This is a guest blog by contributor David Morneau.
Did you know that Gen Z now makes up almost a third of the world population and will account for 25% of the global workforce by 2025? Chances are, you’re already hiring these aspiring specialists to enrich your professional team.
Given that Gen Zers have a very different outlook on the workplace and their place in it, is there anything you need to know about interviewing younger candidates?
In this article, we’ll discuss the top 5 HR tips to help you interview Gen Z employees in a smart way.
Why Hire Gen Z Workers?
Before we get into the intricacies of the interview process, let’s answer the question that might have popped up in your mind: why hire Zoomers?
Perhaps your Gen Z candidates won’t have substantial work experience on their CV. And that’s totally normal – they are young, and many have just graduated. But a lack of professional experience doesn’t mean they can’t be great employees that bring value to your company.
- Gen Z are digital natives. This is the first generation that grew up surrounded by technology – and they use it to work faster and more efficiently;
- They are passionate activists. They want to make an impact and turn the world into a better place;
- They learn fast. Zoomers absorb new information and knowledge quickly;
- They are hardworking. Gen Z employees are ready to put effort into their professional development and they know it takes consistent and hard work;
- They are independent. Gen Zer’s are ready to take on responsibility and be proactive without the need of constant oversight;
- They care about company ethics and culture. They will strive to create a comfortable, inclusive work environment for everyone.
Gen Z workers want to grow, learn, contribute, and create meaningful professional experiences. At the same time, they care about work-life balance and will manifest their right to separate professional and personal life.
Interview Gen Z Candidates Better
As an HR professional, your task during an interview is to collect the most relevant information from your Gen Z candidate. At the same time, an interview is a way of presenting your company to them.
This is the crucial point of the recruitment process – both you and the candidate are trying to figure out if you will be a good match for each other.
So if you want to get to know your candidate well AND establish a solid initial contact with them, implement these 5 HR tips into your interview routine:
Tip 1: Embrace Technology
If you want to communicate with Gen Z candidates effectively – speak their language. And this language is definitely tech.
Incorporate AI and technology into your interviews to facilitate the hiring process and show your candidates that you value convenience and efficiency.
To up your digital HR game, you can:
- Opt for online interviews instead of personal meetings with Gen Z candidates. Interview them on video conferencing solutions like MegaMeeting. The video conference format is not only more flexible in terms of time, but it will also make your potential hires feel more comfortable;
- If you survey your candidates for additional assessment, conduct the survey process online as well;
- Make all the necessary recruiting materials available to candidates digitally, including recruiting videos, job descriptions, onboarding webinars, etc. Using recruitment software can help get this sorted.
Tip 2: Ask Them about Their Preferred Work Style
No, Gen Z employees don’t automatically expect to sign up for the 9 to 5 schedule.
Instead, they want to explore different office styles and find the one that suits them – and the company – best.
It’s crucial to clarify the Gen Z employee’s work style expectations during the interview. Do they prefer:
- In-office work;
- Hybrid work;
- Or a fully remote mode?
If their preferences don’t match your company's work patterns, the young employee might not last long in their position.
Tip 3: Learn about Their Boss-Employee Relationship Expectations
Gen Z employees are not really fond of strict, rigidly hierarchical management styles. They don’t want a traditional boss – rather, they want a mentor who guides them and offers valuable feedback to help them grow.
When interviewing a Gen Z candidate, cover this work aspect. From my own experience of hiring Gen Z virtual assistants, this is a crucial motivator for many employees . Ask them how they picture a perfect manager-employee communication model.
You can ask the following questions:
- What are your boss-employee work relationship expectations?
- How much autonomy would you like to have in carrying out your tasks?
- How well do you receive criticism from your superiors?
Answers to these interview questions will help you understand how well your Gen Z candidate will align with the managerial style at your company.
Tip 4: Tap into Their Motivation
Gen Z employees might have little to no work experience – but they make up for it with their enthusiasm.
During an interview, ask Gen Z candidates what motivates them and drives them toward hard work:
- What inspires you to overcome work challenges?
- What motivated you to apply to this position?
- What do you want to achieve in this professional role?
Through these questions, you can discover your candidate’s hidden strengths and learn more about how to incentivize your Gen Z employee.
Tip 5: Forget about Worn-out, Stereotypical Questions
Last but not least – stop asking those overused, unoriginal interview questions!
Gen Z candidates expect a personalized interview experience in the form of an honest conversation. Be authentic and open up a dialogue instead of going down the list of common scripted questions like “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or “what are your biggest strengths?”.
Be specific, curious, and engage your Gen Z candidate during the interview process. And of course, encourage them to ask questions, too.
Interviewing Gen Z candidates is about embracing their generation’s approach to work and career. Make your hiring process more technologically advanced, ask your candidates about their workplace and workstyle expectations, and treat the interview as an honest, authentic dialogue.
Pro-tip: to attract Gen Z employees to your company, boost your social media presence. Build your employee influencer network to promote your business and advertise open positions. You can also collaborate with famous NYC influencers who will create content around your company and tell young Gen Z professionals about the perks of working with you.
David is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.
MegaMeeting solves the biggest challenges of modern video conferencing. For users, it is an all-in-one platform that delivers both video conferencing and webinars in a single, simplified interface. For attendees, it is 100% browser-based, making it highly accessible; joining a meeting is instantaneous from a single click. For enterprises, it is highly customizable, with white-labeling options for a private branded solution. For developers, it is API-driven and easy to integrate.
Powered by WebRTC, Node.js, React, and GraphQL, it is a cutting-edge platform that is fun and easy to use for users and developers alike.