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Top 10 tips for recruiting the Centennial

Until very recently it was the needs, characteristics and mindset of Millennials, also known as Generation Y, that kept recruiters and forward-thinking employers awake at night... the Centennials are the next challenge

Top 10 tips for recruiting the Centennial

Dynamic businesses, such as the winners of Campaign’ Best Places to Work Awards, went the extra mile to meet the demands of Millennials. As a consequence, much of what they put in place became the norm in the modern workplace.

Last year’s winners excelled in their focus around the wellbeing of their staff, with yoga classes, discounted gym memberships, nutritious breakfasts, sabbatical options, Friday drinks and early finishes, staff parties and trips away.

But things move fast and today employers are gearing up for the era of Generation Z. Born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, demographers and researchers refer to these people as the Centennials

And very soon, they’ll account for half of this country’s workforce.

Generation Z – a short (but eventful) history

Centennials lived their childhoods through a period of social, economic and technological chaos. While the economy crashed and, with it, the idea of a job for life, the rise of social media opened their eyes to a world beyond mainstream corporate and political messages.

The result? Generation Z distrusts corporate behemoths and political smooth talkers. They put purpose before profits.

10 top tips for recruiting the Centennial

1. Have a clear brand purpose
Generation Z care more about your brand’s purpose than what you do or sell. It’s no coincidence that some of last year’s most memorable campaigns had social causes at their core. Put selling your brand’s big idea at the heart of your recruiting process.

2. Demonstrate diversity
Your typical Centennial’s social circle – both on and offline – is diverse and multicultural. They expect their workplace to be the same.

3. Team spirit
The same goes for building a sense of community and team spirit. Generation Z want to feel they’re part of something – not just another employee executing their job description.

4. Be exactly what you say you are
In a world of opaqueness, doublespeak and deniability, transparency is a rare and valuable quality. Be direct, open and honest with your Generation Z candidates.

5. Embrace their entrepreneurial side
Centennials are hard-wired to finding their own way in a chaotic world. This makes them entrepreneurial. Position your business to accommodate this and benefit from young people with initiative.

6. Ditch the hierarchy
Call it anarchic, but younger workers don’t like complex hierarchies. They’re willing to speak up but fear their voices will go unheard if they’re talking into mazy management structures.

7. Communicate constantly
Take point six a step further and put tools in place that allow for constant communication and feedback – all ways and always. Commenting on social-media threads is second nature for Generation Z. Apps like Yammer are great for this in the workplace.

8. Build resilience in the face of robots
One of Generation Z’s biggest fears is that their jobs will one day be taken over by technology. Commit to Centennials as individuals by helping them build their human skills.

9. Make things happen quickly
Being internet savvy, Centennials are accustomed to instant gratification. They’ll look for this at work, from how quickly you make an employment offer, how mobile-friendly your self-service HR apps are and how rapidly you can make – and act on – decisions.

10. Adapt the workplace
With all this in mind, is the traditional workplace set-up still relevant? Could hot desking, bring your own device (BYOD) or working remotely be more appropriate than the permanent allotted workstation and landline telephone extension number?


Melissa Smith is the Founder and CEO of the Industry Club, and The Industry School, who provide specialist recruitment, executive search and training for the creative communications industry. The Industry Club works in partnership with Campaign Best Places to Work. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on March 6th 2019.

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