Research Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 2
Yacoub Hamdan, Al-Ahliyya Amman University
Ahmad Fathi Alheet, Al-Ahliyya Amman University
Generation Z comprises of more than 20% of the global employment, which makes it important to know and understand the needs of this generation. This research determines Gen Z's recruitment success and retention with respect to the recruitment system employed. Based on the data collected from 131 HR employees, it is observed currently social media advertising and the recruitment agencies use are the most employed methods of recruitment. The study finds mixed results regarding Gen Z's recruitment and retention success. Based on correlation analysis, it is observed that recruitment events and recruitment agencies have a positive relationship, while part employees' re-hiring and word of mouth, and have a negative association with recruitment and retention success. Future studies on the subject may evaluate more strategies, which can affect the employment of Gen Z employees.
Generation Z Employees, Employee Recruitment Success, Retention.
Most of effectively managed firms have discovered that the crucial source of creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the business environment is not only having the smartest design of product or service, the best marketing strategy, latest technology or strong financial management, but it is necessary to have good human resources and proper management procedure (Salamzadeh et al., 2019).
People management is one of the main concerns of companies in today's business environment. The need of the employees and companies are evolving likewise. The employees seek better growth opportunities while they also seek better rights for their employment status. Therefore, companies must emphasise on the Human resources department, which is responsible for employee affairs, including benefits and compensation, training and development, and recruitment. Recruitment is a key part for the company as it helps them grow and identify key individuals who can drive the company towards success. The hiring of wrong candidates can influence a negative growth for the company as unsuitable candidates would not be able to fulfil the purpose (Fernández-Aráoz et al., 2009).
In the last two decades, the globalization has occupied a special attention of scientists, having in mind its great impact on the development of global finances and financial markets, knowledge extension with the help of the improved communication terms, expansion of multinational companies and decentralization of economic activities within and among the companies, development of global oligopolies and reduction of barriers in trade and investments (Salamzadeh et al., 2019).
Hiring and retaining talent is a big challenge for the business world; according to Stahl et al. (2012), majority of HR personnel feel they struggle to find the right candidate for the respective jobs. This statement is valid for countries such as Singapore and Malaysia as well; 26.5% companies in Singapore struggle with manpower; whereas, in Malaysia, 97% employers are striving to find and maintain ideal talent as it is difficult to find. Furthermore, it is observed that 40% of employees plan to find a new job after 6 months, while 69% of employees already are looking for a new job. This element can also induce a big fear for companies as hiring employees is much more expensive than retention. Furthermore, this type of challenges affects all types of industries, thus impacting the global economy.
According to Shostak (2019), Generation Z would comprise 24% of global employment. Therefore, knowing and understanding the needs of this generation is essential. Furthermore, the entrance of generation Z is due to the retirements in place of Baby boomers, which means that there would be a massive change in the business environment as all generations have different traits (Goh & Lee, 2018). Most evidently, the ability of generation Z to cope with technology is a major factor. It is observed that baby boomer typically struggle in understanding the new technology; thus, with the element of generation Z being technology native, many changes can be expected in the working culture. Therefore, the present study analyses the recruitment and retention policies regarding generation Z, and the expectations of generation Z regarding the business environment.
The present study is meant to analyse the recruitment and retention processes of companies regarding Generation Z, while this study also analyses the reach to their expectations. Generation Z is the people born between 1995 and 2010; this generation is the present and next to enter the business environment. Therefore, analysing the HR process is important for businesses regarding generation Z.
There has been a lot of research on recruitment and retention; however, there still lacks a significant and conclusive about the topic regarding generation Z as that workforce is still new and developing. Therefore, solving this gap would present important findings and clearer image to the recruiters regarding the expectations of generation Z concern employment.
The aim of the research is to identify how HR manages the recruitment and retention policies regarding Generation Z. At the same time, it also aims to identify the measures which would be better. Furthermore, the expectations of Generation Z are assessed that can impact the performance of the company. Considering the aims of the study, the following research objectives are formed:
1. To examine the effectiveness of recruitment methods used by organisations.
2. To determine the recruitment and retention success rate of Gen Z employees
3. To examine the impact of recruitment methods/system on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate
Consequently, the research question of the paper is:
What is the impact of recruitment methods/system on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate?
This research is an important contribution to human resource research. The first contribution of the study is that the emphasis of the topic is on a subject that relates to generation Z, which would help the academia to know the effective recruitment methods for gen Z. Additionally, this research has several practical implications; it disseminates knowledge that could help in the training of HR professionals that could help companies make better decisions. Furthermore, as the study is relevant to many industries, relevant professionals can use the discovered knowledge of effective recruitment methods. Moreover, managers can observe the expectations of generation Z and decide whether they would be a good fit for their organisation. Further, the government can benefit from this research as generation Z employment is beneficial to the whole economy; thus, the government can identify the implications and recommendations to make informed decisions.
The following sections of this paper provide a detailed review of previous literature on the subject, the methodology to address the study, followed by a statistical analysis of the problem.
This study consist from the introduction then literature review which contains analysis of models and theoretical frameworks that have been previously introduced to the research area, then the methodology which explains the research process and addresses the issues of research philosophy ,and finally the conclusion which concludes the work and summarises the level of achievement of study aim and objectives.
The Theoretical contribution in this study is to investigate a new relationship among different concepts (Salamzadeh, 2020).
Further, there are theoretical frameworks that have rationalised the relationship between the variables used in the hypotheses.
Understanding Generation Z and its Importance in the Workplace
Health and Financial resources represent the physical and mental aspects respectively, while job satisfaction and work performance represent the spiritual aspect. In addition, it elaborates the influence of generation type on the relationship between the determinants and the intention to retire (Huey & Muthuveloo, 2019).
The current job market is welcoming the arrival of the young workers known as Generation Z (Gen Z). According to Singh & Dangmei (2016), Gen Z includes the people that are born between 1995 to 2010, after millennials and raised in the era of social media as well as the internet. Also, the digital natives are considered to be another name for Gen Z because they are highly global, social, technological, most connected, educated, and the clever generation that has ever existed before (Goh & Lee, 2018). Most importantly, Gen Z is highly affected by brands and driven by social media. It was mentioned by Lyons & Kuron (2014) that the generational change is occurring, and the difference in the ages of the population have emerged new work attitudes. Additionally, the emergence of Gen Z in the workplace has caused changes in the recruitment, retention, and other Human Resource (HR) practices of the businesses. Generation Y (born between 1980-1990) and Gen Z have not only outnumbered the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (1960-1970) in the workplace, but the number of generation Y and Z consumers has also increased (Costanza et al., 2012). Therefore, it has become highly challenging for the organisations to manage the workforce that comprises the majority of the Gen Z employees. The companies are focusing on changing the past recruitment and retention approaches as well as systems.
According to Mathur & Hameed (2016), it is extremely important to understand that Gen Z has spent their childhood during periods of climate change, terrorism, and economic crises. Moreover, it is expected that Gen Z would be highly concerned about social and economic renewal. Also, Gen Z is extremely comfortable with advanced technology like information and communications technology (ICTs). Gen Z spends a lot of time over the internet because they were born after the invention of mobile phones and the internet (Twenge & Campbell, 2012). Such people do not shy away to express their opinions, not afraid of sharing personal information, and are highly creative and energetic. Also, hiring and retaining such type of workforce has become quite challenging for the HR managers.
Assessing Recruitment Systems and their Effectiveness
The recruitment, as well as retention, is two main functions of HR that need strategic planning as well as strategic thought. The organisations in the contemporary business world focus on talent management for organisational growth because it deals with recruiting and retaining the employees (Bejtkovský, 2016). Also, companies focus on different recruitment methods so that the best talent can be recruited and retained. Moreover, the attracting and recruitment of highly competent staff members can be ensured by focusing on effective recruitment processes. According to Seemiller & Grace (2018), internal and external recruitment strategies are two basic methods through which the talent can be recruited by the companies. The internal recruitment process is related to the promotion of the workers already employed inside an organisation (Muscalu, 2015). This process leads towards improvement in employee morale and loyalty, time efficiency, low costs, and ease in the promotion. On the other side, the external recruitment process enables companies to recruit candidates out of the company. It leads towards the invasion of the innovation and fresh ideas, offering the job to unemployed and the presence of a large pool of candidates for selection of suitable one (Goh & Lee, 2018). As per Costanza et al., (2012) majority of the organisations in the current business world focus on the external recruitment process to hire Gen Z employees because the majority of them have or in the final stages of completing higher education and inexperienced with no prior working background. The rationale to focus on recruiting Gen Z is that they bring new ideas to the table and think outside the box to promote innovation and creativity. Hence, the selection of internal and external recruitment is primarily associated with promoting higher employee loyalty, commitment, and innovation to attain organisational success.
Designing the Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Gen Z
Gen Z employees are different from the workers employed by the companies in the past, including baby boomers and Generation X. According to Al-Asfour & Lettau (2014), organisations need to understand different factors associated with Gen Z to understand their working styles and preferences. This helps to understand the needs of Gen Z workers and retaining them. Berkup (2014) mentioned in the study that the job expectations, behaviours for job search, and organisational commitments for Gen Z are different from other generations. Also, addressing these factors by the organisational leaders can build an effective working environment where Gen Z can be retained. One of the main factors is the preferred style for work. This refers to the process that how the employees like to behave in a working environment. As per Anderson et al. (2017), Gen Z prefers privacy and individualistic working styles, unlike the millennials that focus on a collaborative working style. Also, to retain the Gen Z workers, organisations need to shift from collaborative to individualistic environments.
Another consideration for retention of Gen Z employees in organisations is to understand the job expectations (Steyn et al., 2019). Also, the HR team needs to understand that what is looked at by Gen Z workers in the job. The Gen Z workers emphasise on advancements and expect career development (Matveeva & Krasnov, 2019). This indicates that it is important for the HR team of companies to make strategies for the future advancement of Gen Z workers. This can be done by making career development plans, knowledge development, and skills development.
The understanding and knowledge of job search behaviours by the HR management of organisations are extremely important in recruitment and selection of Gen Z workers. According to Sugimoto et al. (2017), the job search behaviours can be understood by identifying different platforms that are used by the job seekers to apply for the job. Also, the Gen Z workers look for information and search jobs on the official websites and portals of companies. Moreover, if the companies do not have a useable website, then Gen Z might not reach such companies. Goh & Lee (2018) were of the view that Gen Z employees prefer highly interactive media rather than print media and TVs because their minds require fast delivery of information. This indicates that by understanding the Gen Z's job search behaviours, companies can make practices and policies that increase the recruitment and retention chances.
Recruitment and Retention Success Rate of Gen Z
Gen Z employees have specific characteristics that make them successful in different business sectors. It was mentioned by Berge & Berge (2019) that Gen Z employees aspire to work in the tech sector, retail, and finance as well as business services. Also, the recruitment and retention success rate of Gen Z employees are higher in such sectors as compared with the other ones. Moreover, the companies including Google, IBM, Microsoft, as well as Amazon and Deloitte are the companies in which Gen Z likes to work and apply for the job (Berge & Berge, 2019). It was stated by Seemiller & Grace (2018) that Gen Z employees are innovative and like to work in companies that focus on innovation and are different from other companies. Also, Gen Z employees like to work in those companies that provide flexible working hours and offer a good salary. The success rate of the recruitment and retention of Gen Z workers is high in technology-related businesses. As per Iorgulescu (2016), Gen Z employees seek jobs in software engineering businesses because they consider it interesting, innovative, and tech-related. It is because Gen Z is considered to be digitally native as they were born at the time of technological advancement. Also, they were born during the time of artificial intelligence and smartphones. Therefore, Gen Z likes to integrate the technology in every aspect of their job to get exceptional results which improve their working efficiency as they tend to accomplish their assigned task with the ease of technology which improves their success rate as opposed to the previous generations that mainly relied on manual data processing.
Different Recruitment and Retention Methods for Gen Z
According to Seemiller & Grace (2018), Gen Z workers are highly concerned about benefits other than remuneration, including creativity, flexibility, trust, engagement, innovation, and individuality. Also, Gen Z is motivated through creativity and task variety rather than financial motivational rewards. It indicates that the recruitment and retention of Gen Z employees by the organisations need to be different from the usual strategies. According to Hackman & Johnson (2013), when organisations need to attract Gen Z, then they should take into account the importance of ownership for such workers. Also, Gen Z is driven by new technologies; thus, companies should align the recruitment process with these technologies. The recruitment and retention of Gen Z employees can be successful with high-tech methods. Much of the time by Gen Z is spent on social media. Thus, companies need to focus on online recruitment methods. The concept of hiring Gen Z employees through different social media platforms is emerging. The job offers are accelerated by engaging the Gen Z workers, providing more control and choice to candidates through interviewing technologies, including AI virtual hiring assistants.
The findings have revealed that Gen Z is highly tech-savvy and demands technological integration at every step of the recruitment systems. In this regard, the effectiveness of the recruitment methods could be improved through the involvement of social media platforms to engage, communicate, and recruit the talented pool of Gen Z. Despite a plethora of researches focusing on the recruitment of Gen Z, there is a dearth of literature offering retention strategies specifically aimed towards Gen Z. Therefore, there is a need to determine the retention strategies for Gen Z and analyse the impact of such strategies on the success of Gen Z.
In this section, the research approach and design, along with the sampling size and data collection techniques, are defined. The hypotheses are also stated in this section.
The objective of the current research study is to examine the impact of recruitment methods/system on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate. For this purpose, the study adopts a quantitative research methodology and relies on primary data. The quantitative approach is considered to provide statistical and objective evidence for the problem.
According to Williamson et al. (2018), a quantitative study relies on numerical data for the measurement using various statistical tools. A Positivist research philosophy has been applied; numerous authors have stated that positivist philosophy helps a researcher in accomplishing suitable research design, objectives and aims
Moreover, for data collection, the study considers a descriptive design and employs a survey to collect data. The respondents of the survey are employees working in the HR departments of various organisations, belonging to different industries and sectors. The participants belong to different age groups, gender, and have varied level of experience. They were approached via online platforms and emails and received a total of 131 complete responses.
The data collected is analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics tools. Descriptive statistics are applied to explore the dataset, while inferential statistical tools such as correlation are applied to determine the relationships.
During the conduct of the study, the author ensured compliance with all ethical standards and principles. Most importantly, the data collected from the respondents was kept safe in password-protected devices. Moreover, the privacy of the respondent data is ensured. The researcher also ensured that free consent from all respondents is taken before survey.
This section of the article addresses the objective and the question of the study. It aims to assess employee recruitment success and retention with respect to the recruitment system with a specific focus on Gen Z employees. The following analysis presents the perspective of employees from the HR departments of their respective organisations, belonging to different industries and sectors (Table 1).
|Table 1 Demographics|
|Age||Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
|58 and above||2||1.5||1.5||100.0|
|Gender||Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
|Experience||Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
|10 and More Years||40||30.5||30.5||100.0|
According to the demographic analysis, the majority of HR employees belong to the age groups 28-37 (34%) and 38-47 (32.1%). Moreover, it is observed that male respondent dominates in the survey compared to female. In terms of experience, respondents are almost of equal proportions, i.e. representing each experience group.
HR employees were asked about their preferred recruitment methods, strategy or system. From the responses, it is observed that currently, social media direct advertising and the use of recruitment agencies are the most employed/preferred methods of recruitment. Here, the least preferred methods include word of mouth and past employees' hiring. This result shows the importance of the use of social media in recruitment, along with outsourcing the function via recruitment agencies (Table 2).
|Table 2 Preferred Recruitment Method|
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
|Valid||Social Media Direct Advertising||21||16.0||16.0||16.0|
|Talent Pool Databases||14||10.7||10.7||26.7|
|Past Employees' Re-Hiring||6||4.6||4.6||42.7|
|Transfers and Promotions||15||11.5||11.5||54.2|
|Word of Mouth||6||4.6||4.6||87.8|
The respondents were also asked to rate the recruitment methods based on their effectiveness. Consistent with the previous response, the most effective recruitment strategy, according to the preference of HR employees is social media direct advertising. It is followed by talent pool databases, which organisations nowadays possess to perform the recruitment function effectively. It is followed by recruitment agencies use and recruitment events. The least preferred or effective method (in the view of the respondents) is Past Employees' Re-Hiring with the lowest mean score (Table 3a & b).
|Table 3a Descriptive Statistics|
|Social Media Direct Advertising||131||2.00||5.00||4.0534||0.81630|
|Talent Pool Databases||131||2.00||5.00||3.9313||0.85206|
|Internal recruitment (within organisation)||131||1.00||4.00||2.6794||1.02482|
|Past Employees' Re-Hiring||131||1.00||4.00||2.2366||0.93506|
|Transfers and Promotions||131||1.00||4.00||2.4275||0.92844|
|Word of Mouth||131||1.00||4.00||2.1679||0.86070|
|Valid N (listwise)||131|
|Table 3b Descriptive Statistics|
|Age Group||N||Minimum||Maximum||Mean||Std. Deviation|
|Gen Z||Social Media Direct Advertising||65||2.00||5.00||4.34||0.73|
|Talent Pool Databases||65||2.00||5.00||4.28||0.72|
|Internal recruitment (within organisation)||65||1.00||4.00||2.63||0.94|
|Past Employees' Re-Hiring||65||1.00||4.00||1.97||0.79|
|Transfers and Promotions||65||1.00||4.00||2.49||0.87|
|Word of Mouth||65||1.00||4.00||1.88||0.72|
|Valid N (listwise)||65|
|Other Gens||Social Media Direct Advertising||66||2.00||5.00||3.77||0.80|
|Talent Pool Databases||66||2.00||5.00||3.59||0.84|
|Internal recruitment (within organisation)||66||1.00||4.00||2.73||1.10|
|Past Employees' Re-Hiring||66||1.00||4.00||2.50||1.00|
|Transfers and Promotions||66||1.00||4.00||2.36||0.99|
|Word of Mouth||66||1.00||4.00||2.45||0.90|
|Valid N (listwise)||662|
The study also examines the preference of the HR employees towards recruitment methods with respect to age group (i.e. Gen Z employees vs elder employees).
It is observed that the younger age group in the sample highly rate social media use for recruitment, talent pool database, and recruitment agencies (Table 4). On the other hand, the scores allotted by the employees from other generations are relatively smaller. Still, social media direct advertising remains the most effective and preferred method. To determine the level of success/failure in recruitment and retention, the study assessed five statements.
|Table 4 Recruitment and Retention Success|
|The recruitment strategies collect a satisfactory pool of candidates||Strongly Disagree||6|
|The organisation retains younger generation employees||Strongly Disagree||9|
|Candidates do not leave the recruitment process||Strongly Disagree||0|
|Younger employees are more motivated||Strongly Disagree||3|
|On average, the organisation retains a Gen Z employee for more than a year||Strongly Disagree||3|
It is observed that according to the majority of the respondents, the recruitment strategy of their respective organisation is able to collect a pool of candidates, suggesting it as effective. Although 49 (in total) disagree, it is still believed that respondent's organisation retains younger generation employees. Here, around 27 HR employees are not sure about this statement. Regarding candidates leaving the recruitment process (halfway), mixed results are obtained since respondents are agreeing, disagreeing and also having a neutral view. However, there are fewer doubts about the fact that younger employees more motivated. Moreover, it is also found according to the majority that on average organisations retain a Gen Z employee for more than a year. It suggests the recruitment and retention success of the organisations under study.
To examine the impact of recruitment methods/system on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate (RRSR), the study performs correlation analysis. It is done to statistically determine the impact of each recruitment method on combined success score.
According to the correlation Table 5, the success rate (RRSR) is significantly associated with four recruitment methods, which include recruitment events, recruitment agencies, word of mouth, and part employees' re-hiring. All associations are found to be weak. Moreover, it is interesting to note that recruitment events and recruitment agencies have a positive link, while word of mouth and part employees' re-hiring have a negative association with RRSR. It means that organisations may avoid word of mouth and re-hiring strategies. The social media advertising method, which was found most effective, is insignificant, possibly due to the fact the high preference towards social media use for recruitment does not match current RRSR level (which appears to be moderate).
|Table 5 Correlations|
|Social Media Direct Advertising||Talent Pool Databases||Internal recruitment||Past Employees' Re-Hiring||Transfers and Promotion||Recruit. Agencies||Recruit. Events||Word of Mouth||Bulletin Boards||RRS|
|Social Media Direct Advertising||Pearson Correlation||1||0.813**||-0.071||-0.178*||0.041||0.115||0.140||-0.166||-0.138||0.170|
|Talent Pool Databases||Pearson Correlation||0.813**||1||0.071||-0.153||0.242**||0.200*||0.289**||-0.152||-0.127||0.142|
|Internal recruitment (within organisation)||Pearson Correlation||-0.071||0.071||1||0.120||0.048||0.036||0.114||.192*||0.074||0.005|
|Past Employees' Re-Hiring||Pearson Correlation||-0.178*||-0.153||0.120||1||-0.330**||-0.146||-0.114||0.839**||-0.200*||-0.203*|
|Transfers and Promotions||Pearson Correlation||0.041||0.242**||0.048||-0.330**||1||0.143||0.024||-0.216*||0.255**||0.041|
|Recruitment Agencies||Pearson Correlation||0.115||.200*||0.036||-0.146||0.143||1||.846**||-.207*||0.016||.247**|
|Recruitment Events||Pearson Correlation||0.140||0.289**||0.114||-0.114||0.024||.846**||1||-0.158||-0.073||0.253**|
|Word of Mouth||Pearson Correlation||-0.166||-0.152||0.192*||0.839**||-0.216*||-0.207*||-0.158||1||-0.107||-0.290**|
|Bulletin Boards||Pearson Correlation||-0.138||-0.127||0.074||-.200*||.255**||0.016||-0.073||-0.107||1||-0.034|
In the business world, hiring and retaining employee has remained a big challenge, especially in the context of generation Z employees. Generation Z comprises 24% of global employment. Therefore, knowing and understanding the needs of this generation is essential. This research study examines the effectiveness of recruitment methods used by organisations; determines the recruitment and retention success rate of Gen Z employees and examines the impact of recruitment methods/system on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate. Based on the data of 131 HR employees, where the majority of them are male and belong to the age group 28-37 years and 38-47 years, the study observes the significance of the use of social media in recruitment, along with outsourcing the function via recruitment agencies. Moreover, social media advertising is also termed as the most effective recruitment strategy, based on the preference of HR employees. Finally, using correlation analysis, the study finds a significant impact of four recruitment methods on Gen Z recruitment and retention success rate. According to the findings, recruitment events and recruitment agencies have a positive link, while word of mouth and part employees' re-hiring have a negative association with RRSR.
Based on the results of the study, it is recommended to the chosen organisations to focus on recruitment events and agencies as recruitment methods/tools, along with social media advertising. Future studies on the subject may explore more advanced and new tools that are currently used in the business world.