If you consider yourself GEN Z and are looking for a job, it may help to know what obstacles may face you. Part of it is what employers are thinking about your generation.
However, much of it centers around the hiring process and the obstacles it may place in your path, if you aren’t paying attention.
Who is Gen Z?
There are many ways to define who is technically Gen Z in 2021 – so let’s start with the way that they are defined by age group, according to the Pew Research Group.
Gen Z includes people who are 25 years old or younger. Basically, it’s those born in 1995, although some argue it starts with those born in 1997.
Gen Z makes up 27 percent of the U.S. population, according to Business Insider.
Millennials are turning 26 to 40 in 2021. However, many of the youngest Millennials have similar habits to Gen Z.
The division between Millennials and Gen Z isn’t perfect – the lines are blurry – so it helps to define yourself by Gen Z habits as much as by your exact age.
Does this describe you? As researchers McKinsey & Associates have pointed out, this generation is the first true digital natives.
This has given Gen Z an extremely short attention span – it’s been rated at 8 seconds. They have never known a day without smart technologies and they are extremely comfortable with emerging technologies and tend to be the most familiar with social media trends.
Millennials have a longer attention span, but it’s still only 12 seconds. Many in this generation can remember a time before smart technology and most were old enough to remember the 9/11 terrorist attack, according to the Pew Research Group, which has had an impact on them.
How Do Employers See Gen Z?
While there has been a lot of negative talk about millennials, Gen Z hasn’t been in the workforce long enough to earn a reputation. In fact, the generation appears engaged, energetic and interested in learning.
Bosses perceive Gen Z workers as unafraid of challenges, even if those challenges are technological – which can work in your favor when looking for a job.
However, employers also see Gen Z applicants as the least likely to stay in their job. A potential boss may be afraid that your interest is only temporary. You may be quick to seize on a new opportunity and leave a gap behind when you leave.
Sure, this gap can be filled, but there is something to be said for maintaining the same workers. It reduces the cost of training and ensures continuity.
So that may work against you when looking for a better-paid position.
Acing the Hiring Process
So how can Gen Z applicants ace the hiring process?
Apparently, Gen Z job applicants need to stay alert to professional communications. They may miss an email or a voicemail.
Just because Gen Z tends to use instant messaging or texting, it doesn’t mean your potential employer will play along. If the boss is old school and uses email, it means you could miss out on a job if you aren’t careful.
Next, Gen Z applicants tend to dislike hiring methods that are not 100% modern. They want to fill out the application on their mobile phone and they balk if that application takes them an hour.
Furthermore, they want to have remote interviews, and they tend to react if they are asked for in-person interviews.
If this describes you, be aware that you could miss out on many opportunities just by being obstinate about how you think the process should go.
Gen Z job seekers should also be aware of the difference between a genuine job recruiter and a headhunter on commission. You don’t want to take a job because a headhunter is trying to make a quota, and you really don’t want a headhunter siphoning off some of the money that could have been in your paycheck.
An honest job recruitment firm isn’t trying to get a percentage of your paycheck and they are genuinely interested in finding the best fit for the company and the position.
Lastly, if you want your dream job, you need to be aware of your online presence. Employers may know nothing about TikTok, but their HR departments will be checking to see if your online persona could be a liability for the company.
In that way, Gen Z and employers are more alike than different. The big bosses may not understand much about the youngest job seekers, but they do know that social media can hurt or help us.