90% of Gen Z students begin their career searches long before graduation day, and the talent shortage is affecting employers across the globe. To compete for top talent, try these disruptive and non-traditional ways to keep Gen Z engaged throughout the hiring process.

Non-traditional ways to recruit Gen Z:

•  Improve your career site
•  Become a trusted advisor
•  Personalize the experience
•  Surprise and delight candidates
•  Build your own “influencer” network

Concerns over a lack of talent are now top of mind for employers around the world. A recent Gartner survey found that CEOs globally consider the current talent shortage to be the top emerging risk for their companies. Paired with Generation Z’s increasing demands for a short time-to-hire, more face-to-face communication, and a high-tech hiring process, the competition for top talent is greater than ever.

That means recruiters will need to get creative when it comes to attracting Gen Z candidates. Here are five non-traditional strategies to engage the newest generation of talent:

1. Improve Your Career Site

You can count on the fact that Generation Z has high expectations for the content on your career site. These digital natives want your career page to be a one-stop shop to learn more about your employer brand, the benefits you offer, and the culture you boast.

But the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study shows there’s still a lot of work to be done — 63% of HR professionals say their company’s website doesn’t showcase the employee journey or help attract candidates. Attract Gen Z candidates and set your organization apart by creating a stand-out career page.

2. Become a Trusted Advisor

Gen Z candidates are looking for much more than a middleman between themselves and their hiring manager. They want recruiters to be a trusted advisor — and rank their relationship with their recruiter as having the biggest impact on their decision to accept a job.

Become an ally for applicants throughout the process by scheduling phone check-ins and coffee meet-ups. Collaborate closely with hiring managers to understand their challenges so that you can effectively communicate open roles to candidates.  Coach talent through the hiring process, providing frequent updates, feedback from the interview team and insights on how to excel during the job search.

3. Personalize the Experience

With over a third of Gen Z candidates expecting to receive more than one job offer, it’s important to make young job seekers feel uniquely valued from early on. Promote on-campus events by sending emails that show you’re familiar with the university you’re visiting. Ask students to join your talent communities before they apply, and share content based on their indicated interests. During the interview process, send frequent updates to let candidates know about their hiring status. And when it comes time to make an offer, send a small care package that speaks to your new hire: perhaps a Starbucks gift card for coffee lovers, or a notebook for avid writers.

“We curate the content based on what our candidates share with us; if they share that they’re interested in a specific diversity network or a specific practice, we then send targeted newsletters and information.”

Lauren Santimauro, Campus Recruiting Manager, A.T. Kearney

(Source: Getting Strategic About Campus Recruitment: Tips from University Recruitment Leaders)

4. Surprise and Delight Candidates

Make it hard for candidates to forget your organization by creating moments of delight throughout your hiring process. Allow job seekers to apply in one click by uploading their LinkedIn profile. Share a “pump-up” playlist to listen to on the way to the interview. Send a handwritten note after you’ve extended an offer. Once they’re hired, make them feel welcome on their first day with swag on their desk and a company-wide intro email. Doing a lot of little things well can be the difference between a candidate accepting your offer and moving on to another company.

5. Build Your Own “Nano-Influencer” Network

One of the biggest trends among marketers targeting Generation Z consumers is using nano-influencers—social media accounts with a small but growing following—to spread the word about their brands. Nano-influencers work because they’re regular, non-famous people whose lives feel authentic, and Gen Z students respond well to their posts because these influencers feel like peers, not celebrities.

To build an influencer network for your own employer branding, turn to your current employees and interns. Invite your team members to share their work lives on social media, and post when you have new open positions. Be sure to feature your employees’ content with candidates for a more authentic view of your company culture.

A fast, tech-savvy hiring process is a great start to attracting Gen Z candidates. But by thinking outside the box to build stronger relationships with today’s youngest talent and personalize the candidate experience, you’ll set your company apart from the competition.