6 Ways To Refresh Your Recruitment Marketing To Appeal To Generation Z
Are your current recruitment marketing strategies effectively reaching Gen Z candidates?
When shelter-in-place orders went into effect at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers were forced to pivot to a fully virtual recruitment strategy. Nearly a year later, many workplaces and universities have remained remote and job seekers’ priorities have changed. Now that we’re well into 2021, how well does your current approach to recruitment marketing address the needs of Gen Z candidates in the COVID-19 era?
Successful recruitment marketing collateral will showcase the value propositions that matter the most to these candidates, while reaching them in the medium and channels they engage with frequently. As Gen Z candidates prepare to enter a workforce that has been radically altered by COVID-19, it’s important that your marketing strategy is in alignment with our new normal and the values of this new crop of employees. Here are six ways to refresh your approach to recruitment marketing so that today’s job seekers are interested in learning about what your company has to offer.
Create a section on the careers page of your website that addresses Gen Z workplace priorities.
Not surprisingly, a company’s careers page is often the first place that Gen Z candidates will look to find detailed information about your company. More specifically, our survey conducted for Understanding the Gen Z Candidate Experience found that 83% of Gen Z respondents visited a company’s website after being matched with that company on RippleMatch.
While your careers page is likely to include a brief company description, open positions, and application instructions, make it Gen Z-friendly by directly addressing this demographic’s professional priorities. Our Gen Z Job Seeker report shows that in addition to compensation, professional development opportunities and company culture are two important factors for Gen Z candidates. Be sure your mission and values are clearly listed, consider showcasing specific professional development programs (such as mentorship groups, tuition reimbursement, and company workshops) available to new hires, and include a snapshot of some of your initiatives that contribute to a strong company culture. Your careers page could also share testimonials from current employees about their experience in the recruitment process, with the company overall, and with specific programs such as professional development or mentorship initiatives.
In the COVID-19 era, you should also include information on your career page about how the company responded to the pandemic. Did your internships pivot to a remote program? How have you handled onboarding for new employees? And, if your company plans to stay remote for the foreseeable future, what can Gen Z candidates expect from the recruitment, onboarding, and remote work process? Your career page is also a good place to list any virtual recruitment events, share testimonials from employees and interns who started during the pandemic, and mention any community-building initiatives you’ve developed for a virtual environment.
Once you establish a section on your careers page that addresses the priorities of Gen Z, you can repurpose the content for other online pages or even as recruitment materials for virtual career fairs or any other virtual events.
Develop video content that can be used on all channels.
According to research conducted by Google, 71% of Gen Z’ers spend three or more hours a day watching online videos. Marketing data consistently shows that video is one of the best formats for engaging Gen Z, and recruiting is no exception. While developing video assets can be time-consuming, the good news is that video can be repurposed across many different channels. For example, a video testimonial from a current entry-level employee can be featured on the careers page of your website, your LinkedIn page, your YouTube page, and your Glassdoor profile. Need some inspiration on how to use video content effectively? These 10 companies have embraced video in their recruitment marketing strategies and have engaging content as a result.
Your company likely has a Glassdoor page already, but there are ways to maximize its potential for recruiting Gen Z candidates. In our Navigating Entry-Level Jobs & Internships During COVID-19 survey, 40% of Gen Z respondents researched a company on Glassdoor.
If you haven’t already, claim your company profile on Glassdoor and keep it up-to-date – ask your current employees to leave company reviews, fleshing out information such as salary, benefits information, and general opinions about the company itself. Knowing that Gen Z values professional development and company culture, featuring reviews from current employees on those specific things can be especially useful for Gen Z candidates conducting research. Glassdoor has also implemented a special tag for reviews from employees who started their jobs during COVID, so it’s a good idea to encourage your recent hires to share their experiences.
You can also optimize your Glassdoor profile by responding to positive and negative reviews thoughtfully, and listing information about insurance, vacation policy, and other benefits. In addition, you can post company updates on the Glassdoor page if you want to promote a specific event, program, and more.
Maintain an active presence on LinkedIn, but use other social media sites sparingly for recruitment purposes.
Since members of Gen Z are consistently referred to as “digital natives,” it might seem like a no-brainer to use social media to reach candidates. In fact, in our Navigating Entry-Level Jobs & Internships During COVID-19, 51% of Gen Z candidates indicated that employers can best advertise their job openings via social media. The main “social media” channel that Gen Z candidates use in their job search is LinkedIn, with 94% of candidates utilizing this channel to research companies, according to our data. This suggests that for social media, it’s best to put the most effort into developing your employer brand on LinkedIn.
To refresh your employer brand on LinkedIn, maintain a robust company page with up-to-date job postings, as well as frequent updates such as company news, articles relevant to your industry, highlights of stellar employees, professional development & mentorship opportunities, and events like career fairs and virtual info sessions specifically for entry-level candidates. If you want to take your brand on LinkedIn a step further, invest in LinkedIn’s branding package and fill out the “Life” section on your company page with repurposed content from your website, engaging videos, and pictures that show off your company culture. You should also encourage current employees and interns to share their experiences on their own profiles, and then engage with their content using your company page.
Other than LinkedIn, consider putting some effort into your company’s Instagram profile. With 73% of Gen Z adults using Instagram, this is one of the top social media platforms to share information about recruitment events for entry-level talent and to show what it’s like to work for your company. Instagram posts work well for big announcements such as events and application dates, while Instagram Stories are perfect for highlighting company culture through employee takeovers.
You may also want to look into using TikTok when recruiting Gen Z talent.
Similar to Instagram, you could ask campus reps or interns to create TikTok videos that showcase their experience at the company. TikTok tends to be geared toward younger users (teenagers and young adults), so it’s best to make sure it fits with your overall employer brand before taking the plunge.
Expand your reach through an innovative and widespread virtual events strategy.
Refreshing your recruitment marketing isn’t just about creating new collateral. Connecting with candidates is important, too. With most recruitment events transitioning to a virtual platform as a result of COVID, now is the perfect opportunity to expand your reach and meet new candidates who otherwise wouldn’t have been on the radar.
If your company has a reputation for only recruiting at Ivy League schools, you are missing out on a lot of talented candidates who might they think are not a good fit for your company. Since virtual events do not restrict recruiters or job seekers by location, you can make a targeted effort to reach other schools such as public universities, HBCUs, and liberal arts colleges. The wider and more diverse your audience, the more inclusive your employer brand will be.
While virtual career expos are the most well-known type of virtual recruitment event, you can reach candidates at all stages of the recruitment funnel by incorporating info sessions, professional development workshops, networking events, and more. Since you won’t need to worry about the time or expenses involved with traveling from campus to campus, you can experiment with different types of virtual events to see which ones resonate the most with your target audience.
For more advice on expanding your reach to other universities, download our guide, Beyond Ivy Leagues: 2020-2021 Campus Guide, and check out our article “25 Virtual Recruitment Event Ideas” for inspiration.
Be thoughtful on how you discuss and showcase your D&I initiatives.
Gen Z is on track to be the most diverse generation in American history. They not only value diversity, but they also demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice -- and expect the same from their future employers. According to our Gen Z Job Seeker report, 68% of students said a company's diversity & inclusion efforts have become even more important to them in the wake of recent protests against racism and police brutality.
However, Gen Z candidates want to see D&I initiatives with real results -- not just lip service to a cause. According to our survey, 69% of students wanted to see companies show their commitment to D&I by having diverse executive teams, and 67% wanted to see the hiring and promotion of diverse talent. By contrast, less than 40% believed that public statements on equality, published stories from diverse identities at the company, or political advocacy would sufficiently demonstrate this commitment to equality.
Ensuring that your recruitment marketing strategies are resonating with Gen Z will help you stand out to entry-level candidates as they make their way through the job search. By focusing your messaging on details that matter to these candidates on the mediums they use the most, you will have the best chance of fostering interest in your company and earning a positive reputation among Gen Z candidates.