Recruiting Gen Z Candidates: How to Speak Gen Z

(By Laura Vallina)

With tech companies facing a hiring crisis, let us dive in to see where companies can develop strategies for recruiting Gen Z candidates and what staffing providers can do to help. With the current unemployment rate for tech workers at 1.7 percent compared to 4 percent in the general economy, Gen Z graduates and future job seekers are keeping an ear out for specific companies that speak their language.


The Gen Z generation has lived through some of America’s most impactful social and economic crises. They are fearless after entering the work world in the middle of a pandemic, or struggling to survive as they pursue a degree. Hence, this cohort of individuals knows how to confront issues and raise their concerns. They are in sync with their beliefs and how they align themselves. Consequently, they bring this prevalent side of them to their job search and use it as a top indicator when making their decisions.

According to The Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey, half of the participants stated that they had made career and employer choices based on the organization’s values and ethics. They are attracted to companies who address that they are working for something bigger than themselves. They feel an urge and passion to work at a place where they can improve the society that they have seen so damaged.

A few ways for companies to instill this language when recruiting Gen Z candidates include:

  • Employee support groups
  • Supporting Community activities
  • Offering volunteer time off

Life, Liberty, and …

Gen Z has witnessed a string of challenging events, affecting them, their families, and loved ones, whether through upheavals in government, economy, and/or society. Because of these events, they learned to appreciate life and chase after what they wanted.

And what Gen Z wants is freedom.

Not only do they expect the option to work remotely from home when needed, but also to pursue their personal and professional ambitions. Especially tech Gen Z employees, who research the autonomy in their potential workplaces.

According to Forrester data, two-thirds of Gen Z workers say autonomy in choosing the apps, services, and devices they use is among their top priorities. They also want enough liberty in the workplace where they can move beyond writing software and have the path to become managers.

To successfully communicate this to Gen Z, companies should offer:

  • Asynchronous work
  • New innovative technology
  • Career growth

…And the Pursuit of Happiness

Regardless of the challenges Gen Z has faced, 50% of college students still believe in the American Dream. While some professionals might have compensation top of mind, many in the Gen Z generation want to hear companies talk about happiness.

According to a recent survey published in Forbes, only 15% of Gen Z would choose financial security over job satisfaction. They want companies to show them they will have a work-balanced life. Therefore, it is vital for employers, especially tech employers that face a Gen Z shortage of workers, to implement a healthy environment at work. Whether it is through offering lifestyle benefits –such as gym or mediation memberships– to creating a fun company culture through hosting work lunches and organizing work outings, when recruiting Gen Z candidates, companies must highlight the total experience they can expect.

This generation is coming in with their all, and companies have to prepare the workplace for the talented graduates that will be coming through their doors.


At Matlen Silver, we strive to deliver a diverse talent collective to our clients, and that includes the experience of generational workforces. Contact us today to discuss building a team with aspirations for the future.


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