Recruiting for a New Generation

Each member of Generation Z is different from the workers who came before, which makes it critical for recruiters to consider new approaches and apply them to the ways they attract and acquire talent.


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Having grown up surrounded by new and accessible advances in technology, the members of this generation are easily the most technologically advanced. As such, their views on life and work are different from others. In order to engage and attract this next generation of employees, new strategies need to be constructed—strategies that can actually be learned through successful internship programs.

Building the Well

To start, build a well before you’re thirsty. That is, begin to engage now with local colleges and universities, even if you don’t have any immediate openings. Regular attendance at college career fairs signals to students you have an interest in them.

As students learn more about your organization, they may be inspired to enroll in classes that would help them thrive in your industry. College professors frequently welcome guest speakers from the field, so volunteering as a speaker or panelist can also help students better understand the industry in general and your organization specifically.

Throughout these interactions, take advantage of the chance to provide students with entry-level opportunities and demonstrate what a potential career path might look like.

Refresh Your Social Media Presence

Next, look for this generation of employees on their platforms. LinkedIn is no longer your one-stop shop for recruitment. Millennials and Gen Zs in particular are incredibly tech-savvy.

They look for jobs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (in addition to LinkedIn), so think about rebooting or refreshing your digital presence and social media strategy across multiple platforms. The goal is to use what makes your company unique to attract people into your network.

It is not all about talking cold facts but rather building your brand and messaging to engage Millennials and Gen Zs and enable them to understand your company’s authentic self.

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Feedback is also incredibly important to this next generation of talent. Given that these individuals have grown up accustomed to receiving real-time updates on social media, it’s important for employers to encourage and foster ways to provide timely feedback.

Gen Zs need that positive reinforcement to confirm their value to an organization; without it, employees might feel unmotivated and less understanding of how they are contributing to the company’s bigger picture.

Relying on the age-old annual performance review may not cut it with this generation of employees; in fact, providing daily acknowledgments of contributions can give your employees a better understanding of their opportunities, strengths, and abilities.

Additional Tips

After seeing past generations struggle economically in the workforce, Gen Z wants to see stability within an organization. Employers should be able to demonstrate their current financial stability and promote their plans for future growth.

Committing to and being invested in these individuals will encourage them to contribute to your company for a longer time, as will offering promotions and advancement opportunities. Conveying these messages will go a long way toward attracting top talent.

A healthy work/life balance is also very important to Gen Zs. If you don’t already offer flex-work schedules, you should be thinking about which roles can support remote engagements from time to time. They know there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a priority for them.

Finally, and as with any generation, creating a strong sense of community is key. Family or team fun days, teambuilding events, and off-site functions can help accomplish this.  Learning and development opportunities are also important to the next generation of talent. Investing in training—whether via tuition reimbursement benefits, online learning, textbooks, classroom learning, or even virtual reality opportunities—will help differentiate you from the competition.

At the end of the day, the workforce is rapidly changing, and the individuals being brought into it are viewing it differently than the past. This calls for being open to change and getting away from old business practices that have worked in the past. To see positive progression for your company, you should embrace and encourage Gen Zs at every age and stage of their career.

Heather McCannHeather McCann is Vice President of Human Resources for The Peabody Companies, a group of award-winning property management and real estate firms. She can be reached at

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