How to Redesign the Job Description to Attract Gen Z Grads

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As recent Gen Z graduates work through the post-grad job search, employers are planning to hire almost 30% more recent grads than in 2021, according to NACE, and are looking to grow talent for the long term. Gen Z, however, is the most likely generation to switch jobs and also most likely to receive the most considerable pay increase when changing jobs, according to the Bank of America Institute.

The solution to hiring and retaining the newest working generation starts with the hiring process, with a company’s first impression in the employment market coming from its job description. So what can companies do to make their job descriptions more impactful to Gen Z and drive applications from employees who want to stay for the long haul? Here are three ways that employers can revamp their job descriptions to fit the new workplace trends that attract recent grads and improve overall company retention rates. 

1. Improve Inclusivity

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics proves that Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation. These workers are looking for companies that align with their values and beliefs. Managers in HR can improve their inclusive hiring strategy by crafting job descriptions with inclusive language to invite candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

Lever’s State of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) report highlights that 41% of employers say that adjusting hiring and onboarding efforts to align with internal goals are the most significant areas of improvement when it comes to DEI. This can start in the hiring process by redesigning the job description to improve inclusivity efforts through language. The Born This Way Foundation found that 77% of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ employees are more likely to apply for roles with the word ‘kindness’ featured in the job description. Since SHRM suggests that losing an employee can cost companies up to $45,000, businesses can benefit from inclusive strategies that ensure applicants will stay.

Providing candidates an inside look into internal DEI initiatives at the start of the hiring process can help show the dedication and commitment to belonging within the company before candidates even decide to apply. Employees who are satisfied with their employers’ efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture are more likely to stay with the company for more than five years, according to Deloitte, continuing to demonstrate how retention efforts must start at the beginning of the hiring process. 

Lever data also shows that in 2021 44% of employers made actionable changes to hiring policies in an attempt to attract future employees. While companies continue to address DEI strategies, integrating transparency around these efforts and adjusting hiring processes to reflect the company’s core values is key to attracting Gen Z employees and retaining them. 

2. Emphasize Purpose 

An intense job description that attracts Gen Z grads will connect the needed responsibilities to the organization’s purpose and values to make the candidate feel fulfilled in their role. Gen Z is a passionate generation looking for jobs that will fulfill and excite them, with data from Deloitte showing that 37% of Gen Z workers have rejected a position based on their ethics.

When it comes to how this generation chooses an organization to work for, Lever’s Great Resignation Report highlights that 42% of Gen Z would instead work for a company that gives them a sense of purpose than one that pays more – compared to Millennials (49%) and Gen Xs (56%), who would instead work for a company that pays more. 

To entice Gen Z to apply for open roles, hiring teams should consider updating job descriptions to reflect the work the company does for the greater good and the purpose that the role can instill into the candidate.

While most workers are looking for higher salaries and improved health insurance, Gen Z is uniquely interested in a job that will give them a sense of purpose. The newest generation in the workforce wants to participate in work that matters to them with people that align with values similar to theirs.

3. Provide Clear Career Pathways 

Recruiters can create a successful hiring and retention strategy when they understand what Gen Z employees are looking for in their roles. Still, HR managers should also consider young employees’ long-term goals when rethinking their job descriptions.

Gen Z candidates are jumping into the workforce for the first time and looking for organizations willing to train and teach them along the way. Providing upskilling or reskilling opportunities can motivate nearly one in five Gen Zs to stay at their company long-term, so job descriptions should clearly state the company’s opportunities for career progression and skills training to attract these workers to apply.

Additionally, nearly one-third (67%) of employees would leave their organizations altogether if they did not allow internal mobility. To improve retention and ensure these candidates are the right fit for the role, redesigning job descriptions should include the available learning and development programs that can help further these employees’ skill sets and ability to move up or move laterally within the company.

Since increasing retention rates significantly impact companies’ bottom lines, employers must highlight these opportunities in the job description to attract young workers looking to grow within the company. 

As Gen Z workers become a more extensive section of the workforce, companies should continue to adjust hiring processes to reflect the desires of these young workers. By improving overall inclusivity, emphasizing job purpose, and providing an opportunity for career progression, hiring managers can successfully attract Gen Z workers looking to learn and succeed in their first post-grad job role. 


Caitlyn Metteer is the Director of Recruiting at Lever.


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By Caitlyn Metteer