Generation Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce.
Ranging in age between 9-24 years old (born between 1997 and 2012), Gen Z is expected to make up a larger percentage of the global workforce than the Boomer generation (24 percent versus 6 percent).
With that in mind, how can employers attract Generation Z candidates to their organization?
To answer this question, we asked human resource professionals and employers with a Gen Z workforce for their best talent attraction tips.
Here are ten tips on attracting Gen Z candidates to your organization.
- Invest In Your Culture
- Tech Efficient Application Process
- Internal Referrals
- Start Right From the Job Description
- Promote Growth Within Company Culture
- Provide a True Sense of Purpose
- Transparency and Commitment Outside Office Doors
- Quick Responses and Active Online Presence
- Dynamic and Innovative Company Culture
Invest In Your Culture
Gen Z candidates are looking for more than just a job that offers a great salary and benefits. Candidates from this generation care a lot about the culture of a business and want them to have strong values they can identify with. In order to appeal to them and attract them to your company, you need to have a strong brand and invest in your culture. You can do this by creating ERGs, hosting regular wellness activities, and a variety of other tactics.
Jeanne Kolpek, Director of Marketing at Cadence Education
Tech Efficient Application Process
As a recruiter, I understand how hard it can be to attract new candidates no matter the age, there are tons of different variables that can cause your pipeline to dry up or be non-existent. With Gen Z being the next generation hitting the workforce, I’ve seen a spike in tech-savvy career paths and social media marketing is now a must. Gen Z candidates are not looking for jobs in penny savers or newspapers. They are applying to positions with strong campaigns that grab their attention through applications that are well known to them.
Utilizing social media outlets like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to showcase the benefits of working at your organization are quick ways to get not only Gen Z candidates applying, but also sharing and referring the jobs to their friends. In addition, updating your application process to a quick, user-friendly online experience that can be completed on your phone will get you more Gen Z applicants as well. The last thing you want are candidates waiting to apply or not applying at all because your website is slow, the application process is too lengthy, or because it isn’t friendly for mobile devices.
Kiana Jones, Recruiter and Sourcer at Amazon
Internal referrals tend to be the best way to find quality candidates, especially those that are in Generation Z. We’re lucky to have a fairly young team with impressive talent, so we encourage them to refer their peers and invite them to work with us. We avoid including years of experience in our job descriptions and we measure every applicant based on their character and potential, not their age or tenure.
Zack McCarty, Director of Channel Growth at Qwick
Start Right From the Job Description
When thinking about attracting Gen Z talent, it’s important to emphasize career growth and professional development, starting with the job description! Now more than ever, stability and career potential seems to be top of mind for Gen Z candidates. Including value propositions like educational stipends, professional development funds- even adding a short description of a typical advancement path for the role- in the actual job description as advertised can be a huge sell for candidates entering the workforce in these unprecedented times. Offering this type of information upfront partnered with an organizational culture that emphasizes learning and long-term professional growth is key!
Joanna Payton, Talent Acquisition Specialist at The Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
Being born in 1996, I barely missed being considered a millennial and am right on the cusp of belonging to the Gen Z group. A common characteristic that I resonate with is the need to be competitive. Growing up on social media, it is easy to compare and contrast my life against others. This makes me hyper-focused on outworking friends to accomplish “life milestones” before them. Right or wrong, we sometimes view someone else’s success as our own failure or their failure as our success. Working for a company that values growth, putting young people in management positions, and the importance of moving up in my career satisfies the competitive drive in me and so many other Gen Z’s.
Kayla Centeno, Client Services Manager at Markitors
Promote Growth Within Company Culture
As a recruiter, I look at a multitude of different job opportunities all day. One of the biggest mistakes I think companies make when attracting young employees is providing fancy amenities or perks in addition to the job itself. The best thing that an organization can do to set itself apart is to foster a company culture that facilitates growth and promotes a healthy work-life balance. Younger candidates are at the very beginning of their careers. Ultimately, they want somewhere where they can grow their potential without being burned out. While the frills of fancy perks might get more applications, it won’t promote the longevity that most organizations want out of their employees.
Jacquelyn Anderson, Recruiter at Aerotek
Provide a True Sense of Purpose
Generation Z strives to find purpose in the work they do. They want to feel good and feel like their job is making the world a better place. Our mission at Texas Adoption Center is to empower birth mothers that have made the brave choice to start the adoption journey while also supporting families that have chosen to grow through adoption. Every day, we see the world become a brighter place with each family that finalizes their adoption process. We gladly welcome those from Generation Z that want their work to have meaning and a true sense of purpose.
Kenna Hamm, Assistant Director of Texas Adoption Center
Transparency and Commitment Outside Office Doors
While I personally love Carvana's open office spaces and the cold brew on tap, I know those perks are a small piece within the Gen Z puzzle (seeing I'm Gen Z-er myself)! It's easy to jump to lofty conclusions as far as what Gen Z is looking for out of a workplace. When boiled down, Gen Z happens to be a bit more pragmatic than other generations make them out to be. Within my recruiting efforts, I lean in to the culture of transparency and commitment Carvana has worked so hard to build and sustain. We show our employees they are heard, understood, and valued by clearly communicating our vision for the future and taking action within the communities they care deeply about. Gen Z longs to change the world for the better and if I were to extend one piece of advice to companies, it'd be to be genuine, transparent, and committed to the world outside of the office doors.
Jenna Fitzgerald, Jr. Recruiter at Carvana
Quick Responses and Active Online Presence
I am just at the threshold of Gen Z. I find that companies who have active Instagram and Facebook accounts, along with easily accessible websites and digital call-to-actions, are attractive to Gen Z. If your company has digital marketing/advertising/sales resources, use them! Additionally, I recently have reached out to four different companies to try to get a stereo installed in my video. No one has responded to my online requests, emails, or Facebook messages. I think like all generations, Gen Z wants quick responses and almost immediate fulfillment options. I would rather have four retailers tell me they can’t install my stereo instead of having zero responses to my service requests.
Annika Ehrig, Messaging Thought Leader at Whiteboard Geeks
Dynamic and Innovative Company Culture
To attract Generation Z candidates, it’s important to offer a company culture that is both dynamic and innovative. Young people in the workforce today are focused on the future. In other words, they may not be looking at their entry-level position, but setting their focus on the role they hope to obtain with a little more experience and training. Always explain that you like to promote from within and that there is limitless potential to grow and be a creative addition to the team. Too many Generation Z applicants have seen their parents trapped in jobs that they despise, swearing they will do better. And in today’s business environment, a lot of drive and the right company can help them to ensure just that.
Travis Killian, CEO and Founder of Everlasting Comfort