonly used amongst Gen Z’s. You might attract more candidates who’ll come across your career portal via an Instagram link or an advertisement.

In short, the 3 things you should include in your career portal to ensure you get the most and hire the right Gen Z candidates promptly are:

  • An emphasis on employer branding through using media such as images, videos, infographics, etc. to tell a story about who you are as a company
  • Have employee testimonials/feedback presented straightforwardly to build connection and relate to Gen Z's
  • Online chat channels where candidates can have live conversations either with recruiters or other employees to ask questions or provide live feedback

A bonus is that while incorporating the 3 suggestions, you should always aim to be transparent. Don't make false promises by using flashy words or over-the-top images and videos, but be realistic in your approach to attracting this new group of talents. Then, only you can realistically deliver on those promises. 

To get started, check out the solution here at Manatal, an integrated applicant tracking system with the features you need to enhance your recruiting game today. 

Learn more: 10 Signs You Need an Applicant Tracking System

Manatal – The Leader in HR Software Solutions

We touched earlier on the expectations Generation Z has regarding the workforce and how you can answer those demands by providing solutions in a career portal. Still, to touch base on how you can enhance your career portal, the solution would be Manatal's system.

Discover for yourself how effective Manatal is at helping you create a strong employer brand, showcase diversity, and attract the top Gen Z candidates.

Start your 14-day Free Trial to explore our innovative features and find out how you can leverage your career portal within a few clicks.

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