Why Gen Z’s not applying for your roles (it isn’t what you think)

Scouring the ends of the Earth for Gen Z talent?

Yep, you’ve been under it trying to get things right with hiring Gen Z. That to-do list’s stacked with chunky tasks like jazzing up your employee value proposition – and now it’s full of tantalising benefits like remote working and mental health holidays. 

How could they resist? 

But that’s not all. You’ve also been busy benchmarking for months, finally landing on a salary that’s super competitive. Oh, and you’ve even worked on your processes, making them a little cleaner and greener too. 

So, why is it not a single Gen Z talent has applied for your role?

Well, maybe it’s not you that’s turning them away.

…it’s your hiring process. 

According to research by Bullhorn, as reported in Business Wire, poor hiring processes cause 75% of Gen Z candidates to abandon applications. 

So what’s going wrong?

Firstly, it’s taking too far too long. 

Glassdoor analysed the results of more than 83,000 job interviews across 25 countries and found the average interview process took 23.7 days. And that was in 2017 – long before the pandemic slowed things to a standstill. 

But zoomers can’t afford to wait. Gen Z is spoilt for choice when it comes to vacancies and has, reportedly, a shorter attention span than other age groups; Forbes suggests that the attention span for Gen Z is 8 seconds, compared to 12 seconds for millennials. What’s more, they juggle a minimum of 5 screens at a time. 

Not only is capturing their attention difficult; you need to send the right message when you do. 

From ghosting to breadcrumbing – employers are sending the wrong signals

Being a manager is a hard enough job in itself – we get it. 

There just aren’t enough hours in the day and you more than likely end up working outside of office hours to get things done. Unfortunately, recruitment exercises can end up tipping things over the edge. 

“Managers typically have their own job, and when they have an open position, technically may have two jobs,” says Theresa Adams, Senior Knowledge Advisor at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

But the applicant who feels like they’ve been ghosted doesn’t necessarily know this is what’s going on. Instead, they take it personally. 

“They [the candidate] may perceive that employer to not be considerate or employee-centric by making them wait so long, so they may choose not to work with them,” Adams told the BBC

Countless research has indicated that Gen Zers make choices based on their values; one study even revealed that 42% would choose to work at a company whose values they align with over one that offers a higher paycheck. 

So why not lend them the common courtesy of saying there’s been a delay? There’s no easier way of demonstrating your organisation has a good set of values than that.

But this perceived ‘breadcrumbing’ is only part of the problem. 

Getting with the program – Gen Z’s an all-digital generation 

Gen Z didn’t grow up with clunky websites and dial-up – they’re digital natives. 

And that means they expect a seamless experience online. 

According to research by American Express, 23% of Gen Z’ers will drop a brand if its mobile features are poorly designed. But that goes for brands they’re applying to as well. So stuff like UX, e.g. how many clicks it takes to get through your application, just can’t be an afterthought. 

Not if you’re looking to attract younger talent. 

“The future workforce depends on Gen Z. It is the one-click, all-digital generation, growing up in a borderless world,” says Kathy Bloomgarden, Chief Executive Officer at Ruder Finn for the World Economic Forum

But investing in digital tools can be both expensive and resource-heavy; something that most employers who are recruiting are struggling with in the first place. 

So what can you do?

Well, when 95 per cent of the zoomers surveyed by Bullhorn agreed that working with recruitment firms would help them land a better job, why not talk to an organisation that knows its stuff when it comes to tech? Because if you find the right one, it’s not just the candidates that benefit from the experience. 

Working with DigitalGrads

While we believe the old recruitment model is tired and outdated, there is an easier way for employers to find talented tech prospects.

At DigitalGrads, we take our time to match you with the best tech and media graduates the UK has to offer. 

So, how does it work?

Well, instead of spamming you with hundreds of irrelevant CVs, we work with you to create a shortlist of (at least) 5 high-quality candidates. The ones we select will always fit your brief so that you don’t waste any time throughout the hiring process.

Not only does this save time and resources; it stops the hiring process from becoming disjointed so that top candidates never become disinterested. 

How do we do it? For us, it’s about finding candidates that don’t just meet the brief – they fit your DNA.

To do so we:

Get video intros from candidates – these give you a flavour of who your candidate is before you shortlist them. And research shows this is one of the best ways to see prospects in their best light; iCIMS asked 400,000 candidates about video in recruitment and found that 92% of them liked on-demand video interviews because they saw them as flexible, innovative and a good chance to make an impression beyond their resumes.

Ensure our graduates have done the right training – recent LinkedIn research suggests 76% of Gen Zers believe learning is the key to their success. Well, the graduates on our books are no different. We can confidently guarantee you’ll only get the option to shortlist a candidate if they’re qualified for the role. But training is just as important to us as it is to our grads.

Invest in youth training – we don’t just talk a good game about investing in Gen Z training; we practice what we preach. That’s why your fees will go straight back into training more young people – pretty important when Gen Z will likely make up around 30% of the workforce by 2030. The exciting thing is, our grads already have plenty of innovative ideas that can help propel your business into the future. That’s why we:

Stay in our lane and focus on tech – all of our training, hiring process and software are built specifically for tech companies. And when 80% of Gen-Z aspire to work with cutting-edge technology (Dell Technologies), we reckon our approach and our grads are a match made in heaven. 

But if it doesn’t work out in the first year? We’ll help you find someone else. Simple as that. 

If you need any help hiring gen-z or even just fancy a search to see what’s out there, head on over to our grad recruitment app and check out today’s burgeoning talent.