Engaging the Modern Candidate: Strategies for the Gen Z and Millennial Workforce | CNA International

8 months ago •

Engaging the Modern Candidate: Strategies for the Gen Z and Millennial Workforce | CNA International

The workforce landscape has undergone a significant shift in recent years with the increasing influx of Gen Z and Millennial candidates. Understanding their unique motivations, values, and expectations can help organisations aiming to attract, engage, and retain top talent in these demographics. As the old methods of recruitment and engagement lose their effectiveness, it's time for companies to adapt and align their strategies to resonate with this new wave of professionals. So in this article, we’ll go over some recruitment strategies to help with engaging the modern candidate.

Understanding the Modern Candidate

Today’s hiring landscape is transforming, and at its core are two influential generations: Gen Z and Millennials. Before devising strategies to engage them, it’s important to delve deeper into their characteristics, motivations, and aspirations:

- Gen Z

The Gen Z candidate was born at some point between 1996 and 2010. They have a few notable characteristics that set them apart from their cohorts, such as:

  1. Digital Natives: This generation can barely recall a world without the internet. Their constant connectivity has made them adept at filtering information, multitasking, and seeking instant gratification.
  2. Value Authenticity: Having grown up during the rise of influencer culture and seeing the curated reality of social media, they place a high premium on authenticity. They are more likely to engage with employers who are genuine in their communication and actions.
  3. Diversity and Inclusion Advocates: Gen Z is not just diverse in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of gender, sexuality, and more. They expect and value this diversity in the workplace.
  4. Purpose-Driven: While compensation is essential, this generation also seeks purpose in their work. They desire to be part of organisations that stand for more than just profits, making a positive impact on society or the environment.

- Millennials

Millennials are candidates born between 1980 and 1995. Although they share a few traits with Gen Z, they are unique in a few areas such as:

  1. Pioneers of the Digital Age: While they remember a time before the digital revolution, Millennials were the frontrunners in adapting to and shaping the internet era. They've seen the transition and, thus, value both online and offline experiences.
  2. Flexibility Seekers: Work-life balance isn't just a buzzword for them. They were among the first to champion remote work, flexible hours, and the gig economy.
  3. Continuous Learners: Growing up during the information boom, they have an inherent curiosity and a drive for continuous learning. They value employers who offer opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  4. Experience Over Materialism: Unlike previous generations, Millennials often prioritise experiences like travel, cultural events, and personal growth over material possessions. They seek roles and employers who allow them the freedom and flexibility to pursue these passions.

Strategies for Engaging the Modern Candidate

If you want to attract and retain the best talent from these generations, then it helps to utilise the right strategies. Let’s go over a few of the best approaches to engaging with the modern candidate in terms of recruitment:

- Cultivate a Strong Employer Brand

The modern workforce does its homework, so it’s important that you have a strong employer brand to attract them. They are more likely to research a company's culture, values, and employee experiences online before even applying. An authentic employer brand reflected genuinely across all platforms, can differentiate you from competitors.

- Embrace Technological Innovations

Lengthy application processes are a deterrent for many contemporary candidates. Opt for streamlined, user-friendly platforms, perhaps even mobile-optimised ones, as many Gen Z and Millennials job hunt on their phones. It can also be helpful to integrate the latest technology into your recruitment process, as this will resonate with the modern workforce. You might want to consider things like using virtual reality or augmented reality for training. These immersive experiences make onboarding more engaging and can draw in the best candidates.

- Prioritise Flexibility

The 9-to-5 workday is becoming obsolete, especially with the rise of working from home practices. Modern candidates value roles that offer remote work options, flexible hours, and an understanding of personal commitments.

Both Gen Z and Millennials prioritise personal growth in their careers. Offering opportunities for upskilling, attending workshops, or even simple in-house training sessions can be an attractive proposition. So make sure that you offer and signpost these benefits during the application stage.

Foster a Purpose-Driven Culture

More than just a monthly wage, the modern workforce wants to feel like they're making a difference through their work. Companies with a clear, positive impact on society or the environment can be more appealing to these candidates. To help them feel included in the business, try to create platforms where employees can voice their opinions, give feedback, and feel like they're an integral part of the company's evolution.

- Optimise Feedback Mechanisms

Annual reviews are a thing of the past. Frequent feedback, both formal and informal, helps employees understand where they stand and what's expected of them. Modern candidates appreciate feedback that helps them grow. It’s about striking a balance between acknowledging their efforts and guiding them for improvement.

- Prioritise Diversity and Inclusion

Both Gen Z and Millennials are among the most diverse generations yet. They value inclusivity and look for it actively when choosing their workplaces. Ensure your company promotes a diverse workforce at all levels. Create policies that cater to diverse needs, whether it's parental leave, prayer rooms, or mental health days.

- Engage Through Social Media and Digital Platforms

Engaging content on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram can help with recruitment and position your company as a desirable employer. Employee testimonials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and showcasing company culture can be particularly effective. Hosting webinars, Q&A sessions, or even Instagram Live sessions can humanise your company and make it more relatable to the modern candidate.

Understand the Modern Candidate to Engage With Them

Engaging the modern candidate isn't about gimmicks or short-term perks. It requires a genuine understanding of their motivations and a commitment to fostering a culture that resonates with their values. Companies that are flexible, technologically adept, and purpose-driven will not only attract but also retain the brightest of the Gen Z and Millennial talent pool. As the workforce continues to evolve, staying proactive and adaptable in engagement strategies will be the key to thriving in the competitive talent market.

If you’re looking to engage with the modern candidate and bring them into your workforce, our team at CNA International can help. We’re dedicated to providing high level services working internationally with clients and placing candidates we find through executive search worldwide. We cover various sectors and senior positions to help find the perfect candidate or job for your needs. To find out more, please contact us today to discuss your needs.


CNA International

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