What to Look Out For When You Start Hiring Gen Z

Generation Z (ages 17-26) is catching the attention of marketers, media and the entertainment industry. But what makes this new generation different? As this new generation begins to enter the workforce, it’s time to evaluate how they stack up to previous generations, and how recruiters can help employers prepare for the changing capabilities of their workforce.

Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. After looking at a sample of 259,000 working people aged 15-75, selected from our worldwide data of over 2 million people, tested for their emotional intelligence skills, we’ve narrowed down the top four tips for recruiters when hiring Generation Z:Emotional test scores by generation

1. Evaluate new candidates for their independence by asking questions about how they solve tasks and how they work independently.

Generation Z scored significantly lower in independence than the general population. Because this group is more dependent on others, they have a greater need for approval. They are more likely to check in with others before carrying out tasks and they’ll want to confirm that they are making the right moves.

2. Be conscious of the stress-level of the job for which you are hiring and take time to evaluate how the candidate handles stress.

Stress tolerance also differentiates Generation Z. When things start to get out of control, or emotions run high, don’t look to Generation Z to manage the situation. This group would rather avoid the stress and not deal with it at all, or they might just lose control of the situation.

3. Find out how new candidates make decisions. Use problem solving exercises in the interview to evaluate if the candidate is letting emotions cloud their decision making process.

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Generation Z struggles with emotional problem solving more than previous generations. They struggle to find balance between emotions and making a decision. Often, they will either become sidetracked by their anxiety, or be too logical and end up with a decision they are unhappy with.

4. Don’t be afraid to recommend a candidate that may require some extra help.

This generation scores high in self-actualization, meaning they welcome coaching and additional training. If your company offers additional learning opportunities, this generation will be willing take advantage of them.

While some of the differences in Generation Z can be attributed to their youth, the gaps in areas like independence, problem solving and stress tolerance will continue to be significant as they age. But like any stereotype or generalization, there are likely to be many exceptions. As this generation begins to enter the workforce, keeping these common generational traits can help HR professionals and business select, hire and train Generation Z.

Dr. Steven Stein, a clinical psychologist, is the founder and CEO of Multi-Health Systems (MHS), a three-time Profit 100 (fastest growing companies in Canada) winner, one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 2013, and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 (Ontario, Health Science).

Dr. Stein has been a leading publisher of scientifically validated assessments for more than 30 years. A leading expert on psychological assessment and emotional intelligence, he has consulted to military and government agencies including the Canadian Forces, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, special units of the Pentagon, U.S. FBI Academy, as well as corporate organizations including American Express, Coca-Cola (Mexico), Air Canada, Canyon Ranch and professional sports teams. He is the author and coauthor of several books on emotional intelligence including the international best-seller The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success and Emotional Intelligence for Dummies.

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