gen z dental professional

Candidates between the ages of 18 and 25 – known as Generation Z or ‘Gen Z,’ for short – are coming of age and joining the world of work for the first time. However, despite approximately 61 million potential Gen Z employees entering the workforce, recruiters and employers struggle to catch the eye of job-hunting Gen Z candidates.

Gen Z-focused research has found that approximately 51% of recruiters have experienced “candidate ghosting,”  where Gen Z candidates fail to reply to follow-up hiring questions or responses. 

In addition, 79% of companies admitted that their efforts to attract Gen Z employees still needed a lot of work. 

So why are so many companies struggling to connect with and hire employees from this generation of young professionals? More importantly, what can you do to attract and successfully recruit Gen Z candidates to your dental practice? 

Are Gen Z Candidates Harder to Hire?

The difficulties recruiters and dental business owners face when hiring from the Gen Z talent pool raises an important question: are Gen Z candidates more challenging to hire than previous generations? To find out, let’s take a closer look at Generation Z. 

Who is Gen Z?

Born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z is often referred to as the first generation of true digital natives. This is because they are too young to remember a world before wireless connectivity, social media platforms, instant messaging, and immediate access to information online. 

Their close connection to technology has helped shape their social and professional interactions. For example, 46% have applied for an internship or a job via a mobile device, and 91% of Gen Z employees cite technology as a critical consideration when accepting a job offer. 

How Do Digital Natives Apply for Jobs?

Generation Z also doesn’t utilize technology like previous generations did when job searching online and applying. Instead of using Google (and other search engines) for potential employment, studies have found that Gen Z prefers using social media platforms like TikTok to find information about good restaurants, places of interest, and job opportunities. 

In addition, Gen Z doesn’t respond well to traditional job application methods compared to prior generations. As a result, businesses experimenting with newer, digitally-driven ways of attracting younger employees, like short-form video content, have seen immense success. 

For instance, McDonald’s in Australia was struggling to recruit new employees. By allowing applicants to apply using a short video instead of a CV, which they could submit via a mobile device, the company saw more than 3,000 applications within 24 hours. 

Aligning these findings to our earlier question of whether Gen Z employees are harder to hire, our answer becomes clear. Generation Z candidates aren’t necessarily harder to hire. They simply have different expectations and respond differently to the job application process. By better understanding these expectations, dental practices can attract and employ dental employees from the Gen Z workforce. 

What Do Gen Z Employees Look For in a Job?

Research has shown that younger candidates have very clear expectations regarding the job and workplace environment they’re looking for. 

  1. Gen Z candidates prioritize technology in their place of work. Approximately 80% of younger employees aspire to work in an organization that uses cutting-edge technology as part of its business practices. Candidates will thus likely favor organizations that keep their tech stack up to date with current digital and technology trends. The best way to make this value proposition known to Gen Zers is on your online vacancy listings, website, and social media pages. 
  1. Despite their love for all things digital, Gen Z places a surprisingly high value on face-to-face communication, preferring to communicate one-on-one rather than via instant messaging or email. However, remember that Gen Z doesn’t necessarily equate “face-to-face” with “in-person” and is happy to communicate via video calls or Zoom. 
  1. Lastly, an organization’s culture is critical to these younger applicants. Generation Z is the most ethnically and culturally diverse generation in history. Diversity is a significant value they want to see in the companies they work for. They also value mental health immensely, with 31% willing to turn down a role at a company that rates poorly on environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) issues and don’t facilitate work/life balance. 

How to Attract Gen Z Applicants to Your Dental Organization

Integrate technology into your application and work processes

Gen Z has limited to no patience for engaging in manual or outdated methods of working or interacting. Ensure you’re keeping your organizational processes and technology up to date and reflective of industry standards and digital trends. 

Can your patients book their appointments online or via instant messaging software? Is this scheduling service 24/7? What about the software you use to manage your practice or collect and manage payments – does it help automate the process? A Gen Z front office administrator would appreciate all these features and the time it saves on patient workflows and managing cash flow.    

Clinically, how up-to-date are your dental chairs or operatory and diagnostic equipment? These offerings will attract Gen Z patients and staff alike.

Lastly, incorporate technology into your application process by allowing applicants to apply and interview online. Don’t forget to use social media and online recruiting platforms for advertising your vacancies

Offer support and mentorship opportunities in your company

Coming of age and entering the world of work during a global pandemic has impacted Gen Z employees, who find remote work particularly challenging, especially when building meaningful workplace relationships. 

Dental organizations and practices that offer their employees one-on-one support, mentoring, and skills development will be particularly attractive to Gen Z applicants looking for a workplace where they can build strong connections with managers and co-workers. 

Provide flexibility in appointment scheduling

As much as Gen Z values engagement, this demographic also looks for work flexibility. Generation Z has watched the world transition to remote and hybrid working and fully expects an organization to be accommodating in this regard. 

Offering dental candidates like dental hygienists or assistants more flexibility in their appointment scheduling is one way to cater to these needs. While providing remote dental patient care is not entirely feasible, consider creatively exploring ways to facilitate flexible work hours that enable dental staff to come and go when needed. 

Modern technology and instant connectivity make keeping track of staff whereabouts easier than ever. If you’re uncertain of how to go about it, ask your existing Digital Native employees to find or recommend the appropriate solution and show you the ropes.

Don’t Give Up 

Finding and hiring younger Gen Z employees might initially feel intimidating. However, understanding what motivates and interests them and incorporating them into your practice’s processes can help you attract a wider net of Gen Z applicants and prepare your practice, so it’s 100% ready to integrate a Gen Z workforce.

If you’re looking for ways to search for and find Gen Z employees, consider creating a free employer account on DentalPost. With DentalPost, you’ll have access to many beneficial features that make searching for an ideal candidate quick and convenient. 

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