Generation Z (Gen Z), loosely defined as the demographic cohort born between 1995 and 2010, are starting to enter the workforce and will soon become the dominant players in the labor market. Known as the digital natives, Gen Z possess unique characteristics that set them apart from Millennials and older cohorts. Are you ready to catch the latest waves of the young professionals? Do you want to attract Gen Z with your job ads? Continue reading as we share the secrets of how to write the job descriptions that Gen Z love. 

How to create a catchy job title?

Your job ad needs to be searchable, understandable and appealing at first sight to make the Gen Z candidates interested in clicking on and seeing your complete job description. Following the tips below will give you an easy start:

  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Many candidates already find “HSE” (Health, Safety, Environment) confusing, not to mention “AML” (anti-money laundry), “KYC”(Know Your Customer), or “TRAC” (Talent Recruitment Accelerated Careers). These terms neither contribute to the understanding nor the attractiveness of the job ad. 
  • Avoid lengthy descriptions. Unless there is no other way to describe the job at a high level, try to keep it concise. After shortening the text from “Corporate Investment Bank Wholesale Payments Corporate Banking” to “Corporate  Investment Banking” in a job title, 28% more candidates had more favorable attitudes towards the ad and 56% less thought it is difficult to understand. 
  • Mention the job level. Clearly defined job level not only helps candidates to position themselves in the relevant category but also increases the ad itself’s exposure with keyword searches. In fact, “Internship”, “Graduate”, and “Trainee” are among the most searched keywords on Highered global job boards over 2019. 
  • Mention the job location if it generates positive associations. London, Paris, or any other major cities create a halo effect. For Gen Z candidates, a finance position in London is 31% more attractive than the same job in Vilnius. The location also has an influence on candidates’ perceptions in other regards – sharing the same job title, the one in London is perceived as 35% easier to understand and 18% more clearly described. 

What should you “offer” to Gen Z?

Everyone cares about benefits. Solid employee benefits can help you to attract and retain talent and differentiate your business from competitors. But what offers work for Gen Z? How to make your deals look appealing to them? Here are what we found: 

  • Gen Z prioritize FREEDOM! Gen Z are self-directed and autonomous, flexible working hours and home-office turns out to be the most attractive benefit for them. Introduce agile working practices could be the quick win for small organizations when they cannot match the employee benefits of their larger competitors. 
  • Gen Z are down to earth. Gen Z are practical and are deeply driven by security. Pension and insurance – the old topics are still the most essential benefits they concern.
  • Gen Z care about career growth. Free training to accelerate career advancement and programs develop their knowledge and skills appears to the young generation. 
  • Mentorship might not sell. The time and effort you invested in planning and running a mentorship or coaching program might not help you to get the attention from Gen Z as you expected. 

Dogs? Not really interested. We see a trend of companies introducing “dogs in the office” concept as a part of corporate branding. However, for Gen Z, this effort doesn’t significantly differentiate the company from the rest.

How to describe the “Role” in general? 

Define the scope. Gen Z resonate well with role descriptions that briefly summarize the tasks, describe the experiences, and highlight the gains and benefits. Here is an example: “You will work on real projects, learn about running a successful global business, and develop your leadership skills.” You can also try to phrase this into a question to add a personal touch.   

Creativity is tricky. Gen Z is known as being confident, open-minded and socially aware. Creativity, when properly done, catches the young cohort. But be aware of the times when it doesn’t work. An analogy that compares a “coordinator” role to “a spider in the web”, for example, though vividly described the job responsibilities, triggers negative associations.


How to describe the “Responsibilities”? 

Gen Z want to know the details! A clear description of the actual tasks written in bullet points makes the job ad easier to understand and more appealing. For example, comparing to a vague description of “You’ll manage projects and teams”, descriptions contain actual action points and expectations, such as “Liaise with internal customers (Sales, Customer Operations), to solve queries and ensure compliance to policies and procedures”, shows a 30% higher liking rate from the candidates.  

Personalized language works. If it is an internship role that you are promoting, you could describe the responsibilities as tailor-made programs that help the candidates to develop professional capabilities, using phrases like “Your time here will look something like this…”, “Through…. development opportunities, you can expect to finish the internship with broad understanding of …”; if it is a full-time job requiring experience, you could tune the ad with phrases like “we will trust you to: take ownership of…solve…with your deep understanding of …”


How to describe the “Requirements”? 

Look for the high-caliber? Say it. We all want to hire the best talent, but would setting the bar high scare the candidates away? Don’t worry, Gen Z take the challenge. A cross-comparison of job ads posted on Highered coupled with interviews suggests that positions requiring certain “top”, “significant”, or “excellent” traits or qualities are 17% more favored than positions mentioning “good”, “reasonable”, or “positive”. 

Be approachable. Similar to the suggested ways to communicate responsibilities, you may want to keep the personal touch while listing the expected skills and qualifications. For example, an alternative of saying “Required skills” and “Desired skills” are “We hope you…” and “We’d love to see…”.

This article is created based on an analysis of 11,000 job ads posted on Highered globally in 2019 and interviews with 95 students and graduates age between 18-25 years old (male: 45%, female: 55%).