A report developed by Oleeo in collaboration with MyKindaFuture suggests almost one-in-five (18 per cent) of Generation Z applicants are dropping out of the recruitment process, even after being offered a job. Born in 1996 or later, Generation Z are predicted to outnumber the millennial generation globally by as early as 2019. Whilst millennials currently make up 40 per cent of the UK workforce, Generation Z are now leaving education to begin their careers and will quickly take over the millennial workforce population.
The report suggests the reason for Generation Z so readily withdrawing from recruitment processes or declining or reneging on job offers is that companies don’t know how to engage with them.
Charles Hipps, CEO and founder, of Oleeo elaborates: “Gen Z demand a different kind of relationship with organisations. In a digital and relationship-centric era they expect to build a personal connection with potential employers in order to decide where to apply, and which offers to accept. With this generation used to using up to six screens at any one time, these relationships need to be developed across multiple platforms. Added to this, Gen Z expect information to be hyper relevant to them. For employers recruiting large numbers of young people, that’s an incredible mix of demands to meet, which is why technology is so important”.
William Akerman, founder and managing director of social enterprise MyKindaFuture, which helps connect employers and young people, agrees: “Technology has the ability to streamline the recruitment process for recruiters, whilst increasing engagement for applicants. It’s a win, win.”
MyKindaFuture has worked with the likes of Skanska, Rolls Royce and Civil Service Fast Stream and Early Talent. “We’re seeing technologies like video interviews, e-tray exercises, and digi-mentoring being used to engage with young people, improve the applicant’s experience and reduce drop-out rates,” continued Akerman
In addition to losing almost one in five good young people during the recruitment process, companies also face potential problems from candidates who aren’t offered jobs. According to the report, only 3 per cent of those who apply for a position will receive an offer, and two-thirds of the talent pool are screened out in the first round. This leaves 97 per cent without a job offer and a plethora of social channels to complain on if they feel they have been mistreated.
Vanessa Soames, graduate recruitment director at Police Now, a company featured in the report, comments: “In an on demand society, poor processes and communication in the recruitment process can’t be hidden from candidates. If a candidate has an unpleasant experience, it is likely this will be shared online and the experience of one person is brand-damaging for organisations.”
Targeting and communicating with this generation is also difficult as more of them are choosing apprenticeships rather than attending university, according to the report. The number of apprenticeships available has increased at all levels but most notably across Levels 6 and 7, with an increase of 50 per cent. Higher Level Apprenticeships have also seen an increase of 35 per cent. Organisations targeting Generation Z candidates therefore need to be smarter at going into schools, colleges as well as onto campuses.
The report also shows that the diversity issues which have plagued the recruitment of other generations are still present. In 2017, 37.1 per cent of Generation Z women were expected to attend university compared with 27.3 per cent of young men. Yet, according to Oleeo’s figures, 63 per cent of applicants were male and just 37 per cent were female. Equally only 15 per cent of black and Hispanic applicants were successful in being accepted onto graduate schemes, compared to a combine 85 per cent of their white and Asian counterparts.
Charles Hipps concludes: “Organisations trying to recruit Generation Z talent have a lot to think about. They have to be adept at reaching out to young people in schools, in universities, while they’re completing apprenticeships or even taking a gap year. They cannot rely on the same old routes and approaches. At the same time, they must give candidates a great recruitment experience from the outset, and at every step of the way, until the young person is onboard and working. That means engaging with large numbers of very different young people, but every time in a meaningful way. With HR teams already under considerable resource pressure, technology is inevitably going to be a vital enabler in early years recruiting.”