How to Attract and Retain Gen Z Graduates

Posted by Isabel Wilkinson

Generation Z is our newest generation graduating from university and seeking a solid start for their professional careers. Every generation brings with it general traits and expectations of working life – and it’s important as graduate employers you stay abreast of their needs so you can provide an attractive employer brand and experience.

This blog will help you understand what Gen Z graduates will expect from their employer – and provide a few ideas to help you meet these expectations.

What Do Today’s Graduates Want from A Graduate Program?

If you’ve been following the AAGE’s Candidate Surveys the past few years, it shouldn’t surprise you that today’s graduates are accepting graduate opportunities based on:

  • the quality of the training and development program (27.69%),
  • the opportunity for career progression (24.68%),
  • the quality of the work (19.12%), and company culture (15.89%)

Source: 2018 AAGE Candidate Survey.

This is what stands out for all current candidates when considering the quality of a graduate program. But, what are Gen Z’s broader expectations of employment and their experience with your organisation?

What Do Gen Z Graduates Expect from Their Employer?

Generation Z grads are hungrily snapping up graduate opportunities in their chosen profession. You might have an awesome graduate program designed for them, but, what broader organisational experiences will they be expecting from you?

According to McCrindle, Gen Z’s have the following workplace traits/expectations:

Gen Z Grads Seek Empowering Leadership

Gen Z’s don’t like hierarchy, they are team players and they want to contribute, to solve problems and develop helpful, innovative solutions. So, find or create opportunities that empower your Gen Z graduates to contribute to greater organisational goals and missions. For example – hackathons, unique project secondments and staff forums.

Gen Z Grads Seek Communicative Organisations

These are employers who genuinely care about their employee experience, and invite employees to join in on the journey. Gen Z grads will enjoy hearing from their CEO and executive team, personally and officially, about current news, opportunities, and organisational changes. You’re creating a humanised, accessible leadership team.

Gen Z’s Seek Inclusion

Gen Z’s happen to be the online / social media generation – as a whole, they are the most social in nature, so would probably value an opportunity to contribute to org-wide communication channels. You might invite them to contribute guest blogs or articles related to their graduate project or team mission or share responsibility for employer branded Instagram / Facebook stories. Try inviting them to represent your organisation at employment expos or relevant industry events.

Gen Z Grads Will Seek Mobility

Gen Z grads grew up on mobiles and digital devices – they will be at the forefront of digital change. They will seek an organisation that adopts new technologies and incorporates tech into roles, systems, and operations so employees can work on the go and more efficiently.

Provide an Employee-Centric Experience for Gen Z in Your Workplace

Hopefully, this post has helped you understand a bit more about Gen Z graduates and what they expect from their employers. You could say they are employee experience-centric – and this would be your mission when building an inclusive, stand out employer brand to attract them.

If you need help connecting with your future Gen Z graduates – get in touch with us at  [email protected] and learn how you can create an engaging Employer Profile with GradConnection.



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