If you’re struggling to hire the talent you’re hoping for, without tanking your budget, early talent acquisition may be the answer.

Instead of asking for 5+ years of experience, you’ll focus on young, up-and-coming talent that you can train and develop into your next loyal A-players.

But — Recruiting early talent can be daunting. You may feel there’s a huge generational gap between you and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) — and you might struggle to bring key decision-makers on board. Below, we’ll show you why early talent acquisition can be such a big booster for your company culture, your efficiency, and your bottom line, and how to do it well.

Meet with our hiring coaches today to see how AI can slash 90% of the time from your hiring process. Start filling jobs faster right away, with 10x higher quality people.

What Is Early Talent Acquisition?

Early talent acquisition means recruiting talented individuals who are in the first 5 years of their career. It includes current college students who are about to graduate, high-flyers who are excelling in entry-level roles, and learners upskilling through bootcamps and certificate programs.

Benefits of Early Talent Acquisition

Fill your company with homegrown talent, and you’ll pack your teams with voracious devotees eager to nail their KPIs. Plus, an early talent acquisition strategy gives you skilled, hard-working digital natives who’ll be fully at home with the latest innovations.

Build Competitive Advantage

If you don’t snap up the brightest young minds, someone else will. Win out over your competitors by focusing your recruitment on up-and-coming talent. Your dynamic young workforce will be eager to tackle challenges, embrace change, and build their skills.

Better still, a focus on early talent can form part of your employer brand — encouraging other Gen Z members to apply to your company too.

Create Internal Passive Candidates

As many as 70% of employees are “passive” candidates. These workers are open to a new role, but they aren’t actively searching. An early talent acquisition strategy lets you cultivate your own passive candidate pool.

You’ll fill positions with people who are still learning and growing, and who can step up into future openings at your company with strong modern skill sets (and with deep experience in the nuances of your workplace). 35% of younger workers are primarily looking for opportunities for career growth within a company when considering a job opportunity.

Hire Today’s Skills

The modern business world is moving faster than ever before. With new social media platforms springing up constantly, and new technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) disrupting a wide range of industries, Gen Z is perfectly positioned with the skills you need to remain competitive.

They’re quick to adapt and keen to upskill, too: 31% of younger workers say the “opportunity to learn and develop new skills” is the most important factor for them when considering taking a new job.

Strengthen Company Culture

Gen Z is politically and socially active, with 44% concerned about climate change and 43% about racism. 59% of Gen Z believe that online forms should include options other than “man” and “woman” for gender — more than any other generation.

If you’re looking to build a company culture that prioritizes sustainability and diversity, then bringing in Gen Z talent can help immensely.

Add a Strong Work Ethic

Some employers worry that younger, less experienced workers may lack a strong work ethic. However, this isn’t reflected in the facts about Gen Z. They definitely aren’t slackers. 74% of Gen Z workers are willing to move for a good job opportunity, and 58% would work nights and weekends for a better salary.

In another big win for your org, 47% are looking for opportunities for professional development.


Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet in the USA. Around half are white (51%) — compared with 72% of baby boomers. A quarter of Gen Z are Latino or Hispanic, and 15% are Black. Meanwhile, 6% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 5% have two or more races, and 2% are Native American. If you want to build a more racially diverse workforce, hiring from Gen Z will help considerably.

Hire Digital Natives

Gen Z’s members are true digital natives. They grew up with widespread home internet, social media, and smartphones. A staggering 91% of Gen Z got their first mobile device before the age of 16. They’re happy to help, too, with 77% willing to mentor older colleagues on new tech. If you want employees who can pick up new tech with incredible ease, tap into early talent acquisition.

Early Talent is Highly Motivated

Gen Z employees want a good work-life balance, but they’re still highly motivated in their careers. 51% are motivated by opportunities for growth, making them prime candidates for training up into high-level roles.

They’re not expecting you to do it all for them, either: 76% of Gen Z believe they’re responsible for driving their own career. Their salary is critically important to them (with skyrocketing house prices and cost of living). Even so, a reassuring 74% are focused on purpose ahead of a paycheck.

Discovered: Hire Early Talent Faster

Discovered — Performance Hiring Software isn’t just another generic ATS or hiring solution. It’s a powerful system uniquely designed to deliver better-fit candidates, at lower cost. The new hires you make through Discovered will be more likely to excel in their roles, with less risk of workers’ compensation claims. Here’s how.

Better Sourcing

Discovered’s built-in AI assistant, Kingsley, lets you write incredible, engaging job ads in seconds. You can then use Discovered’s integrations with popular job boards like Indeed to push your job to multiple hiring websites instantly.

Better Screening

You don’t want to waste time interviewing candidates who are a bad fit. Discovered’s advanced screening tools let you weed out poor-quality applicants early in the process:

  • Use the AI resume screening tools to quickly prioritize promising applicants.
  • Easily set up one-way video interviews that are run through Discovered — saving you endless time on phone screening. 
  • Administer integrity tests. This lets you identify candidates who’d likely be disruptive and even cost your business serious money. At one company, integrity testing new hires dropped workers’ compensation costs from new hires by over 50%
  • Custom skills assessments. Pinpoint the candidates with the exact skills you need for a perfect match for the role.
  • Automated reference checking. Easily contact former supervisors for high-quality and accurate references. Done right, reference checking is one of the very best predictors of future job performance.

Efficient Hiring

Don’t miss out on hiring top early talent because you failed to communicate well. Using Discovered lets you keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process. With the ability to draft AI-powered candidate-nurturing content, you can take care of this in just a few minutes.