Recruiting Gen Z: Adapting Your Employer Brand and Messaging

Recruiting Gen Z: Adapting Your Employer Brand and Messaging

Gregory Goodwin

Millennial trends and opinions have dominated the media space in recent years. So much so that it’s easy to forget there’s a new generation right at its heels, poised to enter the workforce very soon. And if you thought the same recruitment tactics of the past 10 years will be sufficient in capturing the top incoming talent, think again, because like Millennials, Generation Z is a new animal.

The best employers will adapt their recruiting, branding, and hiring strategies to this incoming generation over time. Others, though, will continue to perpetually play catch up (you don’t have to look very hard to find an outdated employer).

In this blog post, we’ll show 7 ways to hook Gen Z-ers on your brand and your message.

Who Is Generation Z?

Loosely defined as the generation born between the mid-late nineties up until around 2010, the elders of Generation Z will soon be in your interview chairs. Due to the technological revolution that has occurred during their lifetimes, their experience with technology has shaped their worldviews like never before in history.

This is a generation that has seen the rise of Web 1.0, 2.0, and smartphones within their lifetimes and takes these advancements and their capabilities for granted, which has profoundly shaped their expectations for information and connections with themselves and the outside world.

Gen Z-ers may add a job search in between posting on friends’ walls, backing Kickstarter campaigns, or exchanging Snapchat messages, so you better know how to reach them and how to stick with them.

The Monster Multi-Generational Survey was conducted by TNS, a global research agency, surveying more than 2,000 people across the Baby Boomer, X, Millennial, and Z generations, both working and non-working segments. This cross-sectional research has identified key aspects of this incoming generation’s behavior trends, values, expectations, and other qualifiers. The Gen Z respondents (aged 15-20) pre-qualified themselves as either employed or, among the younger teens, planning to work in the future.

In order to attract and retain this talent, businesses need to modernize their recruiting strategies with these seven tips:

Be authentic

Ensure that your company goals, mission, and brand are consistent and communicated throughout your organization as well as embodied in all you do. Remember that the transparency afforded in the digital age means the inner workings of your organization are accessible to the outside world as well, and to the tech-savvy Gen-Zers you’re looking to court.

Ensure ubiquitous and cross-platform presence

It’s never been more important to be everywhere with your messaging. The multi-generational survey shows that Gen Z uses several different sources to get their information, so make sure that you have a consistent brand message across every platform.

Stay on top of new trends

Sure, Snapchat and Instagram may be the most popular Gen Z social channels, but with rapid technology and app development and the fickle nature of digital media, these are likely to change quickly and with little warning. Be sure to be constantly understanding how Gen Zers spend their time connecting with each other and the rest of the world, which is crucial to keeping them engaged with your brand and employer brand.

Be the brand to work for

While building followers might be easy, building real engagement isn’t. Remember that your current employees are one of the most powerful social assets you have, and that engaging them in your brand-building efforts will pay dividends. Create opportunities for them to share positive experiences inside and outside the organization. Getting the internal happiness and satisfaction to the outside world is vital to creating a brand people actually want to work for.

Be memorable

Everyone knows a first impression is lasting, and this applies to your brand toward job candidates. But remember that your first impression is made long before any Gen-Zer sets foot in your offices.

By the time a candidate applies to your company, he or she has a strong employer brand impression already. Be ready to dazzle with a heightened candidate experience game that is holistic across internal and external websites and third-party employer assessment and review platforms.

Be visible

Operate under the assumption that Gen Z Google’s everything and does so on their smartphones. They expect information to be simple and immediate from anywhere, so ensure that all of your company information and job postings are mobile-accessible and high-ranking on Google searches. Remember if you aren’t found quickly and easily Gen Z-ers will move on fast.

Change your language

Employers have about eight seconds to hook a Gen Z-er, so speaking their language is key, and long sentences of text aren’t it. Communication should be short and direct and visual when possible, including pictures, symbols, video, and—well—maybe even emojis.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming Gen Z is just an extension of the Millennial generation. Research shows that they’re blazing a different path for their futures, with different desires, values, and expectations for their employers and broader career. Those employers who understand and speak the evolving Gen Z language will be the ones to capture their interests and tap the top talent.

Interested in the topic of employer branding? Check out our new eBook, The 2016 State of Employer Branding. This eBook is key for companies both starting or well into their employer branding journey:

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