What the NHS Needs to Know About Reaching and Attracting Gen Z

Just R's take on one of the biggest threats facing the NHS, its failure to reach and attract digital native Gen Z.


GenZ are not just a new generation, they are a completely different league of people. Growing up in a digital world where ‘real’ life is a distraction from their digital lives, this sets them apart from native analogues who have seen technology develop from something which was an addition and a distraction from reality. Evolving technology is transforming them; they work, think and play from an entirely different perspective.

Not only do Gen Z accept technology; they expect it.

Project Manager advert shoot

They are tech-savvy, hardworking, and mustn’t be underestimated in what they can achieve. GenZ / digital natives are fluent in skills which were simply unknown to previous generations. Technology isn’t only second nature, their lives are primarily digital. Therefore, roles should be created and adapted accordingly, based on their skills and knowledge. We live in a digital age where healthcare opportunities are increasing, and now is the time to ensure we are reaching the evolving cohort of digital natives.

This year, the native digital population outnumbered that of native analogues, and by 2025 27% of the entire workforce will be native digitals. For the sake of the NHS we must act now.

Organisations must be open to change, with different ways of doing things in order to adapt with the generations. It isn’t all about technology though. Despite their assumptions around workplace modern technology, Gen Zers still need the same as previous generations:  feedback, recognition from managers, work they enjoy, career development and comprehensive benefits.

8 expectations GenZ have of the world of work:

  • First of all, an emotional connection needs to be established at the start of the recruitment journey. More emphasis must be placed on the attraction and selection process being a positive one!

  • Autonomy and a sense ownership 

  • Purpose and the ability to make a difference

  • Flexibility, there is a strong emphasis on work life balance

  • Praise and recognition, Gen Zers want to know they are doing a good job 

  • Career pathways and progression, ideally with multiple options

  • To be paid fairly, they want to be paid what they are worth with the opportunity to earn more

  • The ability to use their skills

  • To be spoken to in language they understand

It’s clear that if you don’t have digital natives in your team, you won’t know how to effectively connect with them. At Just R, 80% of our team are digital natives. We understand how to communicate and engage with them because many of us are them.

You need to find them where they are and treat them as they expect to be treated. From one of our recent surveys, 53.3% of Gen Z said they use social media for job search and 93% said they felt frustrated if employers took longer than 2 weeks to respond to them about a vacancy. This is no surprise, as for digital natives in society today the technological advancements have meant that they are accustomed to information being available immediately at their fingertips, so the frustration of unmatched instant gratification is obvious.

In order to fully benefit from this adaptable, tech savvy generation who want to make their mark on the world, employers must be open to change; they must think differently about roles and job design in order to unleash the true potential of Gen Z.

The healthcare industry as a whole is at risk by not speaking to this group in a language which they understand. Native digital employees are necessary in order to keep workforces and companies up to date and relevant. Organisations are not making full use of this evolving cohort. If you’re still using native analogue tactics to recruit, it’s time to shift. 

We're the experts you need in attracting GenZ
Get in touch