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Four facts to know to recruit Generation Z


When Millennials are approaching their 40’s, Generation Z-er’s, the generation with those born after 1995, are now 22 years old —walking off the graduation stage and into the workforce. They are a distinctive generation, and early research suggests that Generation Z is more pragmatic, more money-conscious, and more entrepreneurial than their millennial counterparts. What does it mean in terms of recruitment?

How to impress Generation Z in your campus recruitment? How to keep them in your company after the first three months of working? There are four simple facts you should know about Gen Z and how to change your recruiting strategy accordingly:


  1. They value independence over collaboration in the workplace (unlike millennials)

Millennials value collaboration in the office. This thinking has led to the rise of open offices and workplace messaging systems like Slack. They are more likely to use online collaboration apps and prefer text and email communication to one-on-one meetings. But it’s a mistake to extend this same logic to Gen Z. In fact, according to the Stillmans, 35% of Generation Z “would rather share socks than an office space.” Similar research suggests that Gen Z actually prefers face-to-face meetings—although that would include video streaming options, like Skype.

When it comes to attracting Generation Z, recruiters may find more success touting private offices (and competitive salaries) than teamwork and constant collaboration.


  1. You need to meet them where they are (like on Snapchat), but stay on top of changing trends

Major corporations like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Goldman Sachs have already begun using Snapchat, Generation Z’s favorite social media platform, to up their recruiting game with young people just entering the workforce. It’s a clever strategy, but recruiters must also keep in mind that the digital landscape changes quickly and constantly. Just four years ago, Facebook was king, with 94% of teenagers maintaining a profile on the site. One year later, Instagram had become teenagers’ favorite app, with Facebook’s popularity declining, and by 2017, Snapchat had opened up a huge lead over its competition.

When it comes to social media and apps overall, recruiters must be agile, adapting quickly to new and changing trends. For example, while Snapchat is high schoolers’ preference for communicating with friends, they see Facebook as more of a necessity for school. As this group ages, they may look for job information there and see Snapchat or Instagram recruiting as intrusive.


  1. Make sure the right information about your company is out there, and tailor it for 8-second attention spans

Generation Z is sometimes also referred to as the true “digital natives”. Compared to previous generations—even millennials—Generation Z also possesses excellent online research skills. Even before entering college, they’re likely to turn to the Internet first to answer their questions. For recruiters, that means that it may be difficult to hide anything unfavorable, but it also means that Generation Z will find any marketing material that your team puts out.

Recruiters should also bear in mind that their average attention span is only eight seconds. They’re also far more visual in nature. Recruiters should avoid trying to reach Generation Z with lengthy job descriptions and content, while videos, animations, and even emojis are more likely to get the message across.


  1. When it comes to employer branding and messaging, be authentic and consistent everywhere

Recruiters already know that authentic employer branding, including employee-created content and testimonials, is one of the most effective tools for attracting modern candidates. The good news for those ahead of the curve is that this trend should continue with Gen Z. For Generation Z, employer branding needs to be not just authentic, but consistent and across different platforms. Gen Z uses “several different sources to get their information.” In other words, if your Facebook posts feature very different branding from your job listing, these digital natives will probably sniff that out—and may be turned away.


Author: Selina Gao, Plusser Blogger based in Manchester


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