Every generation to enter the workforce has influenced recruiting strategy, and Gen Z is no different. What’s the new competitive edge with these diverse, tech-savvy candidates entering the workforce? Recruitment marketing.
Why Recruitment Marketing Is Nonnegotiable
Recruitment marketing involves developing and communicating a value proposition to candidates much like marketers do with consumers. It’s a 30-year-old concept whose time has come. Here’s why:
- More so than any other prior generation, Gen Zers (ages 7 to 22 in 2019) approach the world as consumers. They’re digital-age kids, both in their own use of technology and in the way the modern world works around them. A recent study found that in their daily conversations, they talk about products, services and brands 33% more than people over age 21. To be candidate-centric with your Gen Z hiring, you need a recruitment marketing approach.
- Today’s candidate-driven talent market gives Gen Z lots of choices. Capturing talent depends on creating engagement quickly, then building an emotional connection, and finally, trust in you as their best choice for employment. Recruitment marketing creates a differentiating hiring experience. It also creates the foundation for trust by building an emotional connection.
- Recruitment marketing helps recruiters build higher ratios of qualified candidates in the talent pipeline. It supports improvement in key hiring metrics like speed to hire and new hire retention.
Recruitment marketing began when TA professionals started using multiple points of contact and targeted messaging to help candidates understand their employer brand and value proposition. Many of these strategies have become baseline best practices in recruiting. Today’s recruitment marketing approaches need to evolve to capture the attention of modern young candidates.
Modern Recruitment Marketing Essentials
Modern recruitment marketing is about personalization, continuous candidate engagement, and a digital hiring experience. Here’s how you can align with Gen Z candidates:
Personalize your EVP for Gen Z. Your employer value proposition (EVP) describes the experience of working for your organization, and what’s in it for potential new hires. In this age of targeted, personalized outreach, your EVP should speak to Gen Z. It needs to answer questions such as Why would you, Gen Z candidate, choose us? and What does our employment experience offer that Gen Z candidates want?
Start with your EVP for all employees – the elements that are already part of your culture and employment experience. Then, bubble up aspects that are a priority for Gen Z. Data points like these can help inform your work:
- 74% of Gen Z strongly believes work should have a greater purpose.
- 84% of Gen Z identify the potential for career progression and growth as their top priority when looking for an employer.
- 8 in 10 Gen Z job seekers would like employers to help them develop job-specific and soft skills.
- 70% of Gen Z say they are motivated by money.
Sources: Monster, EY, Staffing Industry Analysts
Don’t stop with “Apply”. Old-school recruitment marketing focused on getting candidates into the funnel. In the modern, candidate-centric environment, strategic recruitment marketing continues through every stage of the hiring cycle. Arguably, the interview experience is the most important step in this journey. Remember, in today’s candidate-driven market, candidates are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. According to Talent Board research, 32% of candidates say they exited the interview process because of poor recruiter rapport. Up from just 11% one year ago. The top candidates are on a journey through your hiring process. Their experience should be consistent from application to onboarding. Adjust the emphasis of your messaging at different stages:
- Focus on your employment experience and what candidates can expect from your recruitment process in the early stages of engagement.
- During the interview process, show them you care about them by offering the type of high tech, high touch experience they expect.
- As candidates move from offer acceptance through onboarding, emphasize the long-term employment experience, and what they can expect as they start working with their manager and team.
Choose the right technology. A digital hiring experience is what this digital generation expects, but simply being online won’t drive hiring results. Gen Zers approach communication and technology differently than their older colleagues. They prefer video over text content when they’re looking for answers. They would rather text than pick up the phone most of the time. And they’re way past Facebook. Gen Z’s social platforms of choice are YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. You can share your EVP messaging with Gen Z more easily by using video interviews and on-demand text interviews in your workflow.
Finally, keep in mind recruitment marketing is one part of the equation. Candidate engagement has its roots in your messaging and communication strategies, but Gen Z needs to feel your personal attention for that engagement to grow. Savvy recruiters weave recruitment marketing and relationship-building together to create a modern, candidate-centric hiring experience.
About the author: Terri Herrmann is the VP of marketing at Montage, the single solution to engage, interview and hire better candidates faster. Terri believes that behind every great brand is an even better story. As VP of Marketing, Terri is responsible for evangelizing the Montage brand story and continuing to build its reputation as the industry leader in interviewing technology. She also defines and drives demand generation for the company. Terri spent her entire career advancing b2b brands. Prior to joining Montage, she served as VP of Marketing for a WI-based technology company. Terri also spent over 12 years at ManpowerGroup in a variety of sales and marketing roles, finishing her tenure as director of integrated marketing for North America.