Gen Z has just begun to enter the workforce, bringing with it a fresh set of skills, achievements, and knowledge. Gen Z candidates are digital natives, highly ambitious, and prone to leveraging social networking in every aspect of life, including their job search. However, just because Gen Z candidates are digitally minded doesn’t mean that posting on popular job boards is the best or only way to reach them. Research shows there are many other ways to attract and engage Gen Z candidates.
A survey of high school and college students found that they identify job opportunities through various means, including visiting company websites, asking friends and school counselors, and attending job fairs. Using a national job board was only sixth on their list, with 35 percent of respondents saying they use that method. In addition, in a 2019 survey of U.S. college seniors, 65 percent said that the majority of the search results from job boards that they’ve used are irrelevant or not a good fit for them.
Using job board software is only one way to reach candidates. Here are some other ways to attract and engage Gen Z talent:
Focus on Employer Branding
Job boards are mostly static platforms that allow candidates to search for and view job postings. The main interaction they offer candidates is an “Apply Now” button, and that’s not sufficient for Gen Z candidates. They want more than a job posting; they want a way to engage with your employer brand and learn what it’s really like to work for you.
“Student recruiting’s been done the same way for 20 years,” recruiting specialist Karen Paginton observed. “The people that we’re recruiting are changing. They’re interacting in a very, very different way. They want a personalized, authentic candidate experience. They want to engage with an organization and its values and see themselves reflected in the talent pool of an organization.”
Posting jobs is a great way to tell candidates about open positions, but you can engage Gen Z candidates more effectively by using a career platform that allows you to incorporate videos, live sessions, content and messaging, which together provide a more compelling view of your company as a great place to work.
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Leverage Brand Ambassadors
Perhaps more than the millennials before them, Gen Zers rely on insight from individuals who can share relevant real-life information about companies and job opportunities. This may help explain why, as one study found, they talk to their friends and family about career options before visiting a job board. Gen Z candidates can get information through job boards, but they get authentic insight into whether a company is the right fit for them by talking with that company’s employees and brand ambassadors.
Given that most companies don’t necessarily have the resources to build a large brand ambassador program, a good place to start is to leverage a professional networking platform. That kind of all-in-one recruiting solution integrates all the benefits of job board software with the ability to tell employee stories or even enlist the help of a hiring manager to participate in a virtual information session. By providing Gen Zers with the chance to hear from employees who can describe what it’s like to work at your company, you can tell them more about open positions, growth opportunities, and company culture.
It’s no secret that young people are avid users of social media. However, posting jobs on Facebook or another social site won’t necessarily net great Gen Z candidates. Delivering a career search experience that includes all the social elements Gen Z loves—video imagery, storytelling, information sharing—is more likely to attract them. A social career platform created especially for students and young professionals offers Gen Z candidates opportunities to make personal connections with other young people as well as potential employers. Such a tool becomes a social media extension of your talent acquisition team, allowing you to source and identify more qualified young people than a single job board ever could.
Job board software offers just one way to reach Gen Z candidates. There are more comprehensive methods to attract young talent. Using a recruiting platform that includes job postings as well as other elements of a rich candidate experience will allow you to source and hire more Gen Z talent.