I’ll start off by being honest: I'm still pretty new here at Paradox and the HR tech industry. Okay fine, I’m new to this whole “full-time job thing” in general. Six months ago I was applying for my first job out of college, and now I work for a global leader in HR technology who helps other companies hire people like me.
Life comes at you fast.
Some may say that my newness means I don’t know 100% what I am talking about. That’s fair. I definitely don’t. But I would also argue that gives me a pretty unique perspective on the hiring process, especially when it comes to hiring much coveted Gen Z candidates.
Seriously, my last semester of college I probably applied to over 150 jobs and internship programs. Obviously industry veterans have the upper hand on me when it comes to “experience,” but I think I know a thing or two about trying to hire a Gen Z candidate in today’s landscape.
Because I am one.
The real application “black hole.”
Throughout my job search, I can’t tell you how many times I took all of 10 minutes to personalize my resume for an application while re-entering my past work and living experiences into boxes throughout a crappy career site (I was told by my editor that using the word “crappy” isn’t professional, but I don’t care. I’m leaving it in because it’s true).
I would get to the end of the page, click submit, and await the classic automated email response. The process was so disconnected, so impersonal, that I didn’t even expect to get a response back.
And most of the time I didn’t.
That’s when it dawned on me: Have we actually made it too easy to apply for a million different jobs? Despite antiquated systems and career sites, our generation has figured out how to fast track through dozens of applications in the span of less than an hour. Since we know our chances are low to even get a response back, despite any level of qualification, the applications come down to a game of volume.
Hundreds of applications + customizable cover letter and resume = small percentage of success.
Not only does this create an extremely detached, impersonal, poor candidate experience, it also leaves recruiters drowning in applications and unable to identify top talent from not-so-top candidates.
Gen Z was born ready for scheduling automation.
Growing up, whenever we had family over for a birthday or holiday party my cousins and I would crowd around an iPhone and ask Siri dumb questions like, “who let the dogs out?” (there was seriously nothing funnier as a 10 year old) or “can you sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody?’”
Yes, she actually would sing it. No, she’s not as good as Freddie Mercury. But okay, why is this important?
Because we quite literally grew up with AI. All around us.
We were being served up experiences through automation. And we didn’t care. It was “real” to us because of the quality of the experience, not because there isn't a person at the other end.
For a generation that is on our phones more than 5 hours a day, we want all our experiences to be like this, including applying for jobs.
Not only does AI feel natural to us in a text-to-apply conversation or interview scheduling software, we’ve come to expect it.
When we see an old career site with log-ins or a 45-minute process we are immediately turned off, no matter what the benefits or salary is. Applying for the job turns from an opportunity to just “getting through the application as quickly as possible.” So even if we do finish the application, the company has already lost our interest.
Yes it's annoying that we are on our phones all the time, but employers need to adapt to this — 91% of Gen Z say a mobile experience is the important factor when choosing a job.
Whether you are a legacy brand founded in 1925 or a fast-growing unicorn startup, you need to be on the cutting-edge with your hiring technology. Not only does slick interview scheduling software make your brand feel more tech savvy and Gen Z friendly, it opens up a massive time saver for both the candidate and recruiter side of the process.
Making candidates feel wanted.
Despite the countless terrible hiring processes I encountered in my final semester of school, there was one that took all of the things I’ve talked about above and created something decidedly better. Spoiler alert: it was Paradox.
Now, I don’t want to turn this into a puff piece about how great Paradox is. That’s not my goal. But there are some very real, tangible lessons that employers can learn here.
First of all, the process was just easy. Initially I thought it was too good to be true. What am I missing? What’s the catch?
But there wasn’t one — turns out something amazing happens when you take out all of the BS out of the hiring process.
Without the back and forth scheduling, log-ins, checking boxes… you actually have the mental bandwidth for building real connections. For the first time, after nearly 200 applications, a process made me feel like I was wanted and welcomed.
Everyone wants to be wanted. And when a recruiter named Olivia texted me to immediately set up an interview, I was impressed with how much faster Paradox reached me compared to other companies. And then I found out that Olivia wasn't an actual person ... just a really, really human-like conversational AI, who just so happened to be Paradox’s product (man, looking back I really should have known that about the company before applying).
It was incredible to see how a simple, natural text conversation on my phone replaced the tedious game of back and forth through emails and voicemails that I was used to.
It’s almost as if the conversational AI acts as a matchmaker, allowing for both sides of the hiring process to be refreshed and ready for the interview. Even though Gen Z job seekers may have different or slightly ambitious expectations out of an employer, we want the same thing that everyone wants:
To connect with people.
Let’s change the interview scheduling software standard.
The hiring experience no longer has to be impersonal and disingenuous. I have seen first hand from Paradox the “human-to-human” connection that can happen all because of conversational AI. Yes the time saved, ROI, and decrease in time-to hire is great. But the real impact is when two people are able to connect in the interview process after a seamless and automated scheduling process.
Trust me, Gen Z will thank you later.