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

Young adults entering the workplace have grown up with social media being an integral part of their lives. Therefore, employers have an opportunity to utilise social media in their recruitment process if they want to get in front of Gen Z candidates.

Ben Bullman, Programme Delivery Director at First Intuition East Anglia, hosts a discussion with a panel of experts on how to target Gen Z in the recruitment process using social media.

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

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

Young adults entering the workplace have grown up with social media being an integral part of their lives. Therefore, employers have an opportunity to utilise social media in their recruitment process if they want to get in front of Gen Z candidates.

Ben Bullman, Programme Delivery Director at First Intuition East Anglia, hosts a discussion with a panel of experts on how to target Gen Z in the recruitment process using social media.

In today’s digital age, a deep understanding of Gen Z candidate’s preferences and behaviours on social media platforms can help employers when recruiting. This article shares highlights from the session where guest speakers, listed below, joined Ben Bullman to discuss how employers can target Gen Z in the recruitment process using social media. The session looked at some of the ways employers can utilise social media to appeal to young adults when recruiting staff, including:

  • How to use social media in the recruitment process to target young adults
  • Techniques to stand out from the crowd and build a company presence on platforms such as TikTok
  • What information young adults want to see from employers

Speakers and panelists

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

Apprenticeships: The past, present and future

Understanding Gen Z: Shoshanna’s Insights

  • Gen Z is one of the youngest and most ethnically diverse generations
  • They are digital natives, having grown up with technology, yet 5.8 million people are digitally excluded
  • Their identity has been shaped by the digital age, climate anxiety, shifting financial landscapes, and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Gen Z faces challenges such as long-term mental health issues, anxiety, and living paycheck-to-paycheck
  • They value genuine connections, feeling successful and fulfilled, making a positive impact, and having flexibility and independence

Engagement Strategies: Shoshanna’s Recommendations

  • Timing is crucial; engage when they are not busy with exams
  • Create safe spaces where candidates feel comfortable. Consider the potential lack of confidence or social skills due to limited experiences
  • Provide value first to build brand trust before posting job vacancies
  • Be transparent about salary, progression opportunities, and company culture
  • Showcase positive role models that Gen Z can relate to
  • Leverage employees as brand advocates on social media

Attracting Gen Z Online: Holly’s Insights

  • 86% of Gen Z uses social media when searching for jobs
  • Personalisation is key, as Gen Z expects tailored experiences
  • Address their struggles in the recruitment process and highlight the impact of their work
  • Provide transparency regarding progression and salary
  • Utilise platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube for engagement

Social Media Tactics: Holly’s Recommendations

  • Create short, authentic videos with captions and trending music
  • Keep videos to under 60 seconds
  • Use influencers, businesses, and apprentices to create and distribute content
  • Find positive role models that candidates can relate to
  • Ideas for videos include a day in the life, Q&As with employees, and job description summary videos
  • Foster a sense of community by answering questions and addressing pain points
  • Track content performance and adjust strategies accordingly

Holly’s client video examples:

  1. British Gas
  2. VW Group
  3. Kennedys

Engaging with Gen Z: Joshua’s Insights

  • Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers TikTok and Instagram for online searches
  • TikTok’s algorithm delivers content based on user interests
  • Average daily social media usage is 2.23 hours, so it is an effective space to meet this audience
  • Batch-make content, respond to comments, and start conversations to meet candidates where they are

Key Takeaways for Engaging Gen Z: Joshua’s Recommendations

  • Utilise SEO-friendly content and address audience pain points
  • Leverage social listening to gather insights from competitors and communities
  • Take inspiration from outside your niche – so look at how employers are using social media in general
  • Focus on engagement rather than follower count
  • Prioritise relatability, authenticity, and familiarity in content
  • Harness analytics; track your content performance and make tweaks to your content as you go
  • Content should be real: a day in the life videos, social takeovers, storytimes, and senior perspectives are also appreciated

Project Next Generation: Pete’s Insights

  • UCAS provides trusted information and guidance to millions of people
  • Interest in apprenticeships is growing, but misconceptions persist
  • One in three students lacks information about apprenticeships
  • UCAS conducted a future-facing study, surveying 1,000 13 to 17-year-olds across the UK, to understand their motivations, attitudes, and priorities regarding education and careers
  • The research identified six key themes: inspiration and discovery, happiness, experience, confidence, independence, and control
  • Key findings include the importance of early engagement to prevent limiting future options, the emphasis on happiness and enjoyment in career choices, and the value of diverse experiences in shaping career decisions

Engagement Strategies for Gen Z: Pete’s Recommendations

  • Authenticity is paramount in engaging with Gen Z. Providing real-life experiences of the workplace, possibly through partnerships with schools or utilising current apprentices as ambassadors, can help demystify career paths
  • Social media emerged as a top source of inspiration for young people, emphasising the importance of using digital platforms in recruitment
  • Bring the workplace to life through authentic experiences to provide young people with a realistic understanding of different career paths
  • Embrace a multi-channel approach with a focus on social media to effectively engage with Gen Z and address their diverse preferences and needs

Understanding Gen Z: Karen’s Insights and Recommendations

  • Establish panels or research groups comprising Gen Z individuals to gather insights directly from them
  • Brand and Tone Adaptation:
    • Adapt brand and tone to appeal to and resonate with Gen Z, using inclusive language and identifying relevant communities
    • Focus on clarity, plain language, and real-life examples
    • Use inclusive language and showcase diversity and inclusion efforts in the employer brand
  • Content Strategy:
    • Identify niche communities and align content with Gen Z motivations and aesthetics
    • Build content pillars focusing on personality, digital influencers, informative content, transparency, relatability, and ambition
    • Prioritise meaningful content such as industry updates, career support, and day-in-the-life scenarios
    • Create content driven by connection and entertainment value that is relatable
    • Be authentic and human in content creation, moving away from polished brand assets
    • Highlight current job opportunities and fast progression pathways
    • Aim for entertaining storytelling rather than relying on humor alone
    • Experiment with different content formats and learn from failures to improve quickly
  • Collaboration and Outreach:
    • Collaborate with employer partners to amplify recruitment messages
    • Encourage outreach and networking within relevant professional communities

We will be running part 2 of this session where we will delve into the results of Karen and the ACCA’s report in more detail. You can register for the session here.

Useful Resources and Slides

Project Next Generation | Business, Undergraduate | UCAS Research

Shoshanna’s Slides

Holly’s Slides

Joshua’s Slides

Pete’s 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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