Who is Generation Z – and how can your recruitment agency engage with them?
The recruitment industry thrives on talent, and your agency is always looking for the next talent pool to draw from. For many sectors, the biggest untapped opportunity lies in young people leaving education, also known as Generation Z.
Generation Z is coming of age in the workplace, but they behave like no group that has gone before them. These young talents are the first truly digital employees – they were born into the online world – and have a whole new approach to working.
To attract younger candidates and show your clients how their skillset can add value to their business, you need to understand how to connect with Generation Z – and find the right roles to bring out their strengths. Here’s how you can achieve this…
Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration, are people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Their behaviour is unique because they are the first demographic to grow up in the internet age. They have often owned a smartphone since childhood, and live their life through social media. In fact, for Gen Z, the digital and physical worlds are indivisible.
This presents a great opportunity for businesses to work with digital-first employees, and your job as a recruitment agency is to communicate the benefits to your clients.
Gen Z are technically savvy, quick to grasp new tools and software, and are on top of the latest marketing and communications trends. They understand the importance of creating a personal brand, and the always-on society they were born into means they’re flexible about thinking beyond the traditional 9-5 day.
Additionally, the returns for working with Generation Z are significant. According to research, 77% of Gen Z expect to work harder than previous generations, so they’re willing to put in hard graft to get the results they want.
For many recruitment agencies, the bulk of your workforce is currently made up of Millennials. Bringing Gen Z onto your books involves much more than creating entry level positions for school leavers; this generation thinks and behaves completely differently to the employees that have gone before them, and therefore need to be approached in a new way.
For example, connectivity is key to their life. 40% of Gen Z would rather have working Wi-Fi than a working bathroom if they had to choose between the two, according to online research. This means that you are far more likely to engage with them across digital platforms; advertise new roles across social media networks, forums and web adverts, and promote ways in which potential employees can submit applications online.
Equally, you need to find digital tools for working with them, such as giving them the ability to submit timesheets and expenses online. Smartphones are the main device that Gen Z uses to stay connected, so try to make your admin processes mobile-friendly.
One of the key challenges for recruitment agencies to navigate is enabling potential Gen Z employees and older generation employers to communicate in a way that works for both groups.
For example, in a recent blog post we discussed how CVs are changing to become more skills and strengths focused. This is a great way to format Gen Z resumés so that employers see their potential, rather than focussing on the fact that they have limited workplace experience.
Another way to ignite the spark between Gen Z candidates and your clients is to bring out their personalities. Young workers are more than happy to have informal chats with potential employers via Skype or other online tools, so that companies can see their passion and enthusiasm first-hand before inviting them to a formal interview.
You can also work carefully with Generation Z hopefuls to prepare them for that formal interview, to maximise their chance of securing new opportunities.
Make sure they understand expectations about dress code and punctuality, and that they’ve researched their potential employer. It’s also good to discuss how they can talk about their age as a positive benefit rather than a limitation.
Finally, it’s good to make sure you’ve reviewed candidates’ social media channels, to ensure they are representing themselves online in the best way possible. Ultimately, their online presence should help them secure a role, rather than give employers a reason not to hire them.
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