Generation Z – The new challenge in recruiting talents and specialists.

A Bachelor Thesis in collaboration with HCCM® AG and the University of Applied Sciences, FHNW.

The professional environment is subjected to constant generational change. Generation Z is currently in the career entry phase, which places new demands on the recruitment of specialists and managers. Generation Z is the first generation to have grown up completely with digitalisation and therefore has a new communication and consumer behaviour.

Definition of the tasks

Two students of the FHNW Basel have therefore dealt with the topic “Generation Z – The new challenge in the recruitment of talents and specialists” as part of their Bachelor Thesis. The Bachelor Thesis by Mrs. Yasmine Herzog and Mr. Philipp Fuchs was awarded the grade “very good”. In the following we have summarised the most important statements:

Who is the Generation Z?

The Generation Z is assigned to the year of birth 1995 or later. Today, it accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s population and is already shaping the consumption habits of all previous generations. She is the first generation to grow up completely with digitalisation.

What are needs and the requirements of Generation Z for their work?

Generation Z shows a high willingness to perform. But she also has expectations. These are:

  • challenging work and career opportunities with simultaneous consideration of the life-domain-balance
  • clear separation of private and professional life – the office is important instead of the home office, an own workplace and thus a retreat opportunity.
  • have to work less overtime
  • pursuits of development opportunities and development potential
  • changing challenges and the meaningfulness of work is more important to Generation Z than the salary
  • Generation Z is looking for an employer and partner who meets their desire for growth (formal, practical training and constructive feedback)
  • a result-oriented management is in the foreground
  • fringe benefits relating to health and family are important to this generation
  • the personal interaction with colleagues


Recommendations for action and conclusion

Yasmine Herzog and Philipp Fuchs have intensively worked on behalf of HCCM® AG on the following questions: “What are the future recruitment methods and tools related to Generation Z in the life sciences industry and how can this generation be addressed?” For this purpose, the two students interviewed companies in the life sciences industry in person or via an online questionnaire and students of the life sciences course using an online questionnaire.

These surveys resulted in the following recommendations for action and conclusions:

Selection of adequate channels for job advertisements

Use digital Chanels

  • The evaluation of the hypotheses clearly shows that Generation Z relies on digital channels for job search. The company’s own website and job platforms are mainly used (more details on page 60ff).
  • Primary market research also shows that many companies use LinkedIn for job advertisements, but comparatively few Generation Z students use this channel (more details pages 22 and 66ff).


University events as a form of recruitment for Generation Z

  • 90 % of the students surveyed inform themselves about open positions on the company website after participating in such an event (more details on page 67).


Adequate digital channels

  • Generation Z uses channels like Instagram, WhatsApp or Snapchat – but mainly for private purposes and not for job search (more details on page 61). Rather, these media can be used to provide certain information for this target group, such as the employer brand or personnel marketing (see page 67ff).
  • The use of YouTube is also an opportunity to strengthen the employer brand. For example, advertising videos could be published or videos that bring the viewers closer to the work in the company.
  • Facebook has often been identified as a used channel in primary market research, but data from secondary market research suggests the opposite. The authors of the study therefore advise against the use of Facebook for the acquisition of Generation Z, but it can still be used for general image cultivation and information distribution (more details page 67).


Design and content

  • Website Design: One of the most important aspects is the responsive design of the company website, as Generation Z operates mainly from the smartphone. They prefer a multi-channel search, why it is particularly important to ensure that the content on the various channels is consistent (more details on page 68).
  • Present your corporate image: This could be achieved by adapting the “What do we offer” section on the company’s website, listing requirements such as development opportunities and attractive working hours.
  • Advertisement structure: If possible, creatively, humorously and modern prepared (more details on page 14).
  • Personal contact: Since this generation values direct personal contact, a contact person should always be named.


Forms of applications

  • The classic application forms and application tools on the company website are preferred by students and companies. For this reason, it makes sense to maintain these two forms (more details on page 68).
  • It should also be ensured that the Career Manager Tools permit applications to be sent via mobile phone.
  • In addition, the generation appreciates quick feedback on the status of their application, which is why frequent feedback is important (more details on page 68).


Forms of the interviews

  • Personal contact: The last part of this research work has shown that Generation Z prefers personal contacts (more details on page 62).
  • Digital channels: Nevertheless, digital channels should not be ignored, so interviews via Skype, FaceTime or Hangouts should still be part of the service.
  • Online assessments: The results also show that students also want online assessments (more details on page 62).
  • No preferences for the telephone interview and the video interview: Companies frequently use telephone interviews. Due to the negative attitude of Generation Z towards telephone interviews, it is recommended to only use this method in exceptional cases. In addition, literature research has shown that an invitation to a video interview is accompanied by a negative feeling: The applicant feels less valued than when invited to a personal interview. Therefore, a personal invitation to the company is advisable (more details on page 69).



Generation management is an important instrument for ensuring a productive and interpersonal workplace atmosphere in the company and forces companies to re-think. Many companies today therefore assume that they have to adapt the application and interview methods to Generation Z. However, as the study shows, students prefer the classical application method. However, because Generation Z will integrate into the working life now, it is currently difficult to make long-term and reliable statements. The development in the coming years must therefore be constantly monitored and adjusted accordingly.

We would like to thank the students Yasmine Herzog and Philipp Fuchs for their successful work on this exciting topic and congratulate them to the very successful graduation of their Bachelor’s degree.

Below you will find the Bachelor Thesis, the Summary and the Hypotheses for  download.

We wish you an exciting reading and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

With our best regards

Charles Quensel                                                        Michaela Tröndlin
General Manager                                                      Senior Consultant
European Certified Executive
Recruitment Consultant ECSSA/BDU
phone: +41 61 711 31 31                                          phone : +41 61 711 36 36
e-mail:                       e-mail:
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Bachelor Thesis Generation Z