Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 9.51.49 am

As we edge towards 2020, 70% of our workforce will be made up of people born within 1981 - 2003. Generation Z in particular (those born in the mid-’90s to early 2000s) are drastically changing our workforce. The mix of all three generations will see a shift in the following areas within recruitment.


a. Methods of communication

We are already more connected now than we have ever been yet disconnected in so many other ways. Recruitment is all about communication, it's over the phone, in person via email – a plethora of ways for us to get in touch with candidates and clients.
A study conducted by LivePerson covering digital habits of both Generation Y and Z found that when asked to choose between their mobile handsets phone app or messaging app - 69.4% preferred the messaging app. Meaning that (Wallop, 2019). In the future, we will have to get creative in order to truly have an understanding of the reach we need to attain to get that gem candidate off the market or have that client sign those exclusive Terms of Business.



b. Workplace flexibility

Stemming from how incredibly connected we are, flexible and remote working is becoming a standard rather than a selling point for Millennials and Gen Z’s. I’ve spoken to a lot of candidates who express that they would happily take a work phone call at 8 pm or respond to emails late into the night if they had true flexibility to do life without penalty, which always happens outside of work. Many candidates within these generations have seen their parents lose their livelihood during the GFC in 2008. They are subconsciously reluctant to devote their entire life to work as the fragility is still in their recollection without truly living through it.

80% of Gen Y’s take word of mouth recommendations as their priority when making a purchasing decision. If you have a good reputation in the recruitment market by offering flexible arrangements for your employee's vastly different life situations, you'll be at the top of that 5-star candidate's list of companies to work for when they decide to make the move.



c. Emphasis on base salary

One glaring difference I’ve noticed in my time as a Rec2Rec is candidates who are new to the recruitment industry and their expectations when it comes to base salary. Recruitment, known as a primarily “commission dependent’ industry in order to crack 6 figures is starting to take a turn due to Gen Z’s placing more emphasis on a higher base salary. According to Morning Consult data, the shift in the importance of base salary and "financial security" is due to Gen Z’s being aware of the GFC in 2008, but too young to be directly affected by it or appreciate its magnitude. Thus, as a generation, who are more aware of the fragility of the economy.

The recruitment industry is ever-changing and staying ahead of the curve is imperative to the success of individual consultants and agencies.


Wallop, H. (2019). Gen Z, Gen Y, baby boomers - a guide to the generations. [online] Available at:

Follow Stefan on LinkedIn to keep up to date with everything Recruitment!

Leave a Comment