Recruiting Gen Z: Diversity, Inclusion, and Influence

Good news, recruiters: Generation Z places less value on salary than any other generation!

Bad news: if you can’t excite them, they’ll walk right out the door.

Gen Z – made up of individuals born between 1997 and 2010 – is finally entering the workplace, displacing Millennials as the hottest new set of entry-level employees. Yet with this demographic transformation comes many challenges employers must be ready to face, from digitization to diversification.

However, we can’t just look at Gen Z to answer what companies must do to face this employment challenge head-on. To wrap our heads around what makes this eager bunch of young professionals excited, we need to stack them up against Millennials, Gen Xers, and Early Boomers.

Your recruitment needs to mirror Gen Z’s historic diversity

Many companies only started to take diversity and inclusion efforts seriously within the past 15 years. As a reflection of this trend,In the US for example,  a whopping 82% of Boomers identify as white. As for Gen Z, whites now make up just a little over half —a 30% drop in only 50 years.

So, what does this exactly mean for hiring candidates?

First, if your recruitment team consists only of people with the same cultural backgrounds and ways of thinking, Gen Z will doubt your organization’s diversity. In fact, a recent survey found that 83% of the generation agree inclusion and diversity is an essential factor when selecting an employer.

And if you’re looking to hire the best, you need to focus on genuine inclusivity efforts such as internal diversity programs and support groups.

That’s right: influencer marketing works for employers, too

At this point, it should come as no surprise to you that every single article on Gen Z emphasizes its online presence. They continually like photos on social media, browse through online articles and watch hours of YouTube videos.

 

Influencer marketing, or advertising a product using a well-known social media star, stems from this online sensation—and it can even help you win talented employees.

You might think influencers are all fluff and no show, but 7 in 10 Gen Z follow at least one socialite online, and almost half have made purchasing decisions from influencer recommendations. And you can use this same strategy to organically publicize your company’s work-life, employees, and culture.

 

Unlike Boomers, these campaigns work perfectly also for Gen X and Millennials, who spend time researching businesses online.

To get started, ask your employees—especially younger ones, like interns—to share their experiences working with you online. Give them permission to occasionally take photos around the office, encourage them to use recruitment-specific hashtags, and let them represent you fabulously online to a crowd of eager Gen Z candidates.

It’s not just about you anymore

Often, “older” generations pursued careers and employment for their own benefit—and employers, through high salaries and opportunities for personal development, met this demand easily. Yet Gen Z wants to work for companies fighting the good fight—those which make a difference in the world every day.

Rather than having your recruitment team focus exclusively on benefits within the company, have them mention how your firm plays a larger role in society. Do employees donate thousands to charity every year? Are there opportunities to volunteer during working hours?

You need to understand how to answer these questions because Gen Z holds businesses accountable and demands they add societal value to others.

And get this: almost 100% of Gen Z expect firms to address social and environmental challenges. You need to think of the bigger picture: what impact does your firm make on a broader level, and how can we ensure Gen Z candidates know about this?

These represent only three potential strategies your team can pursue to attract more Gen Z candidates. However, you must understand one key component: this generation loves personalization. Remember that every industry is different, meaning your recruiting strategies need to adapt to a different set of potential employees.

With this in mind comes the great news: you’re now thinking of different ways to change your company’s recruiting strategy to ensure Gen Z practically flocks to work for you.

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