Hiring managers and business owners need to start preparing for a new generation to enter the job market, and begin to prepare for hiring Gen Z in the workplace. With a younger batch of candidates ready to enter the workforce, businesses need to prepare themselves for a hiring individuals that will take on new recruiting and onboarding challenges, as well as background screening for employment.

It’s vital for the companies to begin preparing for the Gen Z employment wave and understand how to make job openings, interviews, and onboardings Z-friendly. First, let’s get a better understand of who is entering your future candidate pool.

Who is Gen Z?

Generation Z, born after 1996, is just now starting to join our workforce. Gen Zers are different than Millennials or Generation X in that they’re more entrepreneurial, are better at multitasking, can be very private, are hyper-aware and extremely technology reliant.

The stereotype of “lazy” Millennials hasn’t carried over to Gen Z. In fact, it’s the opposite. 77% of Gen Z is actually expected to work harder than their previous generations. They believe the most important components that make up a great job are a great work/life balance, stability, and performing “fulfilling” work. Basically, they’re willing to work hard for the right job.

Here are some other statistics about Gen Z:

  • 56% currently do not have a job
  • 37% are working part-time
  • 7% are full-time workers

By the year 2020, 75% of this generation will be looking for careers that not only provide stability, but healthcare and benefits as well. They’re looking for careers that will allow them to perform multiple roles within the same place of employment. As of right now, technology is the #1 career pursued by Gen Z, with marketing and healthcare rounding out the top 3 spots.

So now that we know a little more about the generation coming into the workforce, it’s time to shift our focus to making sure both Gen Z and employers know what to look for and prepare for their hiring process.

Tips for Hiring Gen Z in the Workplace

There are some keys to remember when hiring Gen Z in the workplace. Here are eight things hiring managers need to think about:

They’re Sensitive Sharing Personal Information

According to research from IBM, less than one-third of Gen Z feel comfortable sharing personal details with companies or brands. Having grown up during a time where mobile and digital technology are prevalent, Gen Z is more sensitive over their personal information. We need to remember they grew up in an age where data was commoditized, leading to a desire for more data security and protection.

For employers and hiring managers, you should take this into account throughout your entire hiring process. Employers need personal details in order to perform background checks, however, be clear with Gen Z about why you need their information and what you’ll do with it.

They Don’t Have Effective Social Skills

Generation Z grew up using texting as a main form of communication, which, as you might imagine, a lack of personality skills don’t translate well into a cohesive work environment. They will have to make adjustments in how they communicate, and get more accustomed to face-to-face interactions.

Just because they seem shy in an interview or come off like they’re not willing to share something doesn’t mean they are. It’s more a product of how they’re used to interacting with people. During the interview process or in onboarding, introduce them to colleagues, key team members and show them behaviors that demonstrate the company culture. Let them know what is expected when joining your team. This can help them adjust and learn to navigate their new work environment.

They Have Little to No Job History

Chances are you won’t have many previous employers to verify when Gen Z submits an application. Many Gen Zers however may have picked up a side job or two during college – which is different compared to Millennials who may have never held a job during college. You should also see internship or volunteer experience, which you can rely on when verifying references in your background check.

They Lack Driving Records

Research shows that Gen Z are driving less than previous generations and in many cases, not even getting their driver’s license. Perhaps this trend is due to youth moving closer to their jobs and into city centers.

Another theory is because of social media and online gaming, they don’t have to drive to meet friends. Or if they need to get around and parents weren’t around to give them a lift, there’s always an app that can give them a ride. Whatever the reason, the driving record of a Gen Z may be nonexistent, which could be a hindrance, depending on you job description and running a driving record report.

They Love Their Social Media

Just like Millennials, Gen Z loves social media and may have shared a wealth of photos or other personal information that would make potential employers uncomfortable. Most of Gen Z is using social media to stay in touch with friends and, perhaps, look for a job.

Because of the data issues that have recently come up from social giants like Facebook, Gen Z may have a different idea of privacy compared to their counterparts. Either way, hiring managers need to examine if a social media background check is necessary as part of the job description.

Still Building Their Credit Up

Millennials would rather pay with cash or debit cards than credit cards. Gen Z is using tools like Venmo or Cash App to manage their online money and pay for goods and services. Looking at a credit report, as part of the job responsibility, may be another challenge when screening Gen Z. Hiring managers must keep this in mind when screening applicants.

Digital or Paper Documentation

Another question for human resources departments is whether to move their job applications and forms online. While in general, the online process reduces paperwork and the probability of data entry mistakes, Millennials are used to paper while Gen Zers would rather go online. Millennials may be concerned with online privacy and identity theft. Gen Z will have a deeper sense of trust with the Internet.


If you’re looking for a new partner to help with your Gen Z background screenings, talk to one of our experts. At Barada, we provide screening solutions for employers every day. Schedule a time to have a conversation about your specific screening challenges.