Engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process (Part 2)

Following the popularity and breadth of information on the  forum – How to utilise social media to target Gen Z in the recruitment process – we ran a Part 2 on the topic!

Gareth John, Director of First Intuition hosts a part 2 on a discussion with a panel of experts on engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process.

Engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process

Engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process (Part 2)

Following the popularity and breadth of information on the  forum – How to utilise social media to target Gen Z in the recruitment process – we ran a Part 2 on the topic!

Gareth John, Director of First Intuition hosts a part 2 on a discussion with a panel of experts on engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process.

Engaging with Gen Z in the recruitment process requires a different set of techniques from what employers may have used in the past. This article shares highlights from the session where guest speakers, listed below, joined Gareth John to discuss how employers can effectively engage with Gen Z to help their recruitment and onboarding strategies. The session provided:

  • Insights into understanding Gen Z’s and the sort of content they like to engage with
  • Strategies to better engage with Gen Z’s to help recruitment, onboarding, and retention efforts
  • Insights into Gen Alpha, the next generation that will be in the workplace after Gen Z

Speakers and panelists

You can watch the recording of the session by clicking the button below.

Apprenticeships: The past, present and future

ACCA: Engaging Gen Z Voices:

The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) established a forum called the ‘Next Gen Voice Community’, comprising 300 young individuals, to hear young people’s voices when building products. With this group, the ACCA has explored social media habits, communication preferences, mental health and wellbeing topics, barriers of entry to the profession and have gained other invaluable insights. These insights have helped to challenge existing thinking, inform social media strategies and brand building, and enabled the ACCA to resonate effectively with Gen Z.

Using the panel, the ACCA has also:

  • Leveraged the community’s feedback to redefine visuals and messaging, ensuring resonance with Gen Z
  • Identified niche communities and aligned content with Gen Z’s motivations and aesthetics
  • Developed a robust content strategy that caters to Gen Z motivators and values, emphasising authenticity and relatability

These examples show that engaging with Gen Z and hearing their opinion on topics related to your business can help better engage with them.

Core pillars for creating content to engage with Gen Z in recruitment:

  1. Bring out the personality of employees to add the storytelling aspect. Influencer content in the Gen Z space can help them engage
  2. Offer the same value exchange on social media as they have on websites. For example, provide information about career paths. Be transparent, provide information, reliability, authenticity, and human content that is easy to connect with
  3. Present someone that Gen Z’s can aspire to be
  4. Show the jobs they will be doing now
  5. Stories about progression
  6. Be entertaining and capture their imagination

Understanding Gen Z from David Brockway, Form the Future:

  • Avoid talking about Gen Z in generalities or stereotypes to prevent self-fulfilling prophecies. Recognise and respect them individually
  • Acknowledge the individuality within Gen Z and avoid treating them as a homogeneous group
  • Recognize the high digital literacy of Gen Z but also address gaps in traditional IT skills like email writing and Excel
  • Offer training and support for tech norms and expectations, considering the post-COVID generation’s unique challenges
  • Respect Gen Z’s unique slang and communication styles to encourage understanding and connection
  • Show authenticity and transparency with communication in the workplace
  • Recognise the diverse experiences and backgrounds of Gen Z individuals, therefore the need for personalised approaches in recruitment

Innovative Recruitment Strategies from Tom, Founder and CEO of urfuture:

urfuture offers a new approach to careers. It is a job platform for young people, focusing on entry-level job roles and creating video-based job and candidate profiles. The platform matches candidates with a career based on their personality and produces video content where they can watch and learn things about careers.

Tom’s top tips include:

  • Embrace new approaches to careers, focusing on entry-level job roles and utilise platforms like TikTok
  • Recognise Gen Z’s preference for video and image-based communication and creation. For example focusing on short, authentic videos that resonate with Gen Z’s attention spans (30 – 60 seconds)
  • Utilise social media platforms like TikTok for short, authentic content that engages and educates Gen Z
  • Prioritise authenticity, immediate engagement, and non-formal education in content creation
  • Create consistency and authenticity in content creation to build trust and credibility with Gen Z
  • Target specific channels and topics, focusing on consistency and authenticity to build brand awareness and engagement
  • Ensure candidate experiences are engaging, stand out, and provide clear value to Gen Z candidates
  • Align recruitment strategies with Gen Z’s preferences, such as utilising videos and social media platforms
  • Tailor recruitment messaging and job descriptions to resonate with Gen Z’s communication styles and preferences
  • Offer guidance, support, and clear career pathways to address Gen Z’s unique needs and challenges in the recruitment process
  • Comments on videos are useful for creating a community where people are talking and helping each other
  • Implement feedback mechanisms to continuously improve the candidate experience and address any pain points identified by Gen Z candidates
  • When creating content, ask yourself:
    • Is it engaging?
    • Is it black and white?
    • Does it stand out?
    • What value am I giving the viewer?
    • Is it familiar?
    • Is it repetitive?

Four main social channels to find Gen Z’s:

  1. TikTok – It is easy to grow fast organically if you are doing it right but there is a lot of noise on the platform
  2. Instagram – The paid ad approach works well when just starting off, it is harder to grow organically
  3. Snapchat – Only takes paid ads so it is not organic
  4. YouTube – It has got to be paid at the beginning then is easy to grow organically off the back of that
  5. Discord, Twitch, and Reddit are other popular channels where employers can reach Gen Z and people who like to game

Insights from Rachael Harrison, AAT:

  • Recognise the influence of parents on Gen Z candidates and address their unique pain points in the recruitment process
  • Provide guidance on soft skills development and offer support without making Gen Z candidates feel inadequate. For example, some new candidates may be missing skills such as professionalism and communication. Active tasks can help with this, consider training videos on TikTok or other on-demand content to meet them with what they are familiar with
  • Gen Z may appear outwardly confident but are still learning so don’t make assumptions about them and what they know, guide them. It can also help to talk to people about what they want to do and what works best for them
  • Be clear about career pathways, provide transparency about salary, and the development of soft skills
  • Avoid treating Gen Z as a group and be clear about expectations, including dress code and job responsibilities

Understanding Gen Alpha from Dave Payne, ICAEW:

  • Recognise the unique characteristics of Gen Alpha, including their digital savvy, creativity, and diverse backgrounds
  • Understand the influence of millennial parents on Gen Alpha and their attitudes towards education and careers. Gen Alpha have been brought up by millennials who are generally brand loyal, individualistic, and family-focused
  • Consider emerging trends and preferences among Gen Alpha, such as their preference for audio content and creative expression. Employers need to adapt their recruitment strategies to resonate with Gen Alpha’s preferences and values
  • Be cautious in selecting influencers to ensure alignment with brand values and authenticity, Gen Alpha will be able to suss out inauthenticity just like Gen Z
  • The trends of Gen Alpha are an extension of Gen Z, showing that these changes in preferences are not going away and will be the future. Organisations need to stay abreast of evolving trends and preferences among younger generations to remain competitive in recruitment.

Useful Resources and Slides

How to target Gen Z in the recruitment process using social media – Part 1

ACCA Engaging with Gen Z slides

Engaging with and recruiting young adults and understanding their mindset

How to prepare and onboard young adults

How to connect with young adults for your talent pipeline

2024 FITT Forums

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