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How to Recruit Top Gen-Z Talent

With millennials safely established in the workforce, the next generation to move in is Gen-Z. For any hiring strategy, knowing what drives new top talent is a must if you’re going to both attract and retain them. Today, the hiring market is competitive, so you’ll have to give Gen-Z talent a reason to choose your SMB or startup as the business they want to work for. Luckily, gone are the demands of ping pong tables, open bars, and egg chairs in the office. Instead, Gen-Z is entering the workforce with a nice balance of old and new desires from their employers. In no particular order, here are some of the top things Gen-Z talent is looking for in the workplace.


It has long been standard for businesses to offer their employees benefits. The desire for that kind of stability and contribution remains strong. However, new talent doesn’t just want health coverage, benefits in terms of retirement planning are also in demand. The root of this comes from Gen-Z’s desire for stability. Guaranteed hours and income, reassurance that basic health and medical are covered, and sure-footing for their future are all key points to include in your startup’s branding.

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Flexibility + Work-Life Balance

Much like millennials, work-life balance is at the forefront of desires for Gen-Z. How do they want to see that happen? Flexibility both in scheduling and choice of office. Remote work is in full swing and perhaps its most attractive perk is the ability to work from absolutely anywhere. However, many Gen-Zers are also interested in having a healthy work environment in an office — gone are the days of cubicles, though. Consider an open-office layout to get things rolling if your scale-up isn’t ready for the remote work changeover. Being open to remote work, flexible hours, and offering perks that promote wellness and balance will go a long way in recruiting this next generation of talent.


According to HR Daily Advisor, 31% of Gen-Zers (unlike 14% of Gen X) are fine with quitting a job in less than a year. Why? They’re driven to work in places where growth opportunities and autonomy are at the forefront of the culture. This next generation of workers cares more about being able to progress than most other aspects of their job. Luckily, startups thrive in this area. Be sure to include talk about room for growth, the ability to work independently in different roles across the company, and the vision moving forward. Not only will this help with recruitment, but when a new hire feels in line with their company’s future, they’ll want to stay on board and be a part of it.

Meaning + Company Values

Two more things that drive Gen-Z to pick one company over another are meaning and values. If their work isn’t meaningful, your new hire will quickly move on to a business that offers deeper importance in their role. Now more than ever, recruitment will also mean demonstrating what your business stands for in the world. Transparency is key. Even more so than pay, Gen-Z top talent wants to know the company they work for is in line with their values and gives back. Be sure to establish your scale-up’s core values and have them shine effectively during the recruitment process. A way to do so is by creating videos and using stories such as employee experiences or how the company started.

By taking into consideration the driving desires of the next generation of talent entering the workforce, your startup will be hiring strategically and effectively. Plus, by being transparent about your company’s values, the successful applicants will likely stay on with the company, as they’ll already know they’re in line with your goals and can see a future. It’s about hiring smart the first time; refining and executing on these details will help do exactly that.

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