Back to Work Podcast: Tailoring Recruitment Strategies to Engage Gen Z Talent


As Baby Boomers continue to age out of the workforce in greater numbers, the presence and impact of Generation Z will only increase in the coming years. Estimates predict Gen Zers will occupy roughly 30% of the workforce by 2030. With this significant shift comes a host of new preferences, priorities and predispositions that organizations should be mindful of in order to attract, engage and retain this rapidly growing crop of talent.

In the newest episode of our Back to Work podcast series, host Joe McIntyre has a conversation with J.T. O’Donnell, CEO and founder of Work It Daily, a career counseling and coaching platform. Joe and J.T. explore the key insights, actionable strategies and expert advice organizations can leverage in order to develop and implement tailored recruitment efforts that resonate with Gen Zers.


Listen to the Full Episode



The TikTok Generation

Fundamentally, Gen Zers are job shoppers, not job seekers. They desire a sense of control and ownership throughout the search process. Unlike their older counterparts, these candidates have no interest in pursuing organizations through traditional channels, like job boards. Instead, Gen Zers prefer to naturally discover job opportunities in the course of their day-to-day activities, which has put the onus on organizations to focus their recruitment efforts where these candidates most often can be found – social media platforms.

Video is the number one format through which Gen Zers are consuming and taking action on brand messaging. Organizations should build a presence on TikTok, YouTube and other video-centric platforms by sharing a consistent stream of content that allows candidates to identify with those being shown on screen. These videos don’t have be elaborately produced. In fact, some candidates may be turned off by content that doesn’t appear authentic and genuine. But by using video to give viewers a glimpse into the daily work life, culture and potential opportunities that a company provides, it will give Gen Z candidates a reason to apply.


The Critical Role of Authenticity in Employer Branding

Gen Zers don’t expect an organization to be perfect, and those who claim to be are often met with skepticism and disdain. Instead, candidates prefer organizations to be forthright and honest about what it’s like to work for them and what it takes for employees to succeed. Providing insight into the types of people who thrive at the organization (and those who don’t) empowers candidates to decide for themselves whether or not they’d be the right fit. Offering candidates tips, tricks and other hacks associated with open positions is another way for organizations to entice and engage candidates.


The Skinny on Social Responsibility

Organizations should be extremely careful about how they present and promote their corporate social responsibility and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) efforts. Gen Zers do their homework, and they are not afraid to call out brands whose actions appear disingenuous and merely a ploy to recruit talent. At the same time, Gen Zers are purpose-driven, and the ethics of organizations’ operations factor heavily in candidates’ decisions to apply for and accept positions. In an effort to remain as transparent and authentic as possible, organizations should start small and focus on one area of social responsibility they can effectively address and build from there. Sweeping statements and broad generalizations are often not the path to take.


Development Opportunities: The Key to Retaining Generation Z

Despite entering the workforce amid the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and the work-from-home era, Gen Zers are content to physically return to offices as part of a hybrid working arrangement. What organizations must do is clearly communicate to them the value of in-office work, including the development opportunities available. Gen Zers appreciate the investment organizations are willing to make in them, including access to coaching resources that enable them to make the most of their current opportunity and plan for the future. While previous generations might have viewed this form of support as a sign of weakness, Gen Zers understand coaching to be the path to greatness and extend their loyalty to organizations placing an emphasis on this type of professional development.

Check out the full podcast episode to learn even more from J.T. about the pivots organizations need to make in order to better accommodate the surge of Generation Z talent.


Gen Z Recruitment

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