Generation Recruiting

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” for hiring candidates at different positions, and the same holds true for hiring from different generations. Like it or not, the way we communicate has changed– and so must the way that we hire.

The Current Lay of the Land

About 1/3 of the United States is in the workforce. Not only are we facing some of the lowest unemployment in recent history, and we’re also adapting to a new generation of candidates: Gen Z.

Generational recruiting itself is pretty self-explanatory. Millennials generally value growth opportunities, Gen X prefers stability, and Gen Z prefers ease-of-use and speed. However, it can feel time-consuming and difficult to tailor your message to a wide variety of people.

That being said, here’s some tips for each generation:


Millennials are one of the generations that people love to hate. Besides killing industries, they also heavily value education and their health.

According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of Millennials value a college education. Valuing education is more than just attending: Millennials want to work for organizations that work towards learning new skills and growing in their career.

In fact, a lack of career growth is one of the top reasons why they leave their jobs.

Health, too, is important. Not only do Millennials value their physical health (and want nutritious food options), they also value a flexible work schedule that enables them to unplug and destress from work.

How can you recruit Millennials?

For starters, Millennials are projected to make up more than half the workforce by next year. If your company wants to continue to grow, you need to speak their language. Place an emphasis not only on workplace benefits but on a clear structure for career growth. During the interview process, make sure you include individuals who have either been promoted from their position or who have experienced career growth at your company.

Gen Z

Gen Z is just starting to enter the workforce, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t jump start on recruiting them. As a whole, Gen Z values authenticity and independence.

Authenticity can mean many things, but to Gen Z it means having a consistent brand messaging and a leadership team that is vocal about their beliefs. Interestingly, whether they agree with them or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re speaking about them– which Gen Z values.

Independence is another matter. While Millennials are known for communal workspaces and collaboration, Gen Z greatly prefers the space to work independently.

How can you recruit Gen Z?

First things first: collaborate (!!) with your marketing team and make sure your brand messaging is consistent across all platforms. Gen Z grew up with technology and they live and breathe it: they’re going to be researching your company on a variety of platforms. Additionally, make sure your company is loud and proud about their beliefs. Whether it’s for creating an inclusive workplace or a commitment to healthy living, Gen Z wants to know about it.

During the interview, make sure you reaffirm these commitments by either candidate-interviewer matching or through your communications with candidates. Your social presence, too, must be a focus.

Gen X

Loyalty and leadership are the hallmarks for one of the more tenured generations (which makes up about 1/3 of the workforce, the second-largest working generation after Millennials).

For Gen Xers, the majority of which are in leadership roles, the loyalty that companies show to them and the leadership opportunities are key.

How can you recruit Gen X?

Gen X is used to traditional recruiting methods (such as back-and-forth emails to schedule interviews) and typically doesn’t mind the wait– provided there’s a great leadership opportunity and a long tenure with the company down the line.

To recruit someone with the experience that most Gen Xers have, make sure to emphasize consistency and growth in their career. Have individuals involved in the interview process that will either be working under them or have been promoted out of their position. Additionally, make sure that your company’s history and values are clearly represented on your careers page!

Generational recruiting can be tough when you factor in the different communication styles and beliefs of each group. However, making the effort to attract a wide variety of candidates is a key factor to improving your candidate experience. Without that, there’s no way you can secure top talent!

Want to recruit more easily but don’t know how? See how GoodTime helps recruiting teams easily tailor interviews.

About the Author:

Alex works in sales at GoodTime!

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