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How To Hire Gen Z And Millennials In 2024

By FedEx | March 6, 2024

Sourcing the right talent is crucial for business success. With the needs of the global workforce changing, check out our guide to attracting and engaging millennial and Gen Z employees.

Gen Z. Millennials. Are you clued up on their fundamental differences? Both generations are starting to overlap in the workplace, and employers are learning that they are two very different demographics.

Millennials are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, and over half of the population live in Asia. They’re already influencing society and the workplace, especially given that the oldest millennials are now 42, in senior positions or as business owners and entrepreneurs.

Millennials are the ‘last generation’ to remember a pre-digital world, whereas Gen Z, born 1997 to 2012, were raised by tech. This impacts everything from social interaction to consumer and lifestyle habits, as well as their skillsets and behavior in the workplace.

With hiring and sourcing the right talent critical to business success, employers and their HR teams are under more pressure to get to know the DNA of both Gen Z and millennial workers.

What benefits do they bring to the workforce, and how can businesses appeal to the Gen Z and millennial talent? We had a chat with Cindi Wirawan, a career coach working with millennials and leaders across Asia Pacific, for her tips.
Asian female with long hair smiling in pink jacket

In your experience coaching millennials, what do you think are the benefits of hiring millennial employees?

Cindi: The millennial generation is tech-savvy, adaptable and versatile. They value diverse experiences, so they bring unique skillsets and perspectives to various roles within the workforce.

Millennials can work independently and come up with creative solutions or ideas, such as using technology to be more productive.

Since many of them grew up during the tech-boom era, they understand and can use both traditional and digital methods and approaches. They’re in the sweet spot, compared to Gen Z and Gen X who are mostly one or the other.

RELATED: What Gen-Z behavior in the US looks like

What are the differences between Gen Z and millennial employees?

Millennials value roles that provide a sense of purpose and offer career growth opportunities. They won’t typically remain in a position solely out of loyalty, and are more inclined to move on if their professional needs aren't being met.
Asian male in red checked shirt smiles at phone in front of pink wall

Gen Z-ers display a more independent, entrepreneurial spirit, with many having side hustles before or after they start working officially. They prefer to tackle challenges on their own and prioritize a solid income and achieving stability before they take risks with their careers.

While both generations value diversity and sustainability, Gen Z expects the brands they work for to showcase these upfront. Gen Z-ers also have more intuitive tech skills and prefer digital communication – some are less confident making phone calls for work. Both generations expect hybrid, flexible work, as well as using digital platforms like Teams to collaborate.

Millennials are motivated by work-life balance and flexibility, such as work-from-anywhere benefits, meaningful work, and career development opportunities.

Gen Z employees, on the other hand, are more likely to be motivated by factors such as purpose, stability, and financial security.

RELATED: How to attract top talent to your small business

What are the most common mistakes employers make when hiring millennial or Gen Z employees?

Not recognizing what truly motivates a millennial candidate can lead to a poor fit between the job and their aspirations. The result is usually a lack of engagement and high turnover rates. It's crucial to understand and align with their drivers during the hiring process.

Sticking to old-school recruitment strategies, like focusing heavily on educational degrees instead of skills and experiences, or not hiring in a diverse and inclusive manner, can be a turn-off for millennials and Gen Z-ers.

Both are more attracted to employers who value diversity and inclusion, and showcase a modern, forward-thinking approach with opportunities for meaningful work.
Young Asian female stares pensively out of window

What’s the secret to retaining Gen Z and millennial employees?

If you’re looking to engage the younger workforce, think growth. Help them grow - or watch them go. Growth doesn’t just mean climbing up the career ladder for the next position or promotion.

It can mean giving them more exposure, leadership opportunities, or involvement in a passion project. You can also provide educational learning and development, assign a mentor to them, or offer relocation opportunities.

It’s key to engage them throughout their career, so managers need to be trained and equipped to engage their team members. Help them explore career pathways and opportunities based on their interests and goals.

Be creative with how you motivate them. They’re attracted by flexible hours, options to work from anywhere and wellbeing days (a day off to focus on their mental health and wellbeing), or perks like birthday leave.
2 teenage males sit on beanbag and window sill on laptops

Help them understand the role they play in the big picture, so they see the purpose of what they are doing, and feel the impact they are making, even if it’s admin work.

If you try to understand them, engage them and give them a reason to stay (everyone has different reasons - you’ll need to ask the right questions), they will stay. You will have to earn their loyalty.

What are your tips for attracting Gen Z and millennial talent?

Right from the job application stage, Gen Z and millennial candidates can suss out the culture and values of a company. They’ll draw conclusions based on the tech platform used for applications and how intuitive it is to apply for a role.

Use digital platforms and social media to promote job openings, and brand yourself as an employer of choice. For example, show them what a day in the life of an employee is like through a TikTok video. Consider using video interviews, instead of in-person interviews, for the first few rounds to accommodate their preferences.

One big mistake is over-estimating a candidate’s desire for the job, and underselling the role and company to them during the hiring process. Unlike previous generations, where the employer has the upper hand and job offers are most likely to be accepted, Gen Z and millennials have multiple options.
Smiling Asian female in white jacket sits on sofa with cushions

They see themselves as free to choose the best, most appealing job opportunity. Failing to sell them the opportunity based on their career goals and values might lead them to turn down a job offer.

Finally, make sure to showcase that you value diversity and inclusivity during the recruitment process. For example, avoid asking personal questions about their health condition, family background and race.

What are your predictions on hiring and workplace trends in 2024?

AI will dominate and change the way we hire and work. Companies will hire more for skills rather than qualifications. This is down to how fast skills are changing due to technology, outsourcing and resource optimization efforts (do more with less manpower).

With AI skills increasingly in demand, such as prompt engineering, it’s the talent with the agility to learn and upskill themselves who will gain an edge. With apps like Microsoft Copilot being rolled out across all the Microsoft apps in 2024, those who are quick to adopt and learn will be the most sought-after talent.

As for the AI technology that helps make our work more productive, millennials and Gen Zs will use it more and more. They’ll also be attracted to employers who encourage the use of AI for work and avoid employers who are slow to adopt and adapt to AI.
Looking for more tips on recruiting the talent of tomorrow? Check out our podcast here.


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