The next generation of employees—Generation Z—possesses a range of talents and achievements ready to be applied in today’s workplace. However, when it comes to recruiting members of Generation Z, it takes more than the traditional recruiting methods to attract them. Gen Zers need to connect with your employer brand in ways that go beyond visiting your careers page to see job postings. For example, Generation Z is highly captivated by visual media, such as video that tells a story or provides information in a novel way. According to research conducted by Fullscreen, Gen Zers view digital video and short-form clips almost six times as much as they read traditional blogs.
An effective strategy for attracting Generation Z will use authentic stories to highlight important aspects of your company, culture, and career opportunities. Here are four strategies that can help you reach Gen Z through storytelling:
Leverage Social Media
For Generation Z, social media provides more than an outlet for personal expression and making connections with friends. In one study, 54 percent of Gen Zers said that when it’s time to start a job search, they will also use their digital social connections to find opportunities. Generation Z regularly utilizes Instagram, Snapchat, and other social networks that offer interactions by the second, and you’ll need to meet them on those platforms if you hope to get their attention. But reaching Gen Z on social media is about more than posting jobs there. For example, you can nurture relationships with potential candidates by posting content that demonstrates how your company fits into their career and lifestyle goals. You can further engage candidates by establishing an early presence on a social career platform that allows you to message candidates, get introduced, and create a following of individuals who can connect with your brand story.
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Incorporate Visual Aids
Visual images can often tell a story and create a vivid picture of something in ways that words alone can’t. This helps to explain the popularity of YouTube, particularly among Generation Zers. In one survey, 95 percent said they use YouTube, and 50 percent believe they "couldn’t live without” it. To effectively reach Generation Z, it’s necessary to look for opportunities to incorporate videos and photos in your employer branding strategy. And not just any company video will do. As one article points out, Generation Z prefers videos that are short in duration, entertaining, and authentic. They also prefer funny and informative content they can share with friends. In addition to YouTube, other ways you can use video for brand storytelling include:
- Sharing video testimonials from current employees talking about their work
- Posting videos of employees collaborating in a team
- Linking to a video of employees working together on a charitable service project
Weave in Targeted Content
Well-written content can also effectively illustrate a company’s history, culture, and people, but it doesn’t need to be written in standard careers page language. A successful employer branding strategy leverages targeted content to tell stories and build a sense of community. One company produces a blog written by employees that describes different careers within the company, tells stories about what it’s like to work there, and showcases the different paths employees took in their careers before joining. It’s important to note that publishing targeted content to attract Generation Z talent doesn’t have to be a costly undertaking. Companies that don’t create their own company blog or career videos can leverage a social career platform to deliver targeted career content and meet Gen Zers where they are.
Enlist Influencers and Brand Ambassadors
Members of Generation Z don’t respond to celebrities in ads as much as they respond to influencers and people who can speak with authority about a particular product or experience. You can leverage company leaders, brand ambassadors, and your existing young talent to talk about their experiences with your company in podcasts, videos, online Q&As, or even in-person gatherings. When Generation Z talent has a chance to listen to the stories of people they trust, admire, and can relate to, there’s a greater opportunity for them to engage with your brand and consider applying for an opportunity.
In almost every instance, telling a story that illustrates your employer brand will be more effective than simply posting jobs and keeping your company careers page up to date. Generation Z loves a good story, so tell yours with the benefit of an employer branding strategy that helps create a vivid picture of your company and available career opportunities.