The world of work is changing.

Generation Z (those born between 1996 and 2012) is entering the workforce, and there’s a looming labour shortage. And that’s before we even start talking about the pandemic and how it has upended our working lives.

Expectations are changing, too. Candidates no longer want just a job and a salary. They want work-life balance and a career that aligns with their values.

So what does this mean for recruiters?

When faced with workplace transformation, recruiters have two options. First, react to changes as they happen. Or second, lead the way in creating the workplace of the future.

The benefits of the second option? You maintain the edge over your competitors in both attracting and retaining talent.

Let’s look at why the workplace is changing and what recruiters can do to stay ahead of the curve.

Why the workplace is changing

The ongoing effects of the pandemic

We can’t talk about workplace transformation without talking about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes that would have taken a couple of decades — like the adoption of remote working — have come about in a couple of years.

Remote working

Many companies now have the technology they need to run a remote workforce. And there are obvious benefits like reduced office costs.

But leaders are still trying to work out what this means for employee collaboration, creativity, and career progression. And what their new working culture will look like going forward.

Will all employees have the option to work remotely? Is a hybrid model the best solution? Or is it important to have certain employees in the office full time, for example, graduate trainees?

The pandemic threw established workplace norms up in the air — and businesses and their employees now need to decide where they want things to land.

Changing employee priorities

It’s the same on a personal level. Living through the upheaval of a pandemic led many employees to question their lives and careers.

Many people have chosen to switch jobs in what has become known as The Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle (depending on who you talk to).

Others have seen the benefit of remote and flexible working. They’ve experienced a good work-life balance and don’t want to give it up.

An ageing population

Another reason for workplace transformation?

The UK population is ageing. Vast numbers of workers are reaching retirement age. Many also chose to take early retirement during the pandemic.

As the labour force shrinks, employers face greater competition for talent. candidates can be choosier about the roles they take.

This means businesses have to adapt to meet candidate expectations regarding benefits, salary, company culture, and recruitment.

Generation Z

As baby boomers enter retirement, a new generation enters the workforce.

Generation Z have their own set of expectations and priorities in the world of work. So recruiters need to adapt how they market opportunities to these young workers.  


Generation Z are digital natives. They’re keen to work for organisations that embrace technology — as part of day-to-day operations and the recruitment process.

Mental health

Generation Z has also come of age when the conversation around mental health is more open and honest than ever before.

They are more likely to seek help for mental health problems than any other generation. And they expect workplaces to make the mental health of their employees a priority too.


Younger workers care deeply about social, environmental and ethical issues. They want to be part of something bigger and more meaningful than themselves.

Organisations with solid diversity, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility credentials are particularly appealing to this cohort of workers.

The employee onboarding process

The best onboarding processes support your new hire from the moment you offer them the role to the point that they are fully embedded into your team. This will usually take a minimum of three months and may take a year or more.

Here are the typical stages of employee onboarding programmes and what you are trying to achieve at each stage.

1. Making the offer

Making (and receiving) a job offer should be an exciting moment. At this stage in the onboarding process, you aim to maximise your new hire’s excitement and show them how pleased you are that they’re about to join your team.

2. Waiting for their start date

The period between your candidate accepting your offer and their first day is essential for relationship building. Provide them with enough information to make them feel confident and emphasise that you’re not expecting them to review anything unless they want to.

3. The first day

The first day at a new job can make anyone feel nervous. Your onboarding process is essential to ensure that your new hire feels comfortable and confident and knows what’s expected of them. 

Try scheduling bookend meetings at the start and end of their first day to set the stage and then check how they got on. After that, make sure new hires know how to set up their computer and use their team’s tech and set up a team meeting to introduce everyone they’ll be working with directly. 

4. The first week or month

Creating a structure during the first few weeks and months helps your new hire develop the practices and habits that will enable them to excel. Your onboarding process needs to support them by clearly laying out the structure they need. 

Giving new employees an onboarding checklist to work through during their first month is a great way to familiarise them with their new role. This can include research tasks about the company and clients, tours of different parts of the office, and meetings with different people. 

Or turn that checklist into a scavenger hunt! This is a great way to go if you have a handful of people starting at the same time to help new employees bond and work as a team. 

5. Ongoing support

One of the key aims of the onboarding process is to provide your new hire with the training they need to achieve their potential. The main bulk of your onboarding process should be delivering the right kind of training at the right time.

While your new employees already have the skills for the job — that’s why you hired them after all! — they’ll need to learn how your organisation does things. As they take on more responsibility and work on a wider variety of tasks, make sure to train them on the appropriate processes. You can keep tabs on their knowledge in each area by scheduling regular check-in meetings (monthly is a good time-scale to start) to make sure they don’t feel like they’ve been thrown in the deep end in any particular area. 

6. Ending the process

It’s important for you and your new hire to be able to recognise when they’re fully integrated into the team. Your employee onboarding process needs to have a clear endpoint, preferably one that gives your employee a sense of genuine achievement.

How you can be a part of this change as a recruiter

Jobs aren’t just jobs anymore, so recruiters need to embrace workplace transformation and adapt to changing employee expectations. Here’s how.

Embrace recruitment technology

When there’s such intense talent competition, recruiters need to bring their A-game. That means making the recruitment process as quick, engaging and candidate-focused as possible.

As many companies are already finding, recruitment technology is essential for success.

The right recruitment software makes it easy for candidates to make an application and track its progress.

Recruiters also benefit from time and cost-saving tools. They can automate candidate screening and candidate communications. They can leave candidates and hiring managers to schedule interviews without acting as the middleman.

The end result? Improved time-to-hire stats and a better all-around experience for candidates.

Streamline the recruitment process with crooton. Our experienced recruitment experts use the latest recruitment tech tools to secure the best talent for your organisation. Get in touch to find out more.

Create a diverse and inclusive workplace

Everyone has the right to feel respected and included in the work environment. Diversity is also good for business and your bottom line.

So how can you improve your company’s DEI performance?

The best DEI initiatives include the entire company at all levels. But the recruitment team has a big part to play.

Start with inclusive job adverts that encourage diverse talent to apply. Screening and interview processes are prone to bias — so use education or technology to eliminate it.

But it doesn’t stop there.

You can’t just recruit with diversity in mind. You have to redesign your workplace culture so that diverse talent can thrive within it.

This is the inclusion part of DEI. And it’s the part that will help you retain diverse talent going forward while building an employer brand that diverse candidates can truly believe in.

Offer flexible working

The current cost of living crisis makes salary a critical consideration for candidates. They want to be paid fairly for the work they do. But salary isn’t the only consideration.

Many employees are making their work-life balance a priority and want to work for employers who support that.

While some companies are hesitant to give employees the freedom to work flexibly, research shows that flexible working can have a positive impact.

Highlight a flexible working offer in your job ads to show candidates that you care about their work-life balance. But bear in mind that some employees actually prefer working in an office — so do your best to accommodate all working styles.

Share an authentic employer brand

Candidates — particularly Gen Z candidates — care about transparency and authenticity. So give them a behind-the-scenes view of what it is like to work for your company.

Try showing off videos of your office space or interviews with current employees working in different roles.

Be open about salary range and benefits packages, and any mental health or well-being support you provide.

And be open about diversity and sustainability performance, detailing where you currently stand and what you want to achieve.

An authentic employer brand will make candidates excited to be part of your company culture.

Want help navigating workplace transformation?

crooton provides recruitment solutions to employers in the UK and around the world.

For a fixed-price fee, our clients benefit from our recruitment know-how, our tech tools, and our ability to find exactly the right talent for your needs.

Want to know more? Get in touch today and talk to a member of our friendly, dedicated team.