7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Gen Z

At Handshake, a career community for college students in the United States, we are laser focused on early talent. This cohort, comprising young professionals with no more than 3 years of work experience, falls squarely in the realm of Gen Z. Much has been said about the benefits of hiring Gen Z; as the most diverse generation yet and true digital natives, these young people born after 1996 can benefit organizations with their savviness and forward thinking.

Needless to say, we deeply believe in this generation’s value—both to the employers lucky enough to recruit them and to the world at large! Before you begin the process of recruiting early talent, ask these seven questions to determine how to optimize your strategic approach.

Questions to Consider

1. What are my company’s long-term workforce planning goals?

When it comes to job hunting, students and young talent are all about keeping an open mind. In fact, 60% of Handshake student survey respondents say they’re open to finding a job outside of their major. With today’s grads being so open to new career tracks, employers need to be thoughtful about the exact functions for which they are hiring and why.

This planning requires a thorough understanding of how, exactly, early talent can fulfill your organization’s strategic priorities. Strive for agility and alignment within your organization—which teams could benefit from fresh perspectives, and which roles do you anticipate needing to fill within the next few years?


2. What career paths can early talent expect to take at my company?

Students and recent grads care about advancing rapidly: 75% believe they should be promoted within a year. According to a recent Handshake study, early talent wants to move up, not out. While new grads may not stay at your company for decades, as was and is typical with the Baby Boomer generation, they do intend to stick around—and it’s up to employers to harness their talents.

Consider communicating career pathways to potential hires through stories of tenured employees, and encourage employees (especially interns and early-career hires!) to leave reviews of your organization through social media and other appropriate websites. Work on building thoughtful, structured steps into your early levels that will allow early-talent hires to make meaningful, measurable progress in their careers.

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