For recruiters, it is important to understand the communication preferences of the different generations in the job market. This helps them to effectively connect with potential candidates and build relationships with particular age groups.
Gen Z candidates are especially sought after in today’s climate. Older generations continue to exit the workforce and enter retirement, so this new wave of workers will be pivotal to overcoming the current labor shortage.
Let’s take a closer look at how recruiters can effectively communicate with Gen Z candidates.
What is Gen Z?
Gen Z (also known as the “iGeneration” or “Zoomers”) consists of individuals born between 1997 and 2012. This generation has grown up in a digital world and is highly proficient in technology and social media. In terms of the job market, Gen Z workers are just starting out on their careers, but they will soon become the largest demographic in the workforce.
Having grown up in an era that includes the 2008 financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war, you would expect Gen Z to take pragmatic and risk-averse approach when it comes to employment – but generally speaking, that is not the case at all.
In reality, this generation is largely made up of entrepreneurial youngsters that are far less motivated by salary and job security compared to older groups. Although pay is still an important consideration for Gen Z employees, they value it far less than older workers. In fact, around half of Gen Z candidates would accept a lower paid job if they deemed the work to be more interesting.
They also place a lot of value on the work-life balance, and according to a recent survey, remote work and flexible hours are at the top of the priority list when searching for a new job.
In terms of seeking progression opportunities, Gen Z workers rarely follow the traditional career ‘ladder’. For them, it is more like a career ‘lattice’ – instead of following a vertical path from entry-level positions up to management and executive roles, these individuals are more likely to take an elastic approach, zigzagging from one career path to the next in order to broaden their skills and experience.
In addition to accommodating these preferences, employers must incorporate Gen Z communication traits into the recruitment process to attract, hire, develop, and retain young talent.
What does an influx of Gen Z workers mean for recruiters?
Communication is key. Recruiters need to prioritize building strong relationships with Gen Z candidates, particularly now that they are set to be the driving force behind the job market for many years to come.
As previously mentioned, Gen Z individuals behave very differently to the older demographic and are difficult to keep engaged unless spoken to on their own terms. Connecting with the modern generation requires a modern approach. By following the seven steps outlined below, recruiters can start to build even stronger relationships with younger candidates.
1. Use technology and social media
Gen Z is highly proficient in technology and social media, so staffing and recruitment personnel should take advantage of this by utilizing various tech platforms to reach out to them. This could include online job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, text messaging, or even chatbots. By using these channels, recruiters can reach Gen Z candidates where they are most active and engaged.
Online job boards
The internet is still the hub of job search activity, and Gen Z job seekers won’t wait around for a suitable role to find them. As well as browsing major careers websites, these candidates will conduct google searches to widen their search. It has therefore become critical that staffing and recruitment agencies ensure that their job postings can easily be found online
An applicant tracking system (ATS) can assist with this. For example, Mindscope applicant tracking software enables recruiters to select jobs stored within the system and automatically post them to online job boards including Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and more.
Staffing and recruitment agencies even have the opportunity to cut out the middleman and attract online job seekers directly by hosting fully integrated job board pages within their existing website. Associated job postings are SEO-optimized and formatted for Google Jobs to give listings an even better chance of being seen.
Social media now plays a significant role in helping candidates find a job. Research by Glassdoor suggests that around 80% of job seekers will use social media as part of their search – a figure that is likely to be even higher among the Gen Z demographic.
Recruiters can take advantage of this trend by using Mindsope to post jobs directly to major social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Any applicant sourced via these channels is automatically added to the ATS within the relevant workflow.
Recruiters often find that the phone calls they make to Gen Z candidates go unanswered. However, it is not something that should deter them from contacting these individuals altogether, it might just be that a different approach is needed.
Gen Z is known for placing immense value on control, convenience, and multitasking. Psychologists believe that these values have in turn caused a significant shift away from regular phone calls, and as such, text messaging has emerged as a much better fit for the Gen Z lifestyle.
It is easy to see why SMS texting has become the go-to communication method when it comes to contacting candidates, especially considering that text messages have an overall open rate of around 97%.
Mindscope applicant tracking software integrates with Nexmo to allow recruiters to send and receive SMS text messages directly from their ATS or mobile device. This not only makes it possible to reach up to 500 candidates at the same time, but it also records correspondence automatically within Mindscope for future reference.
AI-powered communication tools provide the instant interaction that Gen Z craves. Coupled with the fact that they can save recruitment personnel precious time, chatbots represent a win-win scenario for recruiters and their candidates.
Fortunately for Mindscope users, they are able to access Kaptivate – a powerful candidate engagement tool that automates conversations and retrieves critical information in real time. This chatbot software can be set up to ask recipients a series of questions within a pre-emptive conversation tree. It is a fast, targeted approach that can reach hundreds of candidates at the same time via SMS, WhatsApp and email. Crucially, there is no need for recruiters to spend hours calling candidates that are unlikely to answer.
In addition to sourcing and screening, Kaptivate can be used to keep candidate records up to date (availability, location, etc.). Recruiters can notify recipients about available positions while also confirming key information such as contact details, employment history, qualifications, and availability. All this information is then automatically recorded in Mindscope within the relevant candidate profile for future reference.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Gen Z has a short attention span and is used to consuming information quickly. As recruiters, it is important to keep communications short and to the point – bullet points, short paragraphs, and visually appealing graphics can make messages more engaging and easier to understand.
3. Be authentic
Authenticity means a lot to the younger generation, and they will be highly skeptical of corporate language and jargon. When communicating with Gen Z candidates, it is important to be genuine and transparent. All language used should be relatable and understandable – it is best to avoid using corporate speak or buzzwords that may put them off.
4. Provide clear and concise information
Gen Z is highly independent and values efficiency. When communicating with younger prospects, recruiters need to provide clear and concise information about the job opportunity, company culture, and benefits. Being transparent about what the job entails and what the company can offer will help Gen Z candidates make informed decisions about whether the opportunity is a good fit for them.
5. Show them the impact they can make
Making a positive impact is of great importance to Gen Z workers. When communicating with this socially conscious generation, recruiters need to show them the impact they can make by working for the company in question. This could involve sharing stories about the positive impact that the employer has made on the community or talking about the initiatives the organization has in place to promote sustainability and social responsibility.
6. Offer flexible work arrangements
It is well known that work-life balance and flexibility are core values for Gen Z employees. When communicating with Gen Z candidates, recruitment personnel must highlight any flexible work arrangements the employer offers, such as remote work or flexible schedules. This will show them that the company values their well-being and is committed to accommodating their needs.
7. Personalize communication
Gen Z candidates are more likely to respond to communication that feels tailored to them, so messages need to be personalized as much as possible. At the very least, recruiters should refer to candidates by name, but it is also a good idea to mention something specific from their resume or LinkedIn profile to show that that someone has taken the time to read it. This will make them feel valued and increase the chances of them responding to communications.
To assist with personalized communication, messages sent via Mindscope’s SMS and email integrations automatically address the contact by the name listed in their candidate profile. The same goes for any conversations set up within the Kaptivate candidate engagement system. By using these tools, recruiters no longer need to sacrifice personalization when conducting mass communication campaigns.
In conclusion, Gen Z is a unique demographic that requires a different approach to candidate outreach. Deploying technology to ensure that communication is personalized as well as clear and concise empowers recruitment personnel to successfully forge relationships with a generation of job seekers that is soon to become the dominant force with the modern job market.
Mindscope staffing and recruitment software can help agencies connect with candidates. Our intuitive automation and communication tools make it easier than ever to attract and secure talent ahead of competitors. Request a demo today to see it in action.