Employers are planning to hire 10.7% more class of 2019 graduates than they did from the class of 2018, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
With college hiring up, in order for employers to recruit these candidates as effectively as possible, it is essential that they take into account that Gen Z is the first digitally native generation, displays a high level of hustle and motivation, and enjoys social interaction and work that ties them to their community.
Applying for a job and not hearing back (also known as the “resume black hole effect”) is simply not an option when it comes to recruiting the class of 2019 – they want meaningful engagement, and in a low unemployment job market, businesses who want to stay competitive need to provide a seamless candidate experience.
As this is the first generation entering the workforce that was born with phones in their hands, a mobile touch point is a great place to start.
Here are five tips on how to attract Gen Z talent:
Utilize a constant touch point that is human in nature. This generation is traditionally more creative than its predecessors, and is reaching out to companies on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for job opportunities. Businesses need to respond quickly to attract these younger candidates, and offer them validation that they will be valued at your company.
Salary isn’t everything. While previous generations are mainly motivated by salary, new graduates are looking for much more than that, starting with opportunity for development. The relationships they create, and the skills they are going to build will be critical, as they view their first job out of college as a stepping stone to the next one.
Be creative with technology. Generation Z was born with phones in their hands and raised with the newest technology already at their fingertips. In order to attract this generation, you need to demonstrate that your organization knows how to leverage the latest technology in unique and creative ways that will allow them to build upon their existing skills.
Respond quickly, or you might as well not respond at all. The reality is that Gen Zers have always experienced instant gratification, and they expect nothing less when it comes to their job pursuits. If you aren’t responding with lightning speed, and through their preferred mediums (text, for example), you are likely to miss out on a large number of top candidates.
5. Social media
Use social media wisely. Although we constantly hear about this generation embracing social media, it is important to tread lightly in this area. Research from IBM has shown that Gen Z is more sensitive over their personal information, so absolutely do not stalk Gen Zers there, and avoid recruiting them on their personal social media accounts.
Use social media to build and communicate your brand in smaller, punchier bites rather than big campaigns, and be sure to use direct messaging sparingly and considerately. Visual mediums, such as FaceTime or Skype, and live-streaming play well with this audience, who prefer building trust through face-to-face interactions.
The way businesses attract talent is a candidate's first interaction with that company, and leaves a lasting impression whether that process resulted in employment or not. While reaching this generation on their preferred media is necessary to recruit and engage them, there is a fine line to be drawn when it comes to personal preferences.
At first it may seem difficult to meet all of the above criteria, but taking these tips into account will provide a much more fruitful recruitment process, and will yield higher recruiter productivity gains and increased application completion rates and recruiting funnel conversion. The generation born with phones in their hands are bound to notice when companies go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable in the recruitment process.
Mike Pauletich is currently VP of Global Alliances & Partnerships at Mya Systems and with more than 25 years of recruiting industry experience