How to Attract and Engage Generation Z to Consider NHS Careers

Who are Gen Z? Generation Z refers to the generation following the millennials - those born between 1997-2012. This generation differs from past generations as they were the first to be raised with the internet and social media as a massive part of their lives. They are the newest generation to enter the workforce with the older of the generation being 25 years old.


Gen Z wants a career rather than a job, with clear career progression in an organisation with a growth mindset. The stigma that the NHS is a ‘job for life’ does not appeal to the young population anymore. Here are some of the ways you can engage and attract young people into your organisation.

Recruit to entry level positions

This is a great way to get fantastic people through the door with the potential to grow them and work them upwards. This is a vital solution in filling staffing shortages and building a stronger and more reliable workforce. Read how recruiting to entry-level roles could save the future of the NHS here.

Values based recruitment

Value character and potential rather than age and experience. You could be missing out on star candidates by only hiring people that tick every box.

Simplify the recruitment process 

There are various touch points in the recruitment process, and when it comes to lengthy applications asking for too much information or non mobile friendly methods, this is when young people tend to drop off. It’s not what they are used to and you could be missing out on quality candidates with traditional recruitment methods.


Gen Z look for more than just a good salary. In general, they measure their alignment with a company if they identify with the same strong values they hold with great importance. A strong culture and brand is vital reflecting your organisations values and culture, young people want to have a sense of purpose in their career and the branding should reflect this.

Invest in your staff

Make your organisation stand out from the crowd and answer the question- why would someone want to work for you? In such a competitive sector, there needs to be solid and unique benefits in place. Part of what we do at Just R is helping NHS organisations establish an employer brand with key USPs, benefits and unique factors that will attract potential candidates such as locality, on-site facilities and flexibility. Since covid, the world has changed and the opportunities to be more flexible are extremely common. The result – when a group of Gen Z was asked about their priorities when looking for an employer, 50% of the respondents cited flexibility as a key priority.

Don’t wait for Gen Z to come to you, go to them!

Young people are attracted to and will engage with job vacancies that come to them and grab their attention. We need to work hard in getting jobs in front of young people rather than waiting for the right candidate to come across a job advert. Young people will apply to positions with strong employer branding and a simplified, streamlined application process. Utilising social media to showcase your employer brand and benefits of working at your trust will attract a young workforce.

Digital Presence

Unlike traditional routes of finding a job such as newspapers or word of mouth or more recent ways such as online job boards, for Gen Z, social media is vital to young people’s search for a role. They not only look for jobs on social media, but have a lot more respect for companies with a strong, engaging social media presence. Here at Just R, we run engaging digital campaigns across Facebook and Instagram, engaging and attracting both active and passive candidates.

Promote growth

Growth and training opportunities will boost retention and create a strong and stable workforce. With nursing shortages having a direct impact on patient care and safety, we need a sustainable workforce solution to these unfillable gaps. 

One recent survey of 1,000 Gen Z’ers found that 36% are worried about getting stuck in a position that doesn’t offer chances for growth.

Just R specialise in working with NHS Trusts to attract and retain brilliant people. We are particularly passionate about recruiting for entry level roles as we believe this is the most sustainable way to fix the massive gap in healthcare. NHS organisations need to begin refreshing their outdated recruitment process in time with the wants and needs of Gen Z.

We would love to talk more with you about how to attract young people into the NHS
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