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How to Attract, Hire, and Retain Gen Z Candidates

If you’re like many employers, you have a multi-generational workforce that includes baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and the newest generation to enter the workforce, Generation Z. It’s important to understand this latest generation of job seekers so you can develop hiring strategies that appeal to them. Where millennials have been known to be comfortable with job hopping, Generation Z, also referred to as Gen Z or post-millennials, values job stability, security, and an opportunity for growth. This is partly attributed to the fact that Gen Z employees grew up during much instability.

So how can you attract, hire, and retain Gen Z? By better appreciating their perspective based on the world they grew up in and the values that matter most to them.


young woman shaking hands


Defining Generation Z

As of 2020, Generation Z made up approximately 24% of the workforce and will soon surpass millennials as the largest population of employees. This generation was born between 1995 and 2015 and was children or teenagers during the Great Recession of 2008. They were also faced with the instability that COVID-19 prompted as they were completing high school and college degrees. For many, these events affected their families on a very personal level financially and emotionally, fundamentally influencing their view of the world.

Recent statistics speak to these experiences. In one survey by InsideOut Development, Gen Z candidates indicated that the top career goal of 40% of the population was to feel secure and stable in their careers. Sixty-nine percent also indicated that they preferred a stable job over a job they were passionate about.


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How to Attract Generation Z Employees

Gen Z is highly risk-averse, more so than any other generation currently in the workforce. Given the financial challenges many of them saw their families face, it’s no surprise. As such, offering a retirement savings plan, like a 401(k), and financial planning resources is of huge value to these candidates, so be sure to emphasize these benefits when recruiting this population.

Further, you want to focus on the opportunity for growth and the ability to learn on the job. Mentorship programs and job rotations align with Gen Z’s values in the workplace.

They are also considered the most tech-savvy of any generation and are very comfortable using the internet for research, communication, work, and more. If you want to recruit Gen Z candidates, it’s essential that your workplace has the latest and greatest technologies. Additionally, ensure your job application process is seamless and straightforward through the use of an app or easy-to-navigate online application.


Additional Gen Z Values

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the following are additional values important to Gen Z when determining who they want to work for:

  • Flexibility and work-life balance. Offering flexible work options, including remote work, is vital for Gen Z candidates. Nearly 84% consider work-life balance and 50% consider flexibility a priority.
  • Peer Coaching. Gen Z is used to supporting each other, so companies need to include options that promote these areas if they want to recruit and retain employees.
  • Teamwork. Gen Z values collaboration at work, so make sure you have ample communication channels in place.
  • Social Awareness. One of the most important values for Gen Z in the workplace is social responsibility, including environmental and equity initiatives.
  • Diversity. Gen Z is the most diverse generation to enter the workforce. As such, they frequently seek employers that value and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Authenticity. Gen Z candidates appreciate honesty and transparency when researching job opportunities and working for their employers.

If your organization offers any of the above or is working on improving your strategies in such areas, communicate that during the recruiting process. Gen Z candidates will appreciate it when you do, as you both can determine if the job fit potential is there from an honest perspective.


For additional guidance on recruiting and hiring strategies, visit iHire’s Employer Resource Center.

By iHire | April 21, 2022