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International Robotics & Automation Journal

Research Article Volume 9 Issue 3

Study on the perception of generation Z in relation to robotized selection processes

João Pinheiro de Barros Neto, Lucas Pereira de Oliveira

Departamento de Administração, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence: João Pinheiro de Barros Neto, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Rua Monte Alegre, 984, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, Tel +55 (11) 3670.8133, Fax +55 (11) 3670-8135

Received: August 22, 2023 | Published: September 6, 2023

Citation: Neto JPB, de Oliveira NP. Study on the perception of generation Z in relation to robotized selection processes. Int Rob Auto J. 2023;9(3):99-107. DOI: 10.15406/iratj.2023.09.00271

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Born in the mid-1990s, Generation Z emerged in the midst of a society whose advances in digital and technological media have been shaping the way companies act, especially in hiring people. This is an emerging generation, and studies and research on it are incipient. The aim of this study was to identify and analyze the perception of Generation Z regarding the robotization of selection processes and the application of artificial intelligence. The study used a survey with online questionnaires addressing how Generation Z has behaved in robotic selection processes. Contradicting what is disclosed in the media in general, a representative part of the sample is reticent in accepting a robotic selection process conducted by artificial intelligence as a mediator; besides that, there is a certain distrust with personal data made available technologically, as there are several platforms that adhere to this technology as a method of filtering suitable candidates for a given vacancy. Although the research had a reduced number of respondents (108) and a sample of only one program from a single university, which is a limitation of the study, the analyses of the results indicate the need for companies to review the use of artificial intelligence to ensure greater humanization, starting from the selection process in organizations. Furthermore, the data reveal that Generation Z may not represent a group of people with a completely homogeneous profile as shown by the media in general.

Keywords: generation Z, artificial intelligence, labor market, recruitment and selection, robotization


Currently, Generation Z is entering the job market. These young people struggle with hierarchy and are supporters of organizations that allow immediate access to their managers to resolve adversities that may occur during work. In a professional environment, they interact better with people belonging to the same generation, but including Generation Z in organizations is not a simple task. Companies need to rethink forms of retention to make the organizational environment stable, enabling the use of individual skills in a way that enhances the results.1

Based on this information, the insertion of technology can be an attraction for young talents, who were born immersed in this revolution. This inclusion does not mean merely automating work routines, but also acting throughout the employee's journey, starting with the recruitment and selection processes.

Therefore, this study sought to capture the perception of Generation Z about selection processes, especially the use of artificial intelligence, an emerging practice in people management, which allows recruiters to search for profiles, saving time and resources in the selection process.

In this context, this study aimed to identify and analyze the perception of Generation Z on the processes and emerging themes in people management, with emphasis on the application of artificial intelligence in recruitment and selection, as a way to have a better understanding about this generation. It also aimed to understand, now that the young people of this generation are entering the job market, what their difficulties and challenges are in relation to technological solutions in the process of joining organizations of the current 4th Industrial Revolution. Socially, this work is important in that it offers the chance of getting to know a specific social group better, in addition to understanding the aspirations of Generation Z in the job market.

With the 4th industrial revolution, apps like Instagram, Facebook, and more recently TikTok, have made Generation Z become much more qualified in relation the job market - after all, selection processes are increasingly automated, based on the functions and utilities of technology and artificial intelligence.

Considering all the digital and technological innovation of the last 20 years, human resources departments have become increasingly strategic. Processes have been automated, due to technologies such as machine learning, which make it possible to virtually automate all people management processes, making them more efficient and effective due to data-based decision-making. This is an important practice, in tune with the characteristics of Generation Z, formed by individuals who have been entering the job market and enabling human resources departments to harmonize their routines and practices with the objective of attracting and retaining the talents of this generation.2

Generation Z seeks to work with what they love and wants to face fewer obstacles when they decide to change careers. After all, they are used to constant social change, whether in social relationships or in the work relationships that have been transforming with new labor laws. Hence, this generation starts their careers focused on growth instead of stability. This generation wants more than good wages within an organization, they seek opportunities for growth, recognition and autonomy in the work environment.3

Generation Z comprises young people born from 1995-97 to 2010. This generation emerged shortly after Generation Y and carries a close, strong relationship with digital and technological media. Hyper connected and directly linked to technology from birth, they have emerged with a new way of behaving, thinking and conducting their personal and professional lives.4

Freire Filho and Lemos5 define this generation as “Digital Generation” (alternatively named “Online Generation”, “Internet Generation”, “Connected Generation”, “Z Generation” or “Dot Com Generation”). It is a generation that grew up amid what is called Revolution 4.0, which involves advanced technological processes, such as artificial intelligence, and thus closely monitors the effects of this new model of society, heavily consuming these technological innovations4 define Generation Z as follows:

The new group of talents of Generation Z was born between the mid-1990s and 1995 and are just over 20 years old; they join organizations already presenting countless challenges for managers. Since they were born hyper connected and directly intimate with technology, they emerge with a new way of behaving, thinking and conducting their personal and professional lives.

It is important to mention that authors differ as to the exact date that defines this generation6 for example, adopts the year 1998 and states that “this generation is still so recent that specialists are only now including them in demographic analyses”. Following a similar line of reasoning, Tappscott7 states that:

The Internet Generation watches less television than their parents and does it in a different way. These youngsters are more likely to turn on the computer and simultaneously interact with several different windows, talk on the phone, listen to music, do their homework, read a magazine and watch television. TV became a kind of background music for them.

In an article published in the online magazine Consumidor Moderno, Jacques Meir8 outlined six striking characteristics of Generation Z, based on research by Box 1824 in partnership with McKinsey, namely:

  • Pragmatics – These young people are realistic to the extreme; they are practical and in search of satisfying their financial needs and personal enrichment (in the emotional and sensorial field). They are supporters of logical thinking, self-taught and responsible. In short: they live pragmatically. This characteristic is even more evident in post-crisis Brazil.
  • Undefined – for Generation Z, it is important not to define themselves. The “I” is their kingdom and place. They vigorously break and challenge all stereotypes and don't care about definitions of gender, age or class. They overvalue their own self, and therefore, deconstruct labels, valuing fluid identity. They exalt individuality and understand the difference. It is the generation of friends.
  • Talkers – A surprising trait of this new generation of young people is that they build and don't break down. They communicate, understand and aggregate. They are averse to polarization; they understand the difference. Dialogue is the tool and the network, their conciliation field. They are activists, compassionate and thoughtful.
  • Real selfies – When you see a young person around 18, 20 years old you see someone who shows him or herself in full and without masks. This is the first generation that is experiencing the aftermath of network life. The excessive exposure and polarization of Millennials gives way to spontaneity and vivacity. They are authentic and spontaneous, expose their weaknesses and explicit intimacy, and value transparency.
  • Comunaholics – The “Zs” transit through multiple communities and like to be part of different groups. The ideology or line of thought doesn't matter. There is always a point of connection between people. For this reason, they are radically inclusive, have great mobilization power and their interests are broadly connected with diversity.
  • Meme Thinkers – Of course, this is a generation that has adopted a new universal code, based on memes and emojis. They use language by codes to exercise their critical capacity with lightness and humor. A language connected with right now, with multiple references, in addition to a gigantic viral power.

As evidenced above, Generation Z is, first and foremost, a self-taught and proactive generation. It is formed by a group of restless young people, who are always looking to get involved with the technological advances provided by Revolution 4.0.

Sociology professor Francisco Porfírio9 set out to better understand this generation in an article published in Brasil Escola. According to the author:

Generation Z grew up in an inhospitable, completely insecure environment in relation to the future. Graduating from college, for example, which meant a good job for Generation X, no longer has any value. The world is marked by a great deal of competition and a lack of jobs. Socialization via the internet has led to a new social configuration for this generation and new consumer habits. The internet, which is no longer the network accessed only at home on computers, has become a constant companion with smartphones.

Generation Z establishes relationships mostly through the internet, and social networks are their voices; individuality and technology go hand in hand with this generation, since these young people spend a lot of time without establishing any direct verbal contact. This can eventually hamper their interpersonal relationships, as described by Borges and Silva10 on young people belonging to Generation Z:

[...] they are very adroit and master new technologies with a sense of urgency in knowing and connecting to all the possibilities of virtual exchange. With all this technological interaction, Generation Z spends a good part of their time closed in their private world, often without talking to anyone, not even their parents, which leads to a loss in garnering the benefits stemming from interpersonal relationships.

However, Generation Z is also a generation in which young people are better able to design what they seek for in their future, since one of its characteristics is the freedom to look for innovative things for themselves and the power to choose where to act professionally and how to act. Tapscott7 states that “young people insist on freedom of choice” and stresses that Generation Z, which is maturing, is the group that will guide all other generations to prepare the world for the digital tools and technologies that are a part of this generation and that are the great differential in guiding society in a safe and favorable direction.

Entering the job market has never been an easy task. It has become now increasingly more difficult due to the high degree of demands that organizations make when selecting their staff. Generation Z, when facing this challenge, needs to be in tune with the requirements of the job market.

Lack of experience is one of the major factors that can delay the long-awaited first opportunity in the job market, but there are some skills that can be developed by this generation. The following table lists some of these skills, that provide a competitive advantage, and which were defined by Vieites.11

Developing the skills described in Table 1 can be one of the great differentials for Generation Z to enter the job market and conquer their place in the organizational world. Organizations today also need to prepare themselves: they must rethink the means used to recruit and select talent. The fact is that traditional companies should review their forms of working, as well as their structures and processes in general. Organizations that do not make room for technology tend to be left behind.


Constant innovation demands employees who are increasingly flexible and willing to accept what is new and different.



Putting oneself in another´s shoes makes it easier to understand the situation and speeds up the solution process.


Willingness to learn

The world and, consequently, the job market, are constantly changing, so it is always important to bring yourself up to date.



Responsibility for errors and transparency in carrying out tasks.



Knowing how to transmit what they want and understanding what is communicated are essential to understand the organization's processes.


Being able to easily adapt to a constantly changing environment has become essential for the administrator.


Holistic vision

Knowing how to see the whole and the variables that influence the situation is essential for a successful leader.


See opportunities

Keeping a posture of seeking solutions in chaotic situations is the main way to find opportunities.


Self knowledge

Understanding their aspirations, opinions, mistakes and successes makes it easier to set goals and find ways for personal improvement, which are reflected in the daily business.

Being a multitasker

This competence gained strength during the recession, with mass layoffs, and it has remained in the market. Knowing how to deal with different tasks is highly desired for a professional in the job market.

Attention to everything that happens

This competence helps in understanding, allowing employees to position themselves in a timely manner in relation to what is to come.

Active citizenship

Employees need to connect with social, moral and cultural issues to understand society and, consequently, their company's customers.

Table 1 Main skills valued in the labor market
Source: Based on Vieites.11

In fact, large organizations have been seeking to improve the way they talk to young people, and the insertion of technologies in their work routines, including HR, is the first big step that companies must take. After all, these changes are necessary not just to recruit professionals from Generation Z, a group that was born from these great revolutions, but also to make HR more efficient and effective.

Motivating younger people to join an organization is a great challenge, and the insertion of new technologies can be a tool to attract this group. To this end, it is essential that HR always be up to date on these innovations and closely monitor the transformations that are taking place, since these Generation Z professionals will soon be the largest portion of the labour market. Nearly a decade ago, Lisboa and Santos2 warned that:

[...] they are professionals who, from the very beginning, emerge focused on the constant search for autonomy and tend to back down from any act of vertical authority. Based on these assumptions, business managers are being invited to overcome the challenges posed by this new workforce.

For Guimarães13:

Young people from Generation Z working in the job market have high self-esteem, so they feel the need to receive feedback with praise about their skills and abilities. Encouraging hard skills is a way of telling them how important they are inside and outside the company.

Table 2 below presents the characteristics of three different generations, namely X, Y and Z, according to several authors, raised by Maurer.14





Generation X

Rebels, self-centered, unconventional, self-confident. Maturity came early, they seek stability and independence, they put work first.

Oliveira (2010).

Practical, individualistic, skeptical, adaptable, results-oriented and competitive.

Sloma, Sutton, (2002).

Conservative, materialistic, averse to supervision, optimistic, distrustful, self-confident, goal-fulfilling, and creative

Lombardia (2008).

They seek recognition, like challenges, are informal and flexible, individual and relational.

Oliveira (2010).

Generation Y

Ambitious, individualistic, unstable, concerned about the environment and human rights, hopeful, determined and collective, consumerists and multitaskers.

Loiola (2009).

Emotionally and financially independent. They are proactive.

Raines (2000).

Agile, sensitive to injustice, impatient, lazy, distracted, superficial and insubordinate.

Santos et al. (2011).

Global, they present systemic thinking, a new model of thinking.

Engelmann (2009).

Generation Z

Artists, creative, relational and technological. Guided by role models (idols, people of reference).

Mccrindle (2011).

Anxious, immediatists, affective with technology, focused on results, they do not see borders – they are global and multitaskers.

Veja (2001).

Multitasking, complex thinking – follow a different form of thinking logic.

Isto é (2001); Exame (2006); Tiba (2009).

Complex thinking, multitasking and dynamic and situational learning. Self-learning.

Mitra (2010).

Table 2 Comparison between generations and characteristics attributed by different authors
Source: Maurer14

Throughout the past decades, Generations X, Y, and Z have showcased distinct characteristics that reflect the social, technological, and economic contexts in which they grew up. When comparing these three generations, it becomes evident how trends have evolved, shaping their attitudes, values, and approaches to work, technology, and lifestyle.

Generation X, born from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, grew up in a transitioning landscape between the analog and digital eras. With pre-internet experiences, members of Generation X often valued job stability and a more traditional career approach. They sought financial security and believed in gradual advancement within an organization. Work-life balance also emerged as a significant concern for many.

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, born from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, witnessed the expansion of the internet and the digital revolution. This generation was the first to grow up in a highly connected environment, influencing their approach to technology, career, and social interaction. Millennials sought purpose and meaning in their work, valued flexibility and continuous learning, and often explored career options that allowed them to pursue personal interests.

Generation Z, born from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, emerged in a fully digitized world. This generation has a natural affinity for technology, with a constant presence on social media and online communication. Generation Z also values diversity and inclusion, seeking representation and equality in all aspects of life. With an entrepreneurial mindset, many members of Generation Z explore freelance work opportunities, create digital content, and adopt creative approaches to their careers.

As trends evolved, each generation shaped and was shaped by the ever-changing circumstances. Access to information and the speed of communication intensified from one generation to the next, affecting how each group approaches education, job seeking, and relationship-building. Furthermore, professional aspirations also shifted, with each generation assigning different values to stability, flexibility, purpose, and innovation.

In this way, Generations X, Y, and Z display clear distinctions stemming from their historical and technological context. As trends evolved, approaches to work, technology, and lifestyle evolved as well. Understanding these differences is crucial for establishing effective intergenerational connections and creating work environments that cater to the expectations and values of each generation.

We can see that Maurer14 sought to capture the opinion of different authors with divergences in opinions, approaching their lines of reasoning on what they think about each generation.

In recent years, new debates have been taken up in society. One of the most curious and relevant concerns is Artificial Intelligence or simply AI. For the TOTVS15 team, a leading Brazilian technology company:

We can say that the concept of AI is related to the ability of technological solutions to carry out activities in a way that is considered intelligent. AIs can also “learn for themselves” thanks to learning systems that analyze large volumes of data, enabling them to expand their knowledge.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also a field of science, whose purpose is to study, develop and employ machines to perform human activities autonomously. It is also linked to robotics, Machine Learning, voice and vision recognition, among other technologies.

When talking about Artificial Intelligence, we see it is difficult to define, but over time it has followed four lines of thought, according to Gomes:16

  1. Systems that think like humans:
  2. The exciting new effort to make computers think... machines with minds, in the full and literal sense. (Haugeland, 1985).

  3. Systems that act like humans:
  4. The art of creating machines that perform functions that require intelligence when performed by people. (Kurzweil, 1990).

  5. Systems that think rationally:
  6. The study of mental faculties by their use of computational models. (Charniak; Mcdermott, 1985).

  7. Systems that act rationally:
  8. Computational Intelligence is the study of the design of intelligent agents. (Poole et al., 1998).

Below are brief explanations on these four lines of thought cited above, according to Gomes16 included in his article:

In general, lines of thought I and III refer to the process of thinking and reasoning, while lines II and IV refer to behavior. Furthermore, lines of thought I and II measure success in terms of fidelity to human performance, while lines III and IV measure success by comparing it to an ideal concept of intelligence, which will be called rationality. A system is rational if it “does everything right”, with the data it has (Russell; Norvig, 2004 apud Gomes).16

Historically, all four dimensions for the study of artificial intelligence have been followed. As one might expect, there is a tension between approaches centered around human beings and approaches centered around rationality. A human-centered approach must be one of empirical science, involving hypotheses and experimental confirmation. A rationalist approach involves a combination of mathematics and engineering.16

We are experiencing a time in which humans are serving machines, not the other way around. Since technology has been developing in leaps and bounds, we don't always feel the changes. However, one of the main changes, and this one is very noticeable, is in relation to work processes and labor laws. Positions that were previously held by people are now being occupied by robots, while the use of Artificial Intelligence by organizations has become a trend that goes far beyond fads. Indeed, the “exponential rise of artificial intelligence and new digital technologies has been causing ruptures in terms of people management in different professional contexts, and these professionals use software that is capable of selecting and retaining talent within organizations”.11

The use of Artificial Intelligence - AI, if well applied, can ensure that organizations reduce recruitment and selection time, in addition to enabling greater inclusion of diversity. Artificial Intelligence has also enabled HR professionals to save more time, allowing them to focus on other issues; while technology is able to examine profiles and applied tests. However, applying this technology is not simple, and it is up to professionals to monitor the algorithms so that biases are not reproduced.17

Generation Z, comprised of individuals born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, is entering the workforce with a unique approach to their job preferences. This generation was raised in an environment of rapid technological evolution, grew up amidst economic recessions, and witnessed significant changes in social and cultural dynamics. Therefore, their priorities and job-seeking expectations reflect a distinctive combination of factors.

One of the key characteristics of Generation Z is the appreciation of flexibility. These young individuals seek jobs that offer options such as remote work, flexible schedules, and the ability to balance professional and personal life. This preference is influenced by the digital experience of the generation, which is accustomed to connecting and performing tasks from anywhere and at any time. The ability to juggle work and other activities is thus a crucial point when considering job opportunities.

Moreover, Generation Z demonstrates a strong inclination toward jobs that have a clear purpose aligned with their personal values. Unlike previous generations, mere receipt of a salary is not sufficient for them. These young people seek employers who show commitment to social and environmental issues. Companies that adopt corporate responsibility practices and demonstrate concern for the community are more likely to attract Generation Z talents.

Continuous learning is another essential characteristic of this generation. Generation Z acknowledges the importance of staying updated in a constantly changing world. Therefore, jobs offering opportunities for professional development, training, and acquisition of new skills are highly valued. Employers who encourage exploration and provide resources for personal and professional improvement have a significant advantage in attracting this group.

Generation Z is also known for their entrepreneurial spirit. Many individuals in this generation have the desire to create something of their own, whether it's a business, a freelance project, or a personal brand. This mindset influences their job choices, as they value opportunities that allow them to explore their passions, creativity, and innovation.

Technology plays a crucial role in Generation Z's job preferences. These young individuals have grown up with the internet and are familiar with a wide range of digital tools. Therefore, jobs involving cutting-edge technology, digital transformation, IA and internet-related work opportunities are highly appealing.

Generation Z seeks jobs that offer flexibility, purpose, continuous learning, entrepreneurial opportunities, and a natural integration with technology. Employers who understand and cater to these preferences will be more successful in attracting and retaining talent from this highly qualified and motivated generation.

In recruitment and selection processes, AI allows the achievement of a high level of assertiveness, compiling information, analyzing profiles and allowing a more detailed analysis. Indeed, this type of analysis can be carried out using a behavioral analysis and management tool. Some other types of software also help automate some specific paths previously carried out by psychologists in the recruitment and selection process, such as the use of chatbots for interviews, allowing a pre-selection of candidates.18

Finally, the possibilities of using artificial intelligence in the human resources area of companies are very promising because they can help in the most varied processes, ranging from recruitment and selection, the reallocation of employees, filtering professional profiles, and from performance evaluation to carrying out climate surveys.

Material and methods

This is an exploratory research, since, according to Lakatos and Marconi,19 an exploratory research is composed of a “bibliographic survey, contact with people who have experience on the subject, allowing a greater approximation with the problem, helping to structure hypotheses”.

Initially, a bibliographical research was needed to look for sources of information, as well as research on authors who focused on Generation Z for greater knowledge on the subject and to elaborate the survey using a questionnaire that allowed the collection of information that was analyzed vis-à-vis the bibliographic references.

This survey was published in several WhatsApp groups formed by classes of the Administration program at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo – PUC-SP, chosen for the convenience of the researchers, and directed to students from different semesters, in the morning and evening periods of the Administration program.

Data were obtained voluntarily, since the prerequisites in the forms were that participants should be part of Generation Z and be an Administration student at PUC-SP. To compose the questionnaire, 24 questions were elaborated to meet the objectives proposed by the study in order to understand how Generation Z has behaved in selection processes when facing new technological trends, especially when it involves artificial intelligence, a method that companies have been adopting to modernize their recruitment and selection processes.


To analyze the primary data collected through the electronic questionnaire, the statistical method was used with the aid of Microsoft Excel© software for the construction of graphs and tables based on 108 (one-hundred and eight) questionnaires answered and considered valid.

As for the age of the respondents, 38.9% of the students were between 17 and 20 years old, being the majority of the participants, totaling 42 students; 32.4% were between 21 and 23 years old, ranking second, and totaling 35 participating students; and 28.7% were between 24 and 26 years old, totaling 31 students.

Of these students, 48.1% (52 students) stated that they were doing internships; 36.1% (39) had already been hired; and 15.7% (17) were not doing internships, nor had any type of link with any organization.

Table 3 shows what kind of experience students had until obtaining the current vacancy, that is, it allows us to understand what means students used – even those who did not have a formal job – to try to find their place in the market.




Company Advertisement






Not Working






Family Business



Contacted By The Company






Whatsapp Group



Own Company






Table 3 What was your experience before you obtained your position
Source: Research data

With regard to the search for vacancies, four alternative responses were made available, namely: through the GCI – General Coordination of Internships at PUC-SP; through company advertisements on websites aimed at advertising vacancies; through broadcasting on social networks by the company; and others.

The last alternative was given so that students could express themselves better, in case the first 3 were not in fact how they obtained the vacancy, or even how they were looking for a job. The answers were as diverse as possible. Below are the answers that were majority among the students participating in the research.

  1. Through University Internship Center - UIC – 22.2% - 24 students.
  2. Through company advertisements on websites aimed at advertising vacancies – 50% - 54 students.
  3. Through broadcasting on social networks by the company – 18.5% - 20 students.
  4. Others (Referral) – 9.3% - 10 students.

When it comes to their insertion in the labour market, what most attracts Generation Z to a given company contradicts what some authors comment, as seen in the introduction: respondents were more attracted to companies that offer growth opportunities and good salaries and benefits than companies that offer independence and autonomy, and flexible hours, as shown in Table 4. The minority, 16.7% (18 respondents) seek independence and autonomy in their routine and only 2.8% (3 respondents) said they prioritize flexible hours. This result did not confirm what we found in the theoretical foundation, that is, that Generation Z opts for companies that offer autonomy in their work routine, and that this group of young people tend not to remain for long in a single organization precisely because they are restless and like to be constantly changing.




Growth opportunity



Good salary and benefits



Independence and autonomy



Flexible schedule



Table 4 Insertion in the market
Source: Research data.

Table 5 shows how much participants value the main perks offered, which, according to the theoretical framework, are appreciated by Generation Z both in percentage and in number of respondents, who used a Likert scale from 1 to 5.


Not important at all (1)

Of little Importance (2)

More or less important (3)

Very important (4)

Extremely important (5)


0.9% (1)

0% (0)

9.3% (10)

32.4% (35)

57.4% (62)

Support and praise

0.9% (1)

2.8% (3)

21.3% (23)

38.9% (42)

36.1% (39)

Unlimited access to internet

7.4% (8)

13.9% (15)

25.9% (28)

19.4% (21)

33.3% (36)

Using smartphone at work

5.6% (6)

17.6% (19)

36.1% (39)

23.1% (25)

17.6% (19)

Table 5 What is most valued at work

The students showed that support and praise are important and valued when deciding for their permanence within the organizations. Also, more than half of the students showed interest in training for self-improvement and to develop in their functions.

Issues such as the use of smartphones and unrestricted access to internet are widely discussed among authors when referring to Generation Z, since they are digital natives and are more connected to technology than any other generation. As for the smartphone, a symbol of the digital generation, the participants were quite divided, with score 3 being the majority, demonstrating that Generation Z (in the researched sample) are not very attached to the use of Smartphones in the work environment The last question, however, shows that most are in favor of unrestricted internet access during working hours, with more than half of the scores equal to or above 3 points on the Likert scale.

Table 6 shows what Generation Z looks for when searching for work, which is one of the most relevant issues for organizations that intend to attract talent from this generation.



Company with name and credibility in the market


Company with higher pay


A company with a well-planned career path


Company with a vacancy that I can fit into


Table 6 Greatest wishes when looking for a job
Source: Research data.

It is important to emphasize, regarding the results shown in Table 5 that 10.2% of the participants, totaling 11 students, stated that they did not make choices, that is, they accept any company that has vacancies available at the time. This last alternative says a lot about the current moment society is going through and especially what the labor market is like due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic. With a high unemployment rate, not being too demanding may be the only alternative for those who cannot remain unemployed for a long time.

The theoretical foundation pointed out that Generation Z tends not to settle down and is always changing companies in a continuous search for something more attractive. When asked about this, 51.9% of the participants, totaling 56 students, agreed. However, the number of young people looking to stay in a given company and make a career there was almost the same, totaling 48.1% of participants (52 students), demonstrating that growing professionally within an organization is still quite valued by this generation.

Table 7 shows how the professional profile of students is distributed in their own perception. This is relevant information, as one of the selection criteria for Human Resources professionals is the profile of candidates for a vacancy. As can be seen, the predominant profiles are Planner (31.5%) and Analyst (19.4%), while the rarest are Explosive (2.8% of the participants, 3 students) and Procrastinator (1.9% of the participants, 2 students).

Profile type
























Table 7 What is the professional profile that best suits you?
Source: Research data.

Participants were also asked if they would feel comfortable with their personal data (school, professional, etc.) being evaluated by machines using artificial intelligence technology to select suitable profiles to advance in the selection processes. In this question, 61.1% of the participants, totaling 66 students, stated that they felt safe with this practice, while 38.9% of the participants, that is, 42 students, reported that they felt insecure and were still not comfortable with this new way of collecting and processing personal data.

Bearing in mind that these individuals are all representatives of Generation Z, the percentage of those who do not approve of the use and processing of their data by artificial intelligence can be considered high. These respondents were asked (mandatory question) to inform the motives or reasons why they did not approve their data being processed by artificial intelligence in order to understand what causes insecurity regarding their data being analyzed by machines in the selection processes.

The answers to this question enabled us to create Table 8 with the data obtained from the 42 responses collected. Some reasons were repeated; for the sake of simplicity, all duplicated content was removed in order to avoid repetition in the Table.

When a machine evaluates my data, there is no possibility of actually analyzing them and qualifying whether they are good or not, even if they are outside the programmed standards.

It's complicated to think that all my data is stored and may be used for a purpose that I don't know.


The machine won't understand me like a human would.


I think it's an invasion of privacy.


My personal data becoming an evaluation method.


I rely more on the human tact of analysis.


I can´t read any terms online from any page I access, so I have no idea what they can do with my data.


Algorithms always follow patterns and prejudices; humans sometimes don't.


I feel that personal contact can make a lot of difference in hiring and understanding a person. It's not just a curriculum, it's what that person has to add.

Possibility of hackers, misuse of information and poorly developed artificial intelligence.


Machines do not have a sense of interpretation based on sensations and feelings, so when we evaluate people through machines, we are only evaluating numbers.

Machines are programmed to see in black and white, and reality doesn't work that way. There are several factors that must be analyzed together, and artificial intelligences do not do that.

Table 8 Discomfort with data analyzed by artificial intelligence software
Source: Research data.

In the next question, 69.4% of the participants, totaling 75 students, stated that they were against online reasoning tests; on the other hand, the remaining 30.6% of the participants (33) stated that they were in favor of applying these tests online.

With regard to the application of behavioral tests or assessments of soft skills (behavioral skills), 77.8% of participants (84) said they believed in the importance of these tests and assessments, while the remaining 22.2% of participants (24) said they did not believe in this type of evaluation carried out by technological mechanisms.

It is important to mention that, in this type of test, 12% (13 students) reported trying to circumvent the system (omitting information, for example) to benefit from the selection process. The good news is that the vast majority, 88% (95) of the sample stated that they were absolutely true in their answers, regardless of how much this could negatively impact the result.

Chatbots are software robots built to behave like a person chatting, a type of technology that is already widely used in various organizations in customer service and that has been assuming the role of interviewer in many selection processes. In fact, 47.2% (51) of those surveyed stated that during a selection process, they already had experience exchanging messages with this software at some point, but only 11.1% (12) stated having positive experiences with the software, while 46.3% (50) reported believing that the chatbot helps, but only to a certain extent.

Gamification is a practice made possible by technology that has been invading corporate training and selection processes. It consists of transforming different experiences and contexts into a game and, since Generation Z is interested in video games, respondents were asked if they believed that gamification is a step that should be adopted in the recruitment and selection processes.

Of the 108 participants, 60 students (55.6%) support this practice, believing that more and more companies should adopt and include it in their selection processes, while 48 students (44.4%) are against this practice, as they believe it does not add value to the selection process.

When asked if they agreed that gamification generates engagement or contributes positively to attracting candidates, 67 students (62%) reported that the practice increases engagement, while 41 students (38%) believe it does not make a difference and does not affect the attraction of Generation Z candidates.

Finally, 71 students (65.7%) said they did not believe that one day artificial intelligence would completely replace human beings in recruitment and selection processes. On the other hand, 37 students (34.3%) already believe in this possibility, i.e., that artificial intelligence can replace human capital in these selections.

As seen, even Generation Z, considered the generation of technology, still has certain reservations regarding the topic, whether we are referring specifically to selection processes or to technology in general.


The analysis of the results obtained shows that Generation Z is composed not only of those who strongly believe in technology or those who consider the purpose of companies more important than their individual interests, such as a career plan, good salary and competitive benefit packages.

In fact, 47.2% of university students who responded the survey focus on the opportunity for growth within the company and 33.3% stated that, in addition to growth, a good salary and benefits are needed, as well as flexible hours.

The human resources areas must, therefore, pay attention to the fact that there are many members of this generation who think differently from the media stereotypes and hence they should prepare to design value propositions that are more adequate and in tune with the portion of those who, despite having been born in the second half of the 1990’s, do not quite fit the idealized description of a member of Gen Z.

For most of the students who responded the survey, there is a factor that is still not totally accepted in the selection process, which is artificial intelligence; in addition, there is a certain distrust of personal data being made available via technological platforms.

The use of artificial intelligence is increasingly present in the human resources area - its use is more explicit in selection processes in order to maximize resources and time; it is also used to gain greater assertiveness with regard to the candidate's profile. Artificial intelligence makes it easier for the recruiter to adapt the candidate to the prerequisites of the advertised vacancy.

This solution is comfortable for 61.1% of respondents, but 38.9% of them do not feel comfortable with this form of evaluation; hence, recruiters must be prepared for any impact this discomfort has on the final selection result.

Another important point identified was the lack of confidence in relation to online tests by a significant portion of respondents. Therefore, it can be concluded that among those in what is called Generation Z, which is reputed to have been born connected and inserted in the technological environment, there is still a portion who feel more comfortable in carrying out selection processes face to face with a human recruiter, or without the need for a lot of technology.


The aims of this study were achieved, that is, the perception of Generation Z regarding the use of technology in the selection processes was captured and, as an additional contribution, it revealed that the concept of generation should not be that of a group of people with behaviors that are exactly alike.

Real life does not follow patterns and the labour market is unpredictable - it changes as quickly as the economy. Thus, considering only someone's age to understand their mentality and behavior is very limiting and ignores extremely relevant issues such as social class, gender and race, for example.

When we started this study, we did not imagine that we would also discuss diversity, but if organizations are really interested in young talent, they will need to understand that the concept of generation is not enough to encompass the diversity of society and really address the difficult problem in creating selective processes capable of attracting and actually choosing the most talented young people who are entering the labour market.

It is important to recognize that this study is limited by its small sample and restricted to a single program in a single university; however, this does not invalidate the research, since it even shows that in supposedly homogeneous environments and within the same generation there is a lot of diversity, a factor which must be recognized and dealt with appropriately.

In view of what was exposed above, we understand that this study indicates the need for more research that seeks to better understand what is conventionally called Generation Z, in order to clarify that this demographic concept cannot be confused with a label or stereotyped view of a large number of young people who, among themselves, includes an extremely complex social diversity.


We thank the institutional support of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP); the funding agency of the Institutional Program for Scientific Initiation Scholarships (PIBIC) of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for granting scientific initiation scholarships; and the voluntary study participants.

Conflicts of interest

There were no conflicts of interest throughout this study.


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