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Five Ways Pharmaceutical Companies Can Recruit & Retain Gen Z

Making up approximately 25.9% of the U.S. population, Gen Z is entering the workforce with its unique skills and expectations. They are technologically savvy, creative and can constructively multitask. This next generation also values work differently than previous generations, so pharmaceutical companies need to rethink hiring practices and work environment. Understanding what Gen Z wants in the workplace is, in fact, the first step to successfully recruit and retain Gen Z.

What Gen Z Wants in the Workplace

Optimistic about the future, Gen Z is willing to work hard for the right pharmaceutical company. However, Gen Z’s perception of what a “good employer” is differs from that of their Millennial counterparts. So, while pharmaceutical companies may still be focused on offering employment perks that are favorable to Millennials, Gen Z’s needs and requirements in the workplace may be overlooked. Be sure to consider the following:

  1. Job Stability is Very Important
    According to some studies, Gen Z is mostly interested in job stability and finding “future-proof” jobs. [1] Therefore, unlike job-hopping Millennials, Gen Z candidates are likely to be loyal and open to career advancement within your organization, should it be the right fit.
  2. Job Growth & Business Challenges
    Equipped with an entrepreneurial spirit, Gen Z is looking to make an impact on the world. Coupled with their innate ability to multi-task, they require constant challenges in the workplace. So, be sure to keep Gen Z stimulated in the workplace and offer them positions that allow them to grow in leadership roles. Primarily, Gen Z is drawn to jobs where they can establish their independent voice.
  3. Evolved Learning and Development
    Gen Z views problem-solving and knowledge-sharing much differently than previous generations. They prefer a self-directed and independent approach to learning. [2] Due to this evolved approach to learning, pharmaceutical companies may want to consider microlearning. Microlearning meets the preferences of Gen Z by providing training in small learning units and short-term learning activities. [3]
  4. Opportunities for Work-Life Balance
    Gen Z is comprised of diligent, committed workers that are prepared to work long hours for the right pharmaceutical company. However, by seeing firsthand the effects of being overworked and burning out, Gen Z demands a workplace that maximizes work-life balance. Gen Z candidates are looking for jobs that offer flexible schedules, telecommuting and other opportunities for work-life balance.
  5. Human Interaction in the Workplace
    Despite being the first digitally native generation, Gen Z prefers human interaction in the workplace. Whether it’s working in small groups with co-workers on projects or forging close relationships with supervisors, Gen Z wants social systems with others at work. Ideally, Gen Z should be recruited for positions that credit teambuilding and intercommunication.

Start a Conversation

Recruiting Gen Z requires an understanding of Gen Z’s specific mindset and needs. Regional Personnel specializes in pharmaceutical recruiting. We match top talent to company culture with a personal and customized approach to every placement. Start a conversation by emailing us at [email protected].

[1] Stahl, Ashley. “Gen Z: What to Expect from the New Workforce.” Forbes. 26 Sep. 2018,

[2] Jenkins, Ryan. “How Generation Z Will Transform the Future Workplace.” Inc. 15 Jan. 2019,

[3] “Microlearning for Millennials and Generation Z” KnowledgeCity Learning Solutions. 3 Oct. 2018,


James F. Lynch PhD, MBA – Regional Personnel Services ©2019

About James F. Lynch

Dr. Lynch founded his first recruiting firm, Strategic Access Inc. (SAI), in 1998 with over 17 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry in business development, new product & market development, strategic alliances, operations & administration. In 2000, Dr. Lynch joined Reliant Pharmaceuticals as a founding member and Executive Director of Business Development, subsequently forming Commercial Operations as Vice President. Dr. Lynch returned to SAI in 2004 to assume the role of President, and in 2014 acquired Regional Personnel.