HomeThe GenZ Lab5 strategies to recruit Nordic GenZ

5 strategies to recruit Nordic GenZ

  • Thursday, June 13, 2024
  • JobTeaser

Understanding Gen Z is crucial as they step further into the workforce. We unpack 5 actionable recruitment strategies that really resonate with Nordic Gen Z.

Explore the defining trends and primary concerns of Nordic Gen Z in our comprehensive series. Discover what drives, challenges, and shapes the youth across Scandinavia and beyond. Stay tuned for in-depth insights and fresh perspectives. 


Welcome to the third and final edition of our three-part series where we delve into the world of Nordic Generation Z. In our initial articles, we explored the defining traits and unique perspectives of young professionals in the Nordics, unraveling how their values of "Lagom," "Hygge," and "Lykke" deeply influence their career aspirations and life choices. We uncovered how these cultural concepts manifest in their pursuit of balanced, fulfilling, and happy lives, both personally and professionally.

In our opening article, we zoomed in on how Nordic Gen Z thinks, especially their strong push for environmental and social change. This generation's push for sustainability is dramatically reshaping their interaction with the corporate world. They're drawn to companies that aren't just talking the talk but walking the walk on environmental and social issues, placing corporate social responsibility high on their list of job must-haves. We also tackled the tough topics of mental and financial stress, uncovering how today’s economic and digital challenges impact their wellbeing and financial security.

The second article built on this foundation, examining how Nordic Gen Z integrates these values into their professional and personal lives. We gave an insight into their pragmatic approach to navigating their careers amid economic and social uncertainties and discussed their strong inclination towards stability and security, which starkly contrasts with the riskier aspirations of previous generations.

Today, we build on these insights by offering practical tips for employers on how to attract, engage, and retain this forward-thinking generation. As Nordic Gen Z steps more into the workforce, knowing how to align with their values is key to building workspaces that thrive on mutual benefits. Let’s dive in and unpack strategies that not only resonate with the dreams and ideals of Nordic Gen Z but also enrich your organizational culture.

5 strategies to recruit Nordic Gen Z

Building on the insights from our second article, let's take a look at some practical ways to integrate the three Nordic concepts of "Lagom," "Hygge," and "Lykke" into your HR strategy and  company culture to capture the vibrant energy of Gen Z candidates.

If your current workplace doesn’t yet reflect these qualities, focus on gradually integrating them into your HR design rather than overstating them in recruitment materials. 

Authenticity is crucial, especially for engaging Gen Z.

1. Embrace "Lagom" in job and career design

In the Nordics, 77% of Gen Z consider their employment as crucial. 

Here’s how you can adopt the principle of “Lagom” to appeal to Nordic Gen Z’s preference for security, sustainability and stability. 

1.1 Establish clear and realistic job expectations

The first step in effective recruitment is designing clear and attractive job roles that resonate with Gen Z.

  • Ensure each job description clearly outlines duties and expectations to prevent role overload and maintain a healthy balance between challenge and skill. 
  • Clearly state the required skills (both hard and soft skills) and the level of proficiency. Discuss how skills can be developed.
  • Set achievable goals that encourage steady productivity without leading to burnout, fostering a sense of accomplishment while maintaining work-life balance. 

To read on our blog: In 2030, which soft skills will really make the difference? 

1.2 Clearly highlight the potential for long-term career growth

Nordic Gen Z are focusing on sectors like technology, healthcare, and engineering, which are seen as stable and growing fields. Even if your company is not operational in one of these sectors you can attract Gen Z by explaining the potential for long-term career growth within your company. 

As a second step, you should offer clear pathways for professional development that allow young professionals to foresee how they can grow within the organization, reinforcing the stability and long-term security that they value and need. 

Companies like IKEA offer good examples with their strong focus on long-term career growth and stability within a global framework.

If you currently do not have a clear view on sustainable career planning allocate resources and time into this so that you stay competitive as it is part of Gen Z’s top of the list when looking for an employer. 

1.3 Highlight employee benefits and salary 

Third step. Think about salary and employee benefits. Gen Z pays particular attention to offers that meet or exceed market rates. So, how can you persuade young people to accept one offer over another? Several elements can be part of the negotiation process, such as: 

Gen Z's expectations regarding non-financial benefits: they may value benefits other than financial compensation, such as professional development, learning opportunities, work-life balance, etc. Tailor your approach and propose incentives that align with their needs.

Transparent communication: using the term "salary based on profile," which implies payment is subjective is a big turn-off. Be transparent, define and mention the salary that can be expected

💡 During the recruitment process clearly explain the company's salary policies and the reasons supporting the initial compensation offer. This helps build trust, and candidates will better understand the boundaries and negotiation possibilities.

Download our checklist to create captivating job listings

2. Apply Hygge for workplace atmosphere

2.1 Create a workplace that embodies Hygge 

Create a workplace that embodies 'Hygge' by ensuring it’s not only functional but also warmly inviting:

Integrate cozy, welcoming spaces in your office design that encourage relaxation and informal collaboration. Consider adding elements such as ergonomic furniture, quiet spaces for relaxation, and areas designed for social interaction to encourage a feeling of well-being. 

💡 Showcase your office design during recruitment starting with a career page in line with your design (colors, style,..) and ending with shortlisted candidates feeling the “real office vibe” during interviews. Nothing worse for a young candidate than to be welcomed in an impersonal room somewhere on the lower floor or in a corner of the building. And yes they will talk about that online on sites like Glassdoor

For 62% of young people who had a negative recruitment experience, their perception of the company worsened. 

2.2 Incorporate leadership in the recruitment process

In the Nordics, people have a fundamental belief in an egalitarian society which means they support a participative management style. This leadership style suits Gen Z values so foster a culture where support and teamwork are at the forefront, making them feel valued and part of a community. Ensure that your leadership team is trained on the importance of a supportive management style that prioritizes employee well-being and job satisfaction. 

💡 During recruitment, this leadership style is all the more important. Demonstrating a supportive management approach from the initial stages of the recruitment process can significantly influence a candidate's perception of your company. 

Here are some practical tips to make this evident during recruitment:

  1. Involve senior leaders in the recruitment process, such as having them participate in interviews or interact with candidates during recruitment events. This showcases the accessibility of your leadership and their commitment to team dynamics.
  2. Use materials and communications during recruitment that highlight messages from current leaders about the company’s culture and their personal commitment to supporting team members.
  3. From job descriptions to interviews, ensure communication is transparent about the role, the support system, and growth opportunities within the company. This helps set realistic expectations and demonstrates organizational honesty.
  4. Provide opportunities for candidates to ask questions and give feedback during the recruitment process. This can be facilitated through Q&A sessions, surveys, or informal discussions, reinforcing a culture of open communication.

2.3 Support Work-Life Balance

A sustainable career path does not come at the cost of personal life. As an employer, think about how you can offer flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, flexible hours, and the possibility for a 4 day workweek to accommodate personal life alongside professional commitments.

To read on our blog: What we have learned on the creation of an ambitious work-from-home strategy

Also advocate for a culture where work-life boundaries are respected, such as policies against after-hours emails and promoting regular breaks during work hours as a high number of Gen Z in the Nordics have difficulty disconnecting from work during holidays or after hours. 

💡 To improve your recruitment and HR strategy regularly gather and act on feedback from your Gen Z workforce and address any concerns that may affect their comfort and satisfaction at work. 

3. Invest in Lykke for career fulfillment

‘Lykke’ (pronounced like or officially lu-Kah) is the word for joy and happiness. As Nordic Gen Z are more and more under the influence of global but also local events that negatively influence their happiness, companies should step up and let 'Lykke' guide the creation of roles that are not just jobs but paths to personal and professional fulfillment. Here are some ideas: 

  • Job satisfaction: Design roles that provide clear accomplishments and recognition, contributing to an individual’s happiness.
  • Corporate culture of happiness: Develop policies that support job satisfaction, such as recognition programs and feedback loops that affirm positive contributions.
  • Purpose-driven roles: Highlight the creation of purpose-driven roles that align with Gen Z’s values. 
  • Meaningful work: Clearly communicate how the roles contribute to broader societal and environmental goals, appealing to Gen Z’s desire to impact the world positively.
  • Alignment with personal values: Ensure that the roles resonate with personal beliefs and passions, which is crucial for long-term engagement and satisfaction.

Nature-inspired initiatives, such as wellness programs, outdoor activities, and community gardening projects, can further enrich the workplace experience and cultivate a culture of health, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. By incorporating these initiatives into workplace policies, you can create environments that nourish the mind, body, and spirit, fostering a sense of purpose, belonging, and fulfillment.

💡 During recruitment highlight employee development and support Programs:

  1. Discuss mentorship or buddy programs that help new hires integrate and feel supported as they navigate their new roles. 
  2. Highlight training programs dedicated to not only professional development but also personal growth, such as leadership training, wellness programs, and stress management workshops.

4. Modernize the recruitment process

To attract Nordic Gen Z talent, it’s crucial to adapt and innovate your recruitment strategies. You should blend technology, transparency, and a keen understanding of Gen Z preferences to streamline your hiring process. 

4.1 Leverage technology and social media

Gen Z is platform savvy. You should utilize platforms like Snapchat, and Instagram, which are popular among Gen Z. For example, companies like Spotify often use Instagram Stories to give a behind-the-scenes look at their work environment, engaging potential candidates in a space they frequent. 

Post interactive and visually appealing job ads. Incorporate videos and employee testimonials that reflect the company's culture and the role's impact. This approach not only increases visibility but also engagement.

Read more on our blog: What KPIs to Use to Monitor the Effectiveness of Your Career Website?

💡 During the recruitment process, be clear about what the role entails and the growth opportunities it offers. For instance, companies like Klarna have been transparent about their dynamic work environment and rapid growth opportunities, attracting those who thrive in fast-paced settings.

4.2 Keep candidates informed 

In a study performed by JobTeaser 74% of gen Z prefer a streamlined recruitment process, with 72% paying attention to the details of these steps. 

Keep candidates informed throughout the recruitment process. Detail the recruitment steps and the average time before receiving an offer or a negative response. Always send updates about their application status or next steps and never ghost a candidate. Provide feedback to all candidates, especially those not selected, to leave a positive impression. 

Again, Gen Z will talk about their negative experiences online and to their direct circle eventually impacting your candidate pool and employer brand. 

Read on our blog: 3 simple steps to improve your candidate experience for Gen Z

Read on our blog: How to maintain a positive employer brand after rejecting a candidate

4.3 Streamline applications

Make the application process as straightforward as possible. For instance, reduce the number of steps to apply, and ensure your career site is mobile-friendly since Gen Z candidates are likely to use their phones for job searching. 

A mobile-friendly site should:

  • load quickly
  • display content appropriately on smaller screens
  • provide an easy-to-use interface for submitting applications.

To minimize the number of steps required to submit an application consider, instead of a multi-page form, a single-page submission that captures all necessary information succinctly. 

4.4 Give quick responses with AI

Use automation tools for immediate acknowledgment of applications. Companies like Ericsson have leveraged AI in their recruitment processes to ensure quick and efficient candidate screening and communication.

Instant communication should reassure candidates that their materials have been received and provide an estimated timeline for feedback, keeping them engaged and informed.

5. Promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

In a recent survey by Deloitte, 78% of GenZ respondents believe businesses have a responsibility to address urgent societal issues such as mental health issues, climate change, income inequality, and diversity and inclusion. However, only more than half are unsatisfied with companies' commitment towards these causes. 

Another global study shows that 96% of zoomers find that businesses should be involved in solving social problems, with 60% arguing they should be extremely or very involved. Gen Z clearly appreciates the power of business to achieve social good. 

In the Nordics, only ⅕  of Gen Z are satisfied with their organizations societal impact

This highlights the importance of supporting social causes as a way to attract top Gen Z talent. Young people expect their workplaces to advance not just corporate but also societal goals. Furthermore, more than half of young people in the Nordics expect to be involved and be given the opportunity to actively contribute as expressed in our study on Gen Z’s relationship to work. The effectiveness of a company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) program will significantly enhance their job satisfaction and influence Generation Z's decision to join a company.

How to level up your CSR efforts

  1. Publicize sustainability efforts: Clearly communicate your company’s environmental policies and initiatives. For instance, if your company has committed to reducing carbon emissions, detail the steps and progress in regular updates. Use platforms like your company blog, social media, or sustainability reports to highlight these efforts.
  2. Showcase your real-world impact: Share specific examples of how your company's sustainability efforts have made a real impact. For example, if you've switched to renewable energy sources, discuss the changes and the resulting environmental benefits. Highlighting partnerships with environmental organizations or certifications like ISO 14001 can also underline your commitment.
  3. Support employee-led Initiatives: Encourage and support initiatives led by employees, such as recycling drives or eco-sustainability committees. Companies like Ørsted in Denmark have gained recognition for transforming their business model from fossil fuels to renewable energy, largely driven by both corporate leadership and employee advocacy.
  4. Organize CSR activities: Involve Gen Z employees in planning and participating in CSR activities. This could range from volunteer days to community clean-up projects or charity fundraisers. For example, organizations like Swedbank have integrated social responsibility into their core operations, engaging employees in community programs that support education and financial literacy.
  5. Match interests with actions: Align CSR activities with the values and interests of Gen Z employees. If environmental conservation is a significant concern, organize events like tree planting or partnerships with local conservation groups.
  6. Show transparency and results: Keep the communication transparent regarding the outcomes of these CSR activities. Showcasing tangible results of their efforts not only boosts Gen Z’s morale but also their loyalty to the company, as they feel part of a larger purpose.

Read more on our blog: 5 Social Causes for GenZ in 2024 

To successfully attract and retain Nordic Gen Z talent, it’s crucial  to align your recruitment strategies with the values and expectations of this environmentally conscious and digitally savvy generation. 

A quick recap of the key strategies

  1. Embrace nordic values: Incorporate "Lagom," "Hygge," and "Lykke" into job designs to offer a balanced, supportive, and fulfilling workplace that appeals to Gen Z's preferences for stability and meaningful work.
  2. Modernize the recruitment process: Leverage technology and social media platforms popular among Gen Z, ensure transparent communication throughout the recruitment process, and simplify application procedures to enhance candidate experience.
  3. Promote Corporate Social Responsibility: Highlight your company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement. These efforts resonate deeply with Gen Z, who prefer employers that reflect their values of social and environmental responsibility.

Take a moment to evaluate your current recruitment practices and consider how the suggested strategies could be integrated into your workplace. Remember, refining your approach is a gradual process, and even minor adjustments can significantly enhance your ability to attract, engage, and retain Gen Z talent. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of these changes and fine-tune your strategies accordingly.

Many Nordic companies are excelling in this area and can provide valuable inspiration. Alternatively, you can save time and rely on our expertise at JobTeaser. We offer detailed strategies and comprehensive guides to refine your recruitment methods effectively.