01/28/2016  //  By Deanna Kane  //  Campus Recruiting  //  Talent Trends

There’s another generation coming up strong right behind Millennials, and the first wave has already entered the workplace: Gen Z. Born between the mid-90s and 2010, Gen Z is already entering the workforce: as part-time employees balancing college, as graduates of two-year degree programs and as skilled hourly workers.  So how can employers best gain their interest and encourage them to apply? Recruiters need to take a page from their marketing colleagues; it’s time to practice segmentation science – post and pray will not work when recruiting Generation Z.

Here’s a look at a typical Gen Z: Ava is part of the first true generation of digital natives. She isn’t interested in conformist brands or having her hand held. She’s more interested in becoming an entrepreneur who works remotely or from home, expects great digital experiences because it would never occur to her to buy from brick-and-mortar, and wants to voice her opinion with a tweet or a like instead of a phone call or letter to the editor. Ava is part of the first generation of the 21st century: an estimated 72 million people who comprise the most diverse and multicultural sector in the U.S. Also known as “Plurals,” this generation exists in the most diverse social circles, is the least likely to believe in the “American Dream” and was raised by Gen X.

To appeal to Gen Z candidates, employers must recognize and understand how this generation thinks, acts and learns. Consider how these strategies can help you to attract, recruit and hire Gen Z:

Inbound recruitment

Invite them to participate in a relevant talent community where they can observe before committing to apply. Use carefully curated content to gain their attention, answer their questions and address their concerns. This will make it easier to foster engagement with this fast-moving demographic.

Create an instant social dialogue

LinkedIn and Facebook are passé in the world of Gen Z – that’s where their parents are. Leverage the immediacy and social reach of Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. Consider sponsored recruitment ads on these channels to further engage them where they live and play.

Offer more than just a paycheck

Highlight your employer brand and what the company can offer beyond just a paycheck by detailing wellness programs, corporate social responsibility values and Gen Z’s opportunities for learning. Text updates about your company’s latest and greatest to Gen Z’s in your talent communities to pique their interest and feed their need to continually improve.

Reposition your job descriptions

Tried and true written job descriptions don’t carry as much weight with Gen Z as they have with previous generations. Gen Z expects to forge their own careers, so make career development part of the conversation from the start. Rather than just telling them what they would do on the job, highlight how the position and the company as a whole can help them grow professionally and set them up for a successful career.

Avoid traditional job posting avenues

Is Gen Z reading corporate career sites? Unlikely. A sponsored message on Instagram is more likely to appeal to them and show that you understand how they intuitiively obtain information. Another alternative to a traditional job post is to create video job descriptions; film the hiring manager explaining the role, and post that to your social networks in lieu of a written post.

Are you looking for more ways to achieve talent acquisition success in 2016? Download our white paper, 2016: The Year of Recruitment Transparency

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