How to find, retain and engage employees of the Generation Z

Mar 15, 2023

Currently, Generation Z is one of the youngest employee generations. With 61 million potential new employees, this generation accounts for probably 36% of the working population worldwide.

In terms of personal values and life perspectives, there has been a huge shift from past employee generations to Generation Z. Many of these young employees are seeking security and flexibility at the same time. They are often more purpose driven and mostly search online for new opportunities. These circumstances can turn into a challenge for recruiting young talents and underline once more the importance of understanding Generation Z.

Where to find them

One thing we know for sure: Generation Z grew up with technology, while the use of technology has drastically increased. In consequence, Generation Z majorly uses online portals and search engines to look for new job opportunities. Most of the time, they use their smartphone for the search, while their families and friends also have a huge impact on their preferences for companies and jobs. Hence, to approach Generation Z, it is more important than ever before, to be present on many (online) channels and offer incentives for recommending friends to employers.

What they require

A major difference between Generation Z and past generations is that Generation Z is often much more idealistic. For the workplace, this has several implications:

  • Open and honest communication are highly appreciated.
  • Flat hierarchies are not always a must.
  • Sustainability is one of the most important purposes the Generation Z is looking for.
  • A diverse panel of colleagues is a big plus.
  • A good salary and fringe benefits are still high at stakes.
  • Home-office must be self-evident.
  • Career options should be transparent and family-friendly.

How to reach them

The basis to recruit applicants of Generation Z is a full online application. Most beneficial is a short, clear, structured online form, which can be filled out easily. It also should include an option to upload documents quickly. Moreover, the whole application process should be as transparent as possible. For example, applicants should receive feedback regularly and quickly regarding the status of their application to avoid frustration.

Generation Z during Covid times

Values such as health and family have experienced a huge comeback, especially since the Covid pandemic, and indicate the need for stability, which has become stronger in these turbulent times. The Covid crisis has led to less optimism among young people and also impacted their outlook on the job market:

  • 61% of the members of Generation Z fear fewer chances for education.
  • 40% of young academics did not receive a job offer in 2020.

Therefore, educational and career opportunities can be a great advantage for companies in terms of their attractiveness and show that working in a company can be combined with a “normal life” involving meetings with friends and leisure activities.

Our recommendation

So far, we know that Generation Z brings fresh perspectives and a particularly strong affinity for technology, but you don’t need to revamp your entire workplace culture or employer brand for them. Instead, you can focus on the following:

  • Be present where your target audience is: Make sure to consider beforehand which channels might be the ones of your target audience, and also keep in mind that young talents are still approachable at offline events such as job fairs.
  • Highlight individuality: Allow your employees to have the space for being initiative and creative, but also keep their need for leadership in mind. A mentorship or traineeship can be a great solution.
  • Offer targeted benefits: As we mentioned earlier, home-office is now a matter of course and can no longer be used as an advantage. To attract young candidates, you should consider investing more in health promotion and flexible working models.

Are you interested in reaching Generation Z candidates in the best possible way? Contact us for support in optimizing your recruiting process, your onboarding and your offers for young talents.


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