How to Attract and Retain Gen Z Candidates

Generation Z, the latest generation to have joined the workforce, looks for specific characteristics when joining a company. Find out which.

The latest generation entering the workforce is Gen Z, or Generation Z. Although you can’t really pinpoint a start and end, it’s roughly the group of people born in the mid-90s through the early 2000s. I believe that all generations have similar needs and characteristics based on the phase in their life. Nonetheless, Gen Z grew up during specific events and characteristics. They have all had an influence on the views, beliefs and needs of this generation. And they bring these expectations to the workplace.

It will make your recruitment efforts easier if you adapt your company offerings and culture to accommodate to these needs and beliefs. What they expect is hardly unacceptable, and it will likely strengthen your overall employer brand.

The blog Yello lists a few interesting facts on the Gen Z-candidates who are entering the market now. When you\’re working on improving your recruitment skills, make sure to include these:

 The most popular majors among the members of Generation Z are science and psychology.

About two-thirds of Generation Z students are confident they’ll receive an offer when they graduate.

A quarter of Generation Z students start their job search freshman/sophomore year, and half start junior/senior year. Only one in ten wait until after graduation.

When it comes to salary, Generation Z’s expectations are spread across the board. These first-time employees aren’t sure what to expect when it comes time for salary negotiations.


When this generation searches for their first or next ideal position, they look for specific things. It’s hard to categorize groups of people, because everyone is unique. Still, we’re going to try.

Today, we list the five most important characteristics, to help you create an attractive environment and ultimately, an edge in the hunt for talent.

1. Create Purpose

More than any other generation, Gen Z looks for organizations with a clear purpose. Companies shouldn’t just chase revenue and profits, but show clear involvement in environmental and social issues. Organizations should stand behind causes that center around responsibility, community, human-focused and ethical.

In addition, the work they want to do, needs to have purpose. It needs to tie in to the organization’s purpose and its ecosphere, and aboce all, it needs to be meaningful.

“This is how we’ve always don it”, or “it’s in the manual” will not cut it as reason why works needs to be done. Especially when it’s not entirely clear whether it makes sense.  

2. Strive for Authenticity

Together with that, Gen Z look for authenticity. When talking about the organizational culture and brand – including the employer brand – it is imperative that these are real. The moment they feel managed or manufactured, the Gen Z members will, as a rule, not accept it, and choose not to elect your company or products.

In the current society, traditional celebrities and role models have been replaced with influencers. Arguably, some lack in authenticity as they mold a vision and brand for themselves, but from companies and brands they expect authenticity. For your overall brand, of which your employer brand is a direct subset, this is very important.

3. Be Entrepreneurial

Gen Z, even more so than Gen Y (1982 – 1995), work for themselves. Gen Y is famous for having side gigs and multiple professional avenues they follow, but Gen Z’ers are ambitious and able to craft their own careers as well. Entrepreneurship is an important part of it.

To a large part, the current age helps Gen Z. They have access to systems, tools and platforms that were either not here before, or not in the same size as they are now. Also, with some platforms being more mature, it is easier to make money off of them: think YouTube, Amazon Affiliate programs and other digital methods to make a living.

In your organization, it helps to incorporate these elements in their jobs. Think of projects that employees can participate in. In addition, accommodating side-gigs or other means that employees can make money on the side in your policy, will go a long way. When you think about that now, you can easily decide under which conditions that can take place, and what you accept or not. Not all side gigs will be acceptable.  

4. Focus on Communication

Gen Z is brought up in a more collaborative setting, and communication is an important part of it. They particularly care about feedback and comments on their performance and professional future.

Multiple check-ins and continuous feedback in some way, shape or form, is important for the Gen Z members. Do this well for a significant and positive impact on retention and performance.          

5. Upgrade technology

This generation has been brought up with access to incredibly powerful tools and applications. Beyond computers and laptops, Gen Z works with tables but even more, smart phones that offer tools and applications that allow for work regardless of time and place.

This is also what they expect in the workplace. For the best workplace for Gen Z’ers, you make sure you update tools, software and applications so your employees have access to effective and efficient tools.

Not coincidentally, AskAway can help you. Update your recruitment experience and delete friction in the process. Talk to us today if you want to find out how we can help you improve your recruitment process and make life easier for your team and your candidates.  

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AskAway disrupts the way recruitment is done, by eliminating the need to plan and schedule time-consuming meetings in packed agendas and by offering tools to record or even prerecord interviews. This allows you and your hiring team the opportunity to share and analyze the candidates for your interviews when it suits you. We pre-screen so you don’t have to: talk about the ultimate time management tool.

Contact us to find out more, or sign up for a no-strings attached free demo of our tool here.

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