​Technology and digital innovation have enabled businesses, communities, and individuals to work in new ways. They have changed the way we shop, consume media and interact. As a result, demand for tech and digital talent in the UK has never been higher. With the global digital workplace expecting to grow from USD 22.7 billion in 2020 to USD 72.2 billion in 2026, demand for digital talent is extremely high.

Digital transformations are also increasingly important to driving business success requiring new digital talent to support these projects. Businesses who want to remain competitive and attract and retain top tech or digital talent must turn their attention to the generation just entering the workforce, Generation Z. Unlike their Gen-X and Millennial counterparts, Gen-Z are digital natives, they have grown up in the age of the smartphone and attracting and retaining these young, internet-savvy innovators will require employers to think outside the box.

What does the digital talent of the future want?

To become attractive to the next generation of digital talent employers must ask themselves what specifically sets Gen-Z apart in the employment market. What do they want from their careers and job roles?


According to a study by Deloitte, 56% of younger workers preferred a work schedule outside of the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-5. The same study found that nearly half of Gen-Z employees currently work remotely. Flexibility in when and where they work will be key for attracting and retaining young digital talent.


Gen-Z are defined by their open mindedness, connectivity, diversity and ethical outlook. Businesses looking to attract and engage young digital talent should emphases their purpose and values as part of their employer brand. As candidates and consumers Gen-Z are drawn to ethical, sustainable brands but authenticity is key, they’ll disengage if they don’t see follow up and sincerity.

Opportunity for growth

Gen-Z are independent and highly invested in their personal development. Three times more likely to change jobs than Millennials, nearly 43% also have second jobs or entrepreneurial side-hustles. Gen-Z want greater opportunities to grow, develop their skills and learn. If their employers don’t provide them, they will move on.

7 innovative ways to attract and retain next-generation digital talent

With a greater understanding of what next-generation digital talent is looking for from their employers, you can create talent attraction and retention strategies targeted specifically to young digital talent.

Below are seven innovative ways to attract talent and retain young digital rising stars:

Provide internship, mentorship and training programmes

Opportunities for professional development are extremely attractive to digital candidates. Providing paid internship schemes and mentoring programmes means you can attract young talent from a wide range of backgrounds early and ensure they develop the skills and experiences you need to drive business success.

Develop an appealing digital workplace culture

Establish your reputation as a great place for digital talent to work and progress their careers, as well as demonstrate a strong digital work culture that gives talent the chance to work with cutting-edge technology. This may require a commitment to ongoing digital transformation.

Embrace digital transformation and technology

Young digital talent are digital natives and they have high expectations when it comes to innovative tech in the workplace. By embracing tech such as automation, video conferencing and other digital workplace tech, you show that you are invested in innovation and will increase engagement from your creative teams as a result.

Think about using freelance and contracting staff to tap new skills

As young digital talent embraces flexibility, many are turning to freelance and contract roles as an alternative or to supplement to the 9-5 working life. There are around 2 million freelancers in the UK and digital marketers and other digital roles are the most in-demand. Tapping into flexible talent can be a cost-effective way to access digital skills.

Demonstrate purpose in your employer brand

Demonstrate clear purpose and values in your employer brand to appeal to younger digital talent. This doesn’t just mean a strong commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues but also being able to convey why what your employees are doing has value and how the work they do can have a real impact on business performance.

Emphasise Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in your recruitment processes

Gen-Z care about diversity. 77% say that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there. To attract and retain young digital talent businesses should emphasise ED&I as part of their recruitment processes and make concrete steps to address diversity in their organisation.

Streamline your talent acquisition

To appeal to young digital candidates, switch up your talent acquisition strategy. Look in new places to connect with top talent, such as social media, and embrace new ways to stay in contact and communicate. Ensure your job descriptions are concise and clear and that your careers website is accessible and usable from multiple devices.

How can DMCG help you attract next-gen digital talent?

If you are looking for advice on how to create a recruitment strategy that attracts the best next-generation digital talent available, we can help. We provide a bespoke, high-quality recruitment service and our expert consultants are knowledgeable of the market, with many coming from creative agencies themselves. Get in touch below to find out more.

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