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How Companies Can Attract Gen Z Workers

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Sep 27, 2023

Organizations need to take certain steps to attract Gen Z workers, as this cohort may be attentive to things that may not have been prioritized by previous generations, a talent development expert wrote in Business Insider.

Chelsea Williams of Reimagine Talent works closely with many Gen Z professionals and those who employ and manage them. She wrote that there are six things companies need to prioritize in order to stand out to these job seekers.

Expressing a clear dedication to diversity and social impact matters because Gen Zers tend to value companies that demonstrate real commitment to "social impact, doing good, and diversity, equity, and inclusion," Williams wrote, because they're the most diverse generation. She added that companies should also actively provide scholarships and work-based learning opportunities to marginalized communities.

Being transparent about pay and growth opportunities are key in a competitive hiring market, she wrote, as this generation has the opportunity to take jobs in the gig economy if they feel they are not being paid what they are worth.  "Behind the demand for higher salaries is more confidence in what the population believe they have to offer," she wrote. "Employers should be able to cautiously articulate what their companies have to offer beyond salaries, too,” and offer career mobility and professional-development opportunities, including tuition reimbursement, professional-development stipends, and training programs.

Offering community through mentorship and affinity groups shows Gen Zers that the employer knows how to build a great company culture and can offer them support as part of your team. An ideal culture, according to Williams, includes factors such as an internal professional community, real-time feedback, and investment in employee mental-health and social-justice efforts.

Focus on skills and competencies, not a candidate's major, Williams wrote. Skills and competencies are what matters, and this cohort will be attracted to an organization that talks about its workforce this way. "We are in a time when enrollment in higher-education institutions is falling," she wrote. "Not all students are choosing the higher-education route, so major is a nonfactor."

Go where Gen Z hangs out, Williams advised, meaning that the older methods of recruitment, such as the same colleges and universities, academic programs and job posting sites may not yield the right talent. She recommended TikTok and other social-media platforms as branding opportunities. “One of the best ways you can see yourself is through the stories of others," she wrote. "Showing a day in the life is very important for this generation."

Cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship by communicating with applicants about the clarity with which ideas are shared and rewarded, and show off examples of products and services led by the team. This demonstrates that the company is creating an innovative workplace. "Employers can talk about the ways that you can build projects, processes, programs, and systems and be part of creating something that doesn't exist," Williams wrote. "That's exciting."