Born between approximately 1997 and the early 2010s, members of Gen Z have an increasing presence in the workforce; in fact, it is predicted that they will make up more than 30% of the workforce by 2030. Also known as the iGen, this cohort is entering the job market with very different experiences, training, and expectations than the generations that came before them. Having a deeper understanding of Gen Z — what they look for in a potential employer, how they spend their time, and what grabs their attention — can help you effectively attract, engage and reach these rising job seekers on social media and beyond.

Getting to Know the Gen Z Workforce

Understanding Gen Z starts with understanding how this group differs from the generations that came before. Gen Zers are more educated than older cohorts, with 57% of 18-to-21-year-olds in college; this contrasts with just 52% of Millennials and 43% of Gen Xers in college at the same age.  Interestingly, the pandemic has affected Gen Z the most in relation to work when compared to older generations — perhaps because of their low level of on-the-job experience at the time the pandemic hit. Some have struggled to find jobs because of the recession, and they are most likely to have lost jobs or to have experienced reductions in pay and hours.

Building on trends introduced by Millennials, this emerging workforce expects companies to be transparent. Gen Zers value diversity and flexibility, and they expect their employers to be socially conscious, not only donating to charities and organizations, but also doing on-the-ground work in their communities. The iGen is even more tech-savvy than previous groups, having grown up in a completely digital world; this makes it more possible than ever before to attract and recruit top-tier Gen Z talent through social media. 

For more information on Gen Z and what they want in an employer, check out our piece Rethinking Recruitment in the Face of Gen Z.

Gen Z and Social Media

Most iGen members are digital natives who do not remember a world before the Internet. They are avid social media users, so it’s no surprise that 74% reported spending their free time online — effectively making digital socialization more likely than in-person interactions. As a result, these apps and platforms are important channels for reaching Gen Zers as both consumers and potential hires.

Social recruitment, a growing strategy for staffing professionals, is even more effective with Gen Z’s increased social presence and activity. Consequently, with so many channels and content format options, a defined plan that is informed by Gen Z’s social media preferences can be a time and cost-effective social recruitment strategy. Here are three tips when developing your iGen social recruiting strategy:

1. Focus on the Most Popular Gen Z Platforms

As a group, iGen has clear social channel preferences. Nearly 90% of Gen Z report using Snapchat, making it the most popular channel for the group. Beyond Snapchat, Gen Z members spend the most time on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, so ensure that your recruitment strategy includes creative content developed specifically for these channels. This generation has largely abandoned platforms that were once popular, like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Instead, their time is spent on newer apps that promote more timely content that is heavily visual in nature.

2. Prioritize the Creation of Video Content

Compared to other generations, your potential Gen Z workforce is less compelled by text-heavy content, like long-form blog posts. Instead, their preferred formats are more visual in nature, which goes hand-in-hand with the format of their favored social platforms. Graphics and photos can definitely be attention-grabbing, but videos are the most engaging content format to engage this pool of potential candidates.

Videos can serve a dual purpose in supporting your brand marketing and highlighting your employer branding, as well as helping to recruit for specific open positions. Consider using testimonials from iGen employees, behind-the-scenes “at work” clips, and short videos highlighting exciting projects and innovations.

3. Highlight Your Values and Social Efforts

Gen Zers are hyper-focused on actively supporting causes that matter to them, and this carries over into their expectations for brands: they want to work for companies that are taking action on social issues. They also value ethical and sustainable practices when it comes to evaluating a potential employer.

As a recruiting professional, you’ll want to address these priorities in your hiring-focused social media campaigns. When you promote your company on social media, typical corporate perks are not going to impress Gen Z. Instead, use graphics and video content to highlight your company’s values and positive influence on the workplace, the community and the world. Social channels are also ideal for sharing your organization’s social justice activities and efforts towards sustainability and ethical business practices.

Gen Z and Your Future Workforce

Gen Z is a unique, emerging audience that will have an increasingly significant impact on the workforce over the next several decades. As they are highly engaged on social media, it is crucial that recruitment strategies utilize social media as a front-and-center recruiting tool. By focusing on the right channels, prioritizing visual content, and highlighting values and social justice efforts, you can successfully engage this generation as future employees. 

If you are new to social recruitment or are looking to expand your social media hiring strategy, we have a dedicated social team and a plethora of innovative tools to help you attract and hire best-fit Gen Z employees. Learn more about how Bayard’s solutions can boost your recruiting efforts here: bayardad.com.

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