Generation Z, or Gen Z, is the cohort of people born between 1997 and 2012. As this generation starts entering the workforce, companies realize they need to adapt their hiring and retention practices to attract and keep Gen Z talent.
Gen Z brings unique skills, perspectives, and expectations to the table. They are digital natives who have grown up with technology and social media. They care deeply about issues like diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility, reflected in their search for jobs that revolve around flexibility, creative expression, and meaningful work.
Organizations need tailored strategies aligning with this generation's values to hire and retain Gen Z employees successfully. One such is posting roles on the top job platforms in the UAE to reach Gen Z candidates. For the best sites to reach this demographic, see our article on the Top Job Platforms in the UAE.
Below, we outline seven key tactics to help your company connect with Gen Z talent. Implementing even a few recommendations can position your employer brand for long-term recruitment and retention success.
1. Highlight Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts are significant to Gen Z job seekers. This generation wants to work for Organizations that welcome people from all backgrounds. They expect fair treatment and equal opportunities for all employees.
When attracting Gen Z talent, showcase your commitment to DEI across your employer branding. For example, on your careers page and job listings, feature content like
- Statistics on the diversity of your leadership and broader employee base
- Employee stories and quotes highlighting an inclusive culture
- Details on employee resource groups and DEI programs
- Images reflecting the diversity of your staff
You should also be prepared to demonstrate concrete DEI strategies and outcomes during the interview process and onboarding. Be transparent about any areas you are still working to improve as well.
For further insights on this, consider reading our article "How to Engage with Remote Employees to Maintain Culture in a Remote Work Setting," which offers valuable tips on nurturing a positive workplace environment in a remote setting.
Creating an authentically inclusive environment is key to making these talented individuals want to join and stick with your organization long-term.
Also Read: What is Equity Theory?
2. Align Your Brand with Causes Gen Z Cares About
Gen Z job seekers care deeply about making a positive social and environmental impact. They want to work for and buy from brands that share their values.
When positioning your employer brand to appeal to this audience, align yourself with causes Gen Z cares about.
- Sustainability and fighting climate change.
Highlight environmental programs and discuss wider ecological efforts.
- Advancing social justice and equity.
Showcase diversity scholarships, partnerships with nonprofits, or employee volunteer initiatives.
- Supporting mental health.
Promote benefits like flexible work options, mental health days, or meditation breaks supporting employee wellness.
- Enabling access to education.
Feature skills training, continuing education support, or partnerships that promote learning.
- Promoting inclusion and eliminating bias.
Demonstrate a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, especially in hiring practices.
- Upholding ethics and values.
Convey an ethical approach to technology, data privacy, transparency, and governance issues Gen Z finds essential.
The more your brand's purpose anchors to issues Gen Z feels passionate about, the more likely high-quality candidates will be to join and stick around at your company.
3. Offer Flexibility and Remote Work Options
The pandemic rapidly normalized flexible and remote work. According to McKinsey, over 77% of Gen Z job seekers ranked work-life balance as one of their top 3 priorities when evaluating a new role. As per the LinkedIn survey, 72% of Gen Z are the most likely to have either left or considered leaving a job because their employer did not offer a feasible flexible work policy.
This generation also expects these options to continue as they enter the workforce. To attract Gen Z talent, emphasize work models like:
- Hybrid arrangements:
Enable employees to split time between the office and home.
- Remote roles:
Allow permanent, fully remote positions.
- Flexible scheduling:
Let staff modify start and end times as needed.
- Job sharing:
Consider part-time or jointly-held full-time roles.
You can highlight available flexibility across job listings, careers sites, and employer brand content. During interviews, also be prepared to discuss what flexible arrangements could look like for the open role.
When structuring successful remote or hybrid policies, some best practices include allowing employees autonomy in choosing their work location, establishing clear communication expectations, and setting core hours for collaboration.
Giving employees autonomy over when and where they work gives Gen Z talent the freedom they seek. Offering flexibility demonstrates your trust and empowers your people.
Also Read: What is Compa-Ratio?
4. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Grow
Gen Z job seekers are hungry for growth and advancement opportunities. They want roles where they can continuously expand their skills.
When trying to recruit and retain Gen Z talent, emphasize ongoing learning and development initiatives like:
- Mentorship programs:
Match new hires with more experienced employees for guidance.
- Skills training:
Offer access to online courses, workshops, and other upskilling resources.
- Tuition assistance:
Provide financial support for pursuing additional education.
- Job rotations:
Let staff take on interim assignments in other departments or teams.
- “Stretch” projects:
Assign Gen Z employees challenging work that can add to their skills.
- Manager check-ins:
Maintain consistent conversations around growth goals and next steps.
Promoting professional growth demonstrates you’re invested in each person’s long-term career progression. This retention strategy helps ambitious Gen Z talent envision a future at your company.
You can use both in-house and external training to design comprehensive employee development plans. The key is clearly conveying the growth trajectories possible within specific roles and your company overall.
5. Give Gen Z Employees Voice and Influence
Unlike previous generations, Gen Z expects a say in their work decisions. They want to collaborate with leadership to shape policies, processes, and programs.
There are several ways to give Gen Z employees more voice:
- Recruit them for project teams:
Include Gen Z perspectives when developing new initiatives.
- Gather open feedback:
Host focus groups, surveys, and other channels to source their direct input. Act upon suggestions when possible.
- Develop mentor relationships:
Pair Gen Z staff with leaders to foster understanding.
- Feature their ideas:
Let Gen Z employees present proposals directly to key stakeholders.
- Appoint Gen Z ambassadors:
Identify representatives from this demographic to advocate on their peer group’s behalf in the organization.
When Gen Z workers feel empowered to share their thoughts and see their ideas implemented, they become more engaged and motivated to stick around. Enabling two-way communication demonstrates you value this cohort’s unique viewpoint.
6. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits
While purpose, growth, and flexibility attract Gen Z talent, competitive compensation remains foundational. 70% of Gen Z prioritize salary as a top aspect they want from their next job. Besides that, they expect bonuses and overall reward packages that reflect their skills and contributions.
- Research current market rates:
Set pay to match or exceed salary norms for any given role.
- Be transparent about pay bands:
Clearly communicate salary ranges upfront in job listings to attract suitable candidates.
- Consider creative benefits:
Offer perks tailored to Gen Z’s lifestyle, like paid subscriptions, learning stipends, or volunteer time off.
- Evaluate equity options:
Examine offering equity compensation at executive and non-executive levels to incentivize long-term retention.
- Benchmark regularly:
Continue assessing compensation against industry standards to remain competitive, especially in high turnover roles.
While fulfilling work is incredibly important, fair pay remains essential, too. Failing to offer compensation Gen Z talent feels reflects their worth will hamper hiring and retention. The key is continuously assessing compensation standards to remain competitive, especially for high-turnover roles. Monitoring broader market trends allows you to benchmark appropriately.
7. Provide Cutting-Edge Technology Resources
As digital natives, Gen Z expects access to the latest workplace technology tools and resources. They want equipment, software, and systems that make their jobs easier to perform at a high level.
Some ideas to help attract and retain tech-savvy Gen Z employees include:
- Leverage cloud-based apps and services:
Platforms like G Suite, Slack, Trello, and Zoom mirror the systems Gen Z relies on in their personal lives.
- Provide the latest hardware:
Offer new laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gear so they can work seamlessly from anywhere.
- Automate repetitive tasks:
Identify manual processes that could be streamlined through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation.
- Support bring-your-own-devices (BYOD):
Allow staff to use their preferred equipment and securely access company networks.
- Offer stipends for new technology:
Provide annual funds employees can use to purchase productivity-enhancing electronics and software.
Equipping employees with cutting-edge tools makes Gen Z workers more effective and satisfied and demonstrates your long-term commitment to innovation.
How Can Platforms Like Qureos Streamline Hiring?
Technology has transformed recruiting and allows companies to tap into broader talent pools to find the best Gen Z candidates. Platforms like Qureos use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve various parts of the hiring process, from screening applicants to conducting interviews and evaluating candidates consistently.
Read more: How AI is Transforming the Hiring Process
Key Takeaways on Hiring and Retaining Gen Z Talent
The seven strategies outlined in this article aim to help companies attract, engage, and retain sought-after Gen Z job seekers in today’s competitive hiring landscape.
Here are some key takeaways as you look to leverage these tactics:
- Lead with purpose.
Promote your commitments to DEI, social responsibility, and causes Gen Z cares about.
- Champion flexibility.
Offer hybrid roles, remote options, and fluid scheduling when possible.
- Prioritize professional growth.
Invest in mentorships, training initiatives, and skills development.
- Empower Gen Z voices.
Gather input, co-create solutions, and act on feedback.
- Incentivise with fair rewards.
Benchmark compensation and provide the latest tech tools.
While adapting strategies to appeal to Gen Z, remember this generation also seeks many of the same things as employees always have – things like inclusion, growth, and supportive leadership. Understanding Gen Z perspectives and expectations will allow companies to craft cultures where this dynamic talent thrives for years.