9 out of 10 Gen Z candidates quit because of a bad hiring process

May 24, 2024 0 Comments

Gen Z acts very differently in the job market compared to older generations.

Over 90% of recruiters said they have been ghosted by Gen Z candidates, who disappear without notice.

We surveyed 925 Gen Z individuals to learn why they often drop out of the hiring process and what turns them away.

Key findings:

  • Over 90% of Gen Z candidates have quit the hiring process without explaining why
  • 59% of Gen Z are unhappy or very unhappy with the hiring processes they experienced
  • 31% of hiring managers avoid hiring Gen Z and prefer older candidates
  • 20% of hiring managers have seen Gen Z candidates bring their parents or a friend to the job interview
  • 68% quit because the hiring process was too long or complicated, and 52% quit because they had to do a free test task
  • 71% of candidates quit the hiring process because they didn’t get any feedback or the feedback was too slow
  • 53% quit because the hiring manager seemed rude
  • 63% were turned off by a boring job ad, and 62% were turned off by a job ad that sounded better than the real job
  • 39% of Gen Z said they quit because there was no online interview option, but 26% quit because the whole process was only online
  • Work-life balance is very important for 49% of Gen Z. Flexible working hours (46%), support for personal growth (33%), and well-being programs (21%) are also very important. When these things are missing, they quit the hiring process.

Do Recruiters Dislike Gen Z Candidates?

31% of hiring managers said they avoid hiring Gen Z and prefer hiring older candidates.

Why are recruiters hesitant to hire Gen Z?

Here’s what hiring managers find most annoying about recruiting Gen Z candidates:

What do hiring managers find most annoying about recruiting Gen Z candidates
Source: Resume Builder

Research shows that hiring managers find many things difficult about hiring Gen Z candidates. One big problem is that Gen Z often asks for too much money, according to 42% of hiring managers. Also, 41% of hiring managers feel that Gen Z acts entitled during the hiring process.

Another major issue is communication skills. 39% of hiring managers say that Gen Z lacks these skills. Similarly, 36% of hiring managers report that these candidates are often unprepared for interviews and do not ask questions during the process.

Engagement and interest are also problems, as 33% of hiring managers say that Gen Z doesn’t seem engaged or interested in the job opportunities. Ghosting, or disappearing without notice, was mentioned by 31% of hiring managers as a common issue.

Other frustrations include bad resumes (27%), poor performance during interviews or tests (24%), and dishonesty (21%).

Additionally, 20% of hiring managers admitted to encountering situations where Gen Z candidates brought their parents or a companion to the job interview.

Martin Potocki

Hiring Gen Z candidates brings new challenges for recruiters. These challenges come from Gen Z’s unique traits and expectations, which are different from older generations. Gen Z knows their value and isn’t afraid to ask for terms they think are fair, something that wasn’t as common with older candidates.

Martin Potocki

CEO at Jobera.com

What Gen Z thinks about hiring process standards

Are you happy with the hiring processes you have gone through so far?

From the survey about recruitment satisfaction among Gen Z, most people had negative experiences. Only 8% of respondents said they are mostly happy with the recruitment process, and 13% are usually happy. 20% have mixed feelings, meaning their experiences are neutral.

Sadly, a large number of Gen Z respondents were unhappy. 36% said they are rarely satisfied with the recruitment process, and 23% are not satisfied at all. These results show that there is a lot of room to make the recruitment process better.

Employers should focus on improving their recruitment process to make Gen Z candidates happier and to attract more talented young workers.

Why Gen Zers quit the hiring process

Gen Z doesn’t like to compromise.

They know what they want and stick to it.

If they don’t like something in the hiring process, they just quit.

We asked them why they have quit hiring processes.

Here’s what they said:

Top 10 reasons why Gen Z candidates quit hiring process

Complete list of reasons why Gen Z quits the Hiring process

Reason to quit% of Gen Z candidates
Salary was too low88%
No or slow feedback71%
Complicated and long hiring process68%
Boring job ad63%
Job ad sounded better than the actual job62%
Too much experience required62%
Unpleasant hiring manager53%
Had to do an unpaid test task52%
Poor approach to work-life balance49%
Bad company reviews47%
No flexible working hours46%
Unclear career paths43%
Old or inadequate technology40%
Interview only in the office39%
Hiring process too formal38%
Not enough support for personal growth33%
Unattractive benefits31%
Negative candidate experiences28%
Company values don’t match candidate’s values27%
Recruitment process entirely online26%
Old or inadequate office24%
No well-being programs21%
Lack of authenticity in the company’s communication19%
No social responsibility programs15%

What Gen Z wants in a hiring process

88% of Gen Z said low pay was a dealbreaker

Pay is a big motivator. They know their worth and expect fair pay to live well and reach their goals.

71% of young people dropped out due to no or slow feedback

Quick and helpful feedback is crucial. They want timely updates. Delays or no communication feel disrespectful and unprofessional.

68% of Gen Zers found long and complex recruitment processes too discouraging

They prefer simple and fast processes. Complicated steps can put them off. They expect efficiency.

63% of Gen Z said the job posting was boring

Young people want job ads to be clear, engaging, and inspiring. They want to feel the company is innovative and the job offers growth and challenges. Dull or vague ads turn them off.

62% of Gen Zers found the job posting sounded better than what they heard in the interview

Authenticity and consistency matter. If the interview doesn’t match the ad, they feel misled. This breeds distrust and suggests poor communication in the company.

62% of young candidates found excessive experience requirements discouraging

Many are just starting their careers. High experience demands seem unreachable and off-putting. They want achievable entry points.

53% of Gen Z dropped out because the hiring manager seemed rude

Work atmosphere and relationships are crucial. A rude manager hints at a toxic workplace, which they want to avoid. Friendly and supportive environments matter to them.

52% of young candidates refused to do unpaid test tasks

Gen Z values their time and skills. Unpaid tasks feel like exploitation. They expect their effort to be rewarded, even during recruitment.

49% of Gen Zers said a poor work-life balance approach was a problem

Balancing work and personal life is vital. Companies that neglect this may lose candidates who value harmony between work and personal time.

47% of young people rejected offers due to bad company reviews

Company reputation is crucial. They check online reviews and social media. Negative feedback from employees can be a major turnoff.

46% of Gen Z found the lack of flexibility unacceptable

Flexibility in work hours and location is essential. They want to balance work with their lifestyle and manage time effectively.

43% of young candidates didn’t see clear career paths

Clear growth opportunities matter. They want to see a future in the company. Vague career paths can deter long-term commitment.

40% of Gen Zers said outdated tech in the company was a problem

Modern technology is essential for efficiency and comfort. Outdated tools can be a red flag, suggesting the company isn’t keeping up with current standards.

39% of Gen Z rejected offers due to in-person interview requirements

Flexibility in interview location and timing is key. In-person only can be inconvenient, especially if they have other commitments or live far away.

38% of young people said a too formal recruitment process wasn’t for them

They prefer a more relaxed and personal approach. Stiff and formal tones can feel outdated and off-putting.

33% of young candidates withdrew due to insufficient personal development support

Personal and professional growth opportunities are crucial. They look for companies investing in their development through training, mentoring, and support.

31% of Gen Z said unattractive benefits were a dealbreaker

Benefits are an important part of the job offer. They expect perks like extra days off, healthcare, employee support programs, and personal development opportunities.

28% of Gen Zers withdrew due to bad candidate experiences

Other candidates’ experiences matter. Negative stories can discourage them from applying. They seek fair and respectful treatment throughout the process.

27% of Gen Z said mismatched values were a problem

They care about aligning their values with the company’s. Firms that don’t reflect important values like sustainability and inclusivity lose appeal.

26% of Gen Z didn’t want an entirely remote interview

Though tech-savvy, they appreciate face-to-face interactions. It helps them gauge the company culture better. Remote-only can feel impersonal and less informative.

24% of Gen Z said outdated or inappropriate office spaces were discouraging

A modern, welcoming work environment is key. Outdated offices can feel uncomfortable and uninspiring, deterring them from joining.

21% of Gen Z found the lack of wellbeing initiatives unacceptable

Health and wellbeing support is important. Companies without these programs seem less attractive. They want to know their wellbeing is a priority.

19% of Gen Zers found lack of authenticity in communication problematic

Authentic communication builds trust. They want honesty and transparency. Lack of authenticity can feel like manipulation or unprofessionalism.

15% of young candidates found lack of social responsibility engagement unacceptable

They value companies involved in social causes and environmental sustainability. Lack of such initiatives can influence their decision to join, as they seek employers making a positive impact.


This survey was commissioned by Jobera.com and conducted in May 2024. The respondents were a national sample of 925 U.S. residents born between 1997 and 2008.