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6 ways to attract and retain Generation Z talent

A new generation has arrived in the workplace. Gen Z makes up one-fifth of the global workforce and brings an abundance of new skills to the table – skills needed for ongoing evolution and diversification.

When it comes to recruiting and retaining young talent, it pays to know what they value. The future success of your organisation could hinge on your ability to understand this emergent talent base.

Authenticity gets results

As the most diverse generation yet, an authentic approach resonates with candidates of all backgrounds and experiences. Gen Z are more likely to take notice of employers that clearly and accurately present job opportunities and company culture.

Younger candidates associate a savvy employer proposition with authenticity and consider it as an indication of their future at a company — employer interactions, work evaluations and overall satisfaction.

Authentic recruiting is personal for each candidate and top young talent will take notice of a more tailored approach. They may choose the company that reaches out to them on social media, takes a deeper interest in them as a person and goes the extra mile in recruiting over the company that offers more money.

The importance of purpose

The employers of choice for Gen Z are those that take a purpose-lead approach driven by sustainability and social related issues. They want diverse voices in leadership and fair opportunities for all.

Where once the focus was to maximise shareholder value by prioritising profits, organisations that shift emphasis towards purpose as a means of driving resilience, improvement and motivation are more likely to engage top Gen Z candidates and prevail in the war for talent.

Be clear about your ethics as a company right from the start and invest in ways of empowering Gen Z employees to get involved in your wider social and environmental purpose. If you’re not sure how to do so, asking an new recruit to take the lead could provide a strong incentive and an effective catalyst.

Prioritise online engagement

According to Forbes, 81% of Gen Z strongly agrees that it is important to establish employer connections even if they don’t have an immediate job opening (up 22% from December 2020).

Your first opportunity to make an impression with Gen Z comes online and is the first place they will go to interact with your organisation. The way you connect with top candidates can play a huge part in how successful you are at attracting and retaining them.

For recruiters, the use of digital platforms has to go above and beyond. You need to show that your business understands, and empathises with, their needs and values. An impactful social media presence, engaging content and accessible communication channels will make the best first impression on potential new talent.

Highlight the position over the company

For Gen-Z, the role outweighs the brand. That is why they are more likely to purse their dream job at a company they don’t know, over a less appealing position at one they’re aware of. They are more interested in how a position relates to their skills, ambitions and values than prestige of working for a major brand.

Emphasise training and development

A robust training and development plan can help address this generation’s hunger for career progression and the rewards that come with it. Having grown up through the financial crash, today’s young professionals are more risk-averse when it comes to long-term security. A survey by LinkedIn showed that 40% of working Gen Zers would stay with an employer long term if they were given opportunities to grow. Leave your Gen Z employees bored or unchallenged, and you risk losing them altogether.

Organisations can bridge generational gaps and retain legacy knowledge by pairing Gen Z recruits with mentors from older generations. Similarly, older generations may benefit from digital skill-sharing with Gen Z recruits.

Offer balance and flexibility

Despite their reliance on technology, social interaction is still very important to Gen Z. In fact, a survey by EY show that 90% of them crave human connection in the workplace and almost 60% would rather work in a team than on their own.

Although Gen Zers prefer to work in an office, they will still expect the offer of flexible working. Adopting a hybrid working environment as part of the ‘new normal’ by balancing a flexible, tech-forward setup and a culture of collaboration and in-office interactions can increase attraction for Gen Z candidates.

When recruiting, communicate your commitment to both online and offline team building and emphasise output and quality over the amount of time spent in the office or at the desk. An emphasis on physical touchpoints will continue to be important throughout the employee lifecycle. Setting up frequent meetings, video calls, group chats, and other opportunities for inter-team engagement, whether in person or through a screen goes a long way to retaining Gen Z talent.

If you’re looking to hire the next generation of top CRM, MarTech, Data or Digital candidates why not get in touch with our expert team? Our specialist solutions utilise the latest talent sourcing methods and technology to find and attract your ideal candidates in a challenging and competitive market.

Get in touch today on 0330 335 0464 or email


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