How to Attract Gen Z Talent for the Future Workforce

The number of Gen Z employees worldwide is expected to triple by 2030, implying that those born between 1995 and 2015 will soon account for up to 30% of the global workforce.

With an increasing number of Gen Z workers entering the labor force, they will undoubtedly play an important role in shaping the workplace for decades to come. However, the question of how this generation will change the fabric of workplaces remains, as this generation will bring their vision of what the new world of work should look like.

According to LinkedIn data, those in their early careers are changing jobs nearly 40% more than last year, at a rate more than double that of millennials. Almost three-quarters of these career starters attribute this to a career awakening, primarily caused by the pandemic, with many reporting boredoms, a desire for a job that better aligns with their values and a desire for a better work-life balance.

This presents a new challenge for employers and recruiters: how can they attract and retain this younger generation of workers in an increasingly competitive labor market?

Gen Z wants flexibility, not necessarily remote

To attract Gen Z talent, recruiters must first understand what matters to them. The pandemic has taught us that workplace flexibility is not a pipe dream; it is an expectation. According to our data, Gen Z is the generation most likely to have left – or considered leaving – a job because their employer did not provide a feasible flexible work policy (72%), compared to 69 percent of millennials, 53% of Gen X, and 59% of boomers.

However, this does not imply that career starters want to be remote all of the time. According to our research of 4,000 Gen Z (18-25-year-old) career starters in the UK, US, France, and Germany, the vast majority (70 percent) want access to an office, preferring either a mix of office and remote working, or being in the office full-time, compared to just being fully remote.

The key takeaway for recruiters here is the importance of flexible working arrangements. That includes acknowledging the realities of people’s situations, such as the fact that they may not have an ideal setup to work from home full-time. Offering flexibility is not only important for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent, but it also represents a huge opportunity to make workplaces more fair, inclusive, and equitable. For example, our recent report discovered that greater workplace flexibility could help open up new job opportunities for 1.3 million people in the UK who have disabilities, caring responsibilities, or live in rural areas.

Create a culture of continuous learning

People aren’t just changing their work schedules or locations. But, more importantly, why? According to our recent Workplace Learning Report, 76 percent of Gen Z employees believe that learning is the key to a successful career. Our data also suggests that two-fifths would be willing to accept a pay cut of up to 5% of their salary for a role that offers more opportunities for advancement.

Companies can promote a culture of continuous learning and highlight opportunities for career growth to attract Gen Z talent. Whether you’re facilitating mentorship opportunities or making learning courses available, all of these steps will go a long way toward attracting and retaining those in the early stages of their careers.

Remove the barriers of experience inflation

Recruiters play an important role in assisting their clients in properly advertising entry-level job roles. If you’re hiring at the entry-level, you should make sure that your job postings reflect the level of experience that new employees will have.

According to our data, nearly a third of Gen Z job seekers say the most difficult obstacle they face is not knowing where to begin. This is because organizations frequently label positions requiring three or more years of experience as entry-level. This experience of inflation is discouraging top talent from applying for positions for which they believe they are underqualified. For example, based on our analysis of LinkedIn data from nearly 4 million jobs posted between December 2017 and August 2022, we found that employers required a minimum of three years of relevant work experience on 35% of their entry-level postings.

It may seem advantageous to have experienced employees coming in at the entry level, but companies could end up losing out on top talent in the long term. With Gen Z candidates becoming increasingly selective about the roles they apply for, it’s more important than ever for recruiters to be well-versed in an organization’s purpose, culture, and what makes it stand out. Job postings will not only need to reflect entry-level skills and organizational values, but they will also need to take a skills-based approach to ensure potential candidates aren’t being locked out of these opportunities.


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