Generation Z. You’ve no doubt heard about them, but what should employers know about the new kids on the career block?
For so long millennials have been the under the spotlight, for positive reasons and negative ones, too. When it comes to talent attraction and retention, we know it’s about getting in early and building lasting relationships. That’s why the real recruitment-savvy businesses are beginning to shift some focus from millennials to the quickly up & coming cohort known as Generation Z, iGen and founders.
What characterises them?
Well, they’re in school now, or just finishing up. They were born post-1995 and have no recollection of a time before mobile devices. Various organisations and businesses have conducted research into what makes Gen Z tick. Obviously you can’t go paint all individuals with the same brush,
Things you have to do to get them interested in your business:
Get on social
This is not supposed to be ‘news’ to you, more so a reiteration of what you already know. Recent global research by Smart Insights suggests Facebook is the most popular worldwide social media platform, with 1,590 million users. However The Centre for Generational Kinetics has found that Instagram and Twitter are in fact more popular among iGen. They also found that more of iGen than any other generation believes social media directly affects happiness, wellbeing and self esteem… including dating prospects. It’s clear that Gen Z is an online generation, so businesses wanting to capture the early interest of budding professionals should bring social engagement to the forefront of talent strategies.
Smartphones are important to iGen. The Centre for Generational Kinetics has found they expect to receive smartphones earlier than any other generation does. Simply having a compelling website and social media presence isn’t enough. Business that are recruiting need to make sure job ads, application forms, company profiles, employee advocacy campaigns and marketing ventures are mobile-friendly, if they want to reach Gen Z.
Offer control & growth
According to Jobbio‘s white paper on Gen Z, entrepreneurship is important. They want to be entrepreneurial; they want to own what they are doing. Business with an agenda of attracting early stage professionals need to consider this when marketing opportunities – how can more control be siphoned into positions?
Hot Spots Movement Research Institute conducted another study revealing almost a quarter of iGenners surveyed preferred the idea of freelancing – 23%! This same study, conducted across 31 countries, also revealed the vast majority of 14-18 year olds want multiple jobs in their lifetime, with only 10% wanting a job for life. More than a third of those in the study want to move 4 or more times throughout their careers. This signals the importance of businesses offering dynamic positions and promoting internal mobility in order to retain younger professionals for longer.
Be succinct & powerful
Gen Z are frequently reported to have shorter attention spans than other generations, meaning they need to be kept entertained and interested, or they’ll likely move on to the next opportunity in an instant. It goes further than that – some say apparently you have just 8 seconds to capture their interest… so it’s important to be succinct, powerful and snappy with recruitment marketing.
This Marketing Week article is a really interesting read, and while it agrees that business would do well to make messages relevant, clear and concise, it also debunks the short attention span claims, instead outlining iGen’s remarkable information navigation skills. Interesting.
At the end of the day, all individuals inside a generation are not the same. Personality differences, workplace preferences and extremes will always exist in any wide group of people pooled together by birthdate range. However, where research and evidence supports major generational trends, employers and recruitment marketers would be doing themselves a disservice not to listen!