Attracting Gen Z applicants: How to engage top young talent

Attracting Gen Z applicants: How to engage top young talent

It’s more important than ever to attract quality talent, as vacancies stymie growth and place pressure on teams to pick up the extra workload. As Gen Z enter the workforce, a new opportunity for attracting top talent is opened up, and with it the benefits of employing a diverse, fresh, socially aware, and switched on team.

However, Gen Z is widely regarded to have different needs and priorities in the workplace to older generations. Therefore in order to appeal to this generation and take advantage of the business benefits they offer as employees, it’s important to put measures in place that are going to evolve as the workforce does.

Here are our recommendations for how to attract the newly emerging top young talent.

Company culture and ethos

Gen Z are the most socially aware generation, and are pioneering identity politics, celebrating and taking control of their own identities. In order to attract Gen Z employees, its important that your company culture is accepting and embracing of diversity within the workforce. This can mean ensuring that inclusivity training takes places, or that company events or parties are planned to account for and celebrate different cultures, identities, and needs.

Company ethos is also an important factor when attracting Gen Z applicants. As a well-informed and politically active generation, using social media to share and consume news and opinions, Gen Z is particularly in tune to ethical issues, and take this into account when choosing where to work. It’s a good idea to shout about your company’s ESG initiatives and goals in job adverts and on your company website, to demonstrate your ethical stance and the actions you are taking to positively impact the world around you.


While company culture can be steered towards inclusion and support of different identities, it’s important that the company’s commitment to this is also written into policy. A business without a diversity and inclusion policy is a rarity nowadays, but the more you can demonstrate this in practice, the more attractive your business will be to younger applicants.

For example, adopting inclusive hiring methods within every area of your process is important. This can include ensuring job adverts are open and non-restrictive to people with alternative pathways by not specifying unnecessary qualifications within job criteria, and ensuring that non UK education and qualifications are accepted where certain credentials are essential.

An awareness of things like preferred pronouns for candidates, and taking mental health into account can indicate to candidates that you take inclusion seriously, as well as taking steps to eliminate unconscious bias within the selection process by removing names or other identifying or protected characteristics from applications.


The workplace has changed considerably in recent years, and many people are embracing more flexible working practices, including remote and hybrid working, as well as flexible hours and job share options.

Gen Z are no different, and place a high value on positions that afford flexibility within the workplace. Therefore, when looking to attract Gen Z applicants, it’s advisable to highlight the flexible working options that your workplace offers, and be very clear exactly what your expectations are in terms of time in the office, expected working hours, and how willing you are to negotiate terms.

For jobs where remote working is not feasible, look for different areas you can offer flexibility. For example, can you be flexible with when holidays and time off is booked in, and can you offer flexible working hours or other benefits?


Much of Gen Z does not remember a time before smart phones, and most weren’t born when broadband became commonplace in the UK. They have grown up with and around technology, and therefore expect that technology is utilised in the workplace.

This means that if you want to attract the top young talent from Gen Z, you need to have a workplace that makes use of and benefits from a range of tech-based systems. Many young workers are likely to be masters of IT systems and mobile devices, and can therefore be valuable assets within your team. However, they are most likely to be uncomfortable in an environment where manual and time consuming tasks are not already replaced by automation and streamlined processes.

A strong way to demonstrate your adoption of tech is through the application and screening process, by conducting online interviews and offering Digital screening checks such as Digital right to work or Digital DBS screenings.

Digitalisation of the process is also beneficial for your business, too, as it can help to streamline the recruitment journey, as well as provide valuable insights into how applicants interact with you as an employer.

How can Reed Screening help?

At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks for workers of all kinds, including the top young talent of Gen Z.

With screening and checks happening 24/7, we can vet your candidates within a timescale that suits your business, and our AssuredID service offers an easy and accurate way to verify a candidate’s ID digitally and remotely.

For more information, get in touch with our team.