Sep 19th 2019

5 key takeaways from Tempo Talks: Millennials are from Mars; Gen Z are from Venus

In 2030, 75% of the workforce will be made up of Gen Z candidates. Set to be the most disruptive generation yet, how can employers make sure they can compete in the war on talent and attract and hire this generation?

We got together a panel of HR experts to help us answer this question. Many thanks to Libby Derbyshire from Whitehat, Owen Bailey from KPMG and Annie Marsh from Jones Knowles Ritchie for being fantastic panellists and providing us with insight on how employers can prepare themselves for the influx of Gen Z.

Here are our five key takeaways from the evening.

1: Open up your recruitment methods to enable a diverse set of candidates to apply for roles.

43% of graduates on traditional graduate schemes attended private school compared with only 9% of the population. This bottleneck of opportunity only tightens and limits the diversity of employees within companies. Employers need to look at different routes of recruitment to remain competitive. At Jones Knowles Ritchie, a creative ad agency, they recognise the need for people with a wide variety of skill sets to succeed, not simply skills that are quantified on CVs. As a result, they’ve gotten rid of the CV and cover letter and now ask people to present who they are.

2: Give candidates a consumer grade experience, including those you reject. 

When interacting with Gen Z, the consumer grade experience is key to attracting and hiring them. KPMG has launched an initiative called Launchpad shortening what used to be week or month long application processes to day long assessments with feedback to candidates within 48 hours. Additionally, they’ve introduced a brand new careers portal with a better user experience. At Jones Knowles Ritchie they let candidates know from the outset what to expect at each stage of the hiring process. KPMG has also built a communications strategy throughout their hiring process so candidates are made aware of next steps, or of a rejection.

3: Authenticity is appreciated.

Young candidates want an employer to be honest about their offerings to candidates. KPMG inform candidates exactly what to expect from their opportunities such as Audit programmes as well as engage with candidates in an honest conversation using social channels and more modern, authentic forms of communication. More unpolished videos of ‘a day in the life at KPMG’ were developed so candidates can get a feel for the culture and know what to expect from the company as a whole.

4: Young candidates want to make an impact.

Well informed and having grown up in turbulent times, Gen Z want to make a positive impact politically, socially and environmentally with what they do, including through the companies they work for. Jones Knowles Ritchie has set up a foundation providing brand strategy to not-for-profit organisations such as homeless shelters, allowing employees to use their skill sets to really make a difference. KPMG has a series of charitable initiatives dedicated to helping local communities and use events to demonstrate the tangible impact they have had.

5: To attract young, diverse candidates make sure the teams in charge reflect this diversity.

Libby from Whitehat stated employers should employ a diverse team for assessment days or onto their employer brand team. They know a lot more about what people want and are looking for, or how to engage them. Not only this but a more diverse workforce will organically attract a more diverse candidate pool.

It’s clear employers need to look at their recruitment process in a far more holistic sense. With Gen Z looking for authenticity and employers that share the same values they have, employers must reflect the values of Gen Z in every interaction they have with them. All these interactions contribute to an employer’s brand and wider talent strategy. Any interaction or action of an employer that falls short will seem superficial. An effective way to ensure you’re attracting a diverse candidate pool is to make sure a diverse team is in charge of your wider talent strategy.


Read the key takeaways from our Tempo Talks: Building Culture in the Age of Flexible Working here.