5 ways to make sure you’re reaching Generation Z
They’re here—the next generation of workers. It’s Generation Z, right on the heels of Millennials and they’re about to become the majority of the world’s workers (set to comprise 37% of the labor force by 2020 according to a recent Randstad survey.)
With the oldest of this cohort turning 23 next year (according to Pew Research), Gen Z employees are just getting started, but they’re tech friendly and companies are ready to bring them on board—if only they could reach them.
In Monster’s 2019 Global State of the Recruiter Survey, recruiters said they struggle to connect with Gen Z for a variety of reasons, from finding the best ways to communicate (this generation doesn’t love to talk on the phone), to meeting their hiring expectations. One in five recruiters told us they can’t always meet Gen Z’s work/life balance desires (27%) or their salary requirements (24%).
This young talent is the future, so recruiters need get it right, even if that means changing tried-and-true techniques that worked with previous generations. Bringing in Gen Z workers requires a special mix of agility, social media savvy and a well-rounded job package. Read on to learn more about how to attract these young employees.
Speak their language
If you want to avoid an “OK, Boomer” eye roll from Generation Z, you’ve got to get your employer brand and hiring strategy up to date. In Monster’s 2019 State of the Candidate survey, 54% of candidates said they won’t complete an application if a company’s recruiting methods are outdated, and 24% of Gen Zers said that a lack of technology throughout the hiring process would deter them from accepting a job.
Generation Z has been exposed to technology since birth, and their attention span is short. Keep job descriptions and applications short, or you’ll lose your audience.
In fact, consider moving as much of your content as possible to video. Millennial recruiters—who are ahead of the curve when it comes to connecting with the generation behind them—told us they have greater success using video job descriptions to find quality candidates. 92% want to interview candidates live via video and 90% want to use video job descriptions like Monster Studios, an app that lets recruiters add video to standard job postings, right from a mobile device.
Market your brand
To reach Generation Z, you’re going to have to create a wide-reaching company presence. That starts on college campuses by exposing students to your name, your logo, and letting them know what the company is all about.
After that comes social media. In Monster’s SOTR report, Millennial recruiters are more likely to say social media advertising is an effective recruitment tool. “[Generation Z] lives on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, social products like that,” says Vartika Manasvi, founder and CEO of StackRaft, a predictive hiring marketplace. “It’s very important to embrace their independence and give them meaning in terms of showing how they’re going to build their careers at your company.”
It’s also crucial that you make sure your website is mobile friendly. “They’re on their phones all the time,” Palmiere says. “People are looking for jobs now on their Androids or iPhones, so everything has to be geared toward mobile.”
One in five recruiters said one of the biggest challenges to hiring Gen Z workers is communicating with them through the hiring process. People rarely answer their phones when an unfamiliar number calls anymore, and inboxes are so cluttered that email isn’t as effective as it used to be, either. Generation Z responds well to text messages.
“It used to be that when you emailed, someone would respond quicker than by phone, but now we’re seeing that if you text people, they’re going to respond even quicker than email,” Palmier says.
That doesn’t mean text blasts, however. You must personalize your communications. “Without a double, personalized, individual text messages to people have the highest probability of earning a response,” says Luke Stratmann, metro market manager for Robert Half. “What we’ve found most effective is an individual text message followed up with a LinkedIn request. It really puts the ball in their court.”
Offer the whole package
For this generation, benefits are as important as compensation. “They prioritize work/life balance and they know what’s good for them and what’s not good for them,” Manasvi says.
According to Monster’s SOTR report, Gen Z applicants are most often looking for a flexible schedule, career development, paid time off and work-from-home options.
Personal development is a big box to check—“growth opportunities” show up near the top of Gen Z’s list. What kind of training is available? What are you willing to invest in them? “Ten years ago, there was much less interest in training employees,” Stratmann says. “Now, more companies are investing quite richly in training their people and offering development and mentorship programs.”
Help them feel impactful
“Generation Z is cause-driven, and money means less to them,” says Annie Liao Jones, founder and CEO of Rock Candy Media. In other words, they want to know how they’re making a difference.
Help Gen Z applicants understand how their role will add to the company’s overall purpose or success. “They want to get credit for the work they’re doing and recognition for the value they bring to the table,” Manasvi says. “They want to know that by doing this, how that thing adds up to the growth of the company.”
They’re also interested in making a difference, in general. Volunteer options are another important perk for the Gen Z employee.
Although this is just the start of Generation Z in the workforce, they’re already making an impression—and taking the right approach can help you add them to your own team. “All I know is,” Jones says, “I’ve never seen a generation more excited to be in a senior management meeting.”