6 Best Practices for Recruiting Gen Z Talent

6 Best Practices for Recruiting Gen Z Talent

Gen Z, Zoomers, iGen — whatever you call them, this new wave of young professionals is already taking the workforce by storm. 

That’s right: the oldest members of Gen Z are graduating college — and for many companies, they’re in demand: Gen Z is expected to fill 1 out of every 5 job positions within the next decade. Not only is Gen Z valued for their tech-savviness, social conscientiousness, and ambition, today’s tight labor market means the pressure is on for HR to come up with a talent acquisition strategy best-suited for these rising professionals.

Here are our top six Gen Z recruiting tips.

1. Show off your tech

There’s a reason Gen Z is also called iGen. 

As the first generation of digital natives, technology is the most essential element of their lives — right after air and water. Most of Gen Z doesn’t even remember a time before social media, smartphones, and instant messaging. This has made the new generation more proficient at practicing their written communication skills than any of their predecessors, but it also means they have high expectations when it comes to technology. 

Gen Z is less likely to accept a job offer if the recruiting process seems outdated. They want to know that the company they work for is modern, streamlined, and eager for progress. In fact, Zoomers spend an average total of 6-11 hours on electronic devices per day. Effectively using tech to handle details during the recruiting process, such as event registration, resume capture, and general communication shows Gen Z applicants that you’re up-to-date with the latest technology and have a focus on evolution and optimization. 

Utilizing career sites to deliver personalized job and content recommendations should pique the interest of Gen Z job seekers. Even investing in chatbots to help candidates efficiently find information on your career site or utilizing SMS to send your candidates personalized messages and updates on their hiring process is a great way to showcase your company’s technical literacy.

Phenomenal Tip: Leverage an events tool to capture registrations and candidate information, and then invest in a mobile app to take your recruiting efforts on the go. 

In addition to using the latest technology when recruiting talent, make sure to also highlight the software and technology they’ll use when they become an employee. Do you use cloud tech to work from anywhere? Is your company active on social media platforms? Let them know!

2. Be transparent

Like Millennials, Gen Z expects transparency from potential employers. They’ve adopted an attitude of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This may be why a survey conducted by EY revealed that 67% of Zoomers say that people can’t be trusted. The new generation not only expects honesty and authenticity, they require it. If they think a potential employer is trying to pull the wool over their eyes, they won’t hesitate to turn down the offer.

Be upfront about any details that may be of interest to an entry-level candidate, including company policies, career benefits, and growth opportunities. Remember: Gen Z holds information they receive at college career centers and hiring events in high esteem. Make sure the information you’re providing at recruiting events is accurate and empathetic. 

Encourage your recruiters to be honest and eager to share details about your company culture all throughout the hiring process, from the booth at the career fair to a phone call after the event: what team building events do you offer? How are you ensuring diversity and inclusion? Do you have any specific perks, like internet bill rebates? 

Even if you don’t offer something they might be looking for, that’s okay. By only highlighting the favorable aspects of your company or available position, you’re signaling inauthenticity to Gen Z candidates. Rather than framing things as negatives, present them as challenges, and offer a positive solution. For example, if your company culture is fast-paced, you can communicate that “our work environment is very fast-paced, but we support open communication between employees and their managers to mitigate any stress or exhaustion.” 

By being open about less desirable details, you’re letting them know that they can trust you. Just make sure that for any negative you list, you spin it back into a positive.

3. Choose recruiters wisely

Despite being known for their early technological literacy, 72% of Gen Z actually prefer face-to-face communication over any other method of professional communication. When choosing recruiters, consider who can best appeal to young, entry-level job seekers while also accurately representing your company culture. 

Your recruiters are among the highest factors in Gen Z career decision-making. If early talent feels respected and understood, they’re going to associate those feelings with your company. Choose recruiters who are certified in recruiting college-aged candidates, and consider providing your employees with opportunities to get certified in this area if they aren’t already. 

Phenomenal Tip: Provide training materials such as relevant resources, persona-based learning, and certification opportunities on topics including early talent recruiting, university events, and events marketing. Investing in a Learning Management System can help you centralize this information and make it easy to access as well!

As with recruiting any candidate, knowing your audience and where to find them is key. Nearly 25% of Gen Z begin their job search during their freshman year of college. Make sure they get to know you before your competitors by engaging early and attending campus recruiting events. Even if you don’t find your next employee at that campus, you’re raising brand awareness among the next wave of college graduates.

Phenomenal Tip: With many campuses continuing to host virtual or hybrid job fairs and recruiting events, consider utilizing an event planning software to easily plan on-site, virtual, or hybrid university recruiting events.

4. Stay concise, but engaging

Today the average person has an average attention span of eight seconds — that’s shorter than a goldfish! As digital natives, Gen Z’s media consumption has been directly influenced by their early, constant access to technology. Commercials, social media, news outlets — this new generation has watched brands and media fight non-stop for their attention, and it’s made them easily bored. It also raises the possibility of your efforts being lost in the noise.

When advertising to Gen Z, whether you’re making banners for career fairs or writing a post for LinkedIn, make sure to keep it concise. Communicate your message in a maximum of five words and include a big picture. You might also want to try using modern lingo to boost relatability. Want to convey that your company culture stands out from the rest? Let them know it hits different. What to add emphasis to a point? Drop a periodt at the end of the sentence. 

Just make sure you’re not being cheugy, or trying too hard to be trendy. Remember: Gen Z can smell inauthenticity and “try-hard” behavior from a mile away. Try following popular accounts on social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest trends and lingo. 

It’s also important to note that their attention span doesn’t just stop at advertisements. Try to set up instantaneous registration and apply processes and to avoid losing potential candidate’s interest halfway through the process. 

Phenomenal Tip: Don’t make registration or application processes complicated —  keep the details down to name, phone number, email address, and resume. 

5. Make it meaningful

When it comes to Gen Z, purpose is everything. They want to know that the work they’ll be doing is meaningful, and that the company they work for is woke (adj., alert to injustice in society).

According to a survey by Deloitte Global, Gen Z is nearly 15% more likely to make career decisions based on personal ethics than Millennials. This includes the type of work they are prepared to do and the organizations they’d work for.

When trying to appeal to Gen Z, make sure to let them know how your company will benefit them both inside and outside of the workplace. What company values do you expect your employees to align themselves with? What strategies does your company employ to support mental health? What kind of diversity and inclusion events does your company provide? These are the kind of questions Gen Z wants answers to.

You might consider highlighting what your company and employees do to help their community. If you make a charitable donation, let your Gen Z audience know by posting about it. If you host an annual fundraising event, make sure your recruiters organically bring it up. Gen Z wants to take pride in working for you, so give them a reason to!

6. Maintain quick communication

So now that you’ve convinced them to apply, what do you do next? 

Like with everything else, Gen Z has modern expectations for the hiring process. The new generation is more likely than Millennials to become frustrated when recruiters can’t quickly or efficiently schedule interviews. Low volume communication signals a lack of respect to Gen Z, making them more wary of accepting your company’s offer. 

Since 23% of Gen Z expects texting to be an essential part of the workforce, it might be beneficial to employ SMS campaigns throughout the hiring process. This makes it easy for your recruiters to personalize communication with multiple students simultaneously, allowing you to keep in contact with Gen Z candidates, while they get the respect and attention they need.

Phenomenal Tip: Leverage SMS messaging to send 1-1 messages and large-scale campaigns. 

So what’s next?

With entry-level Gen Z candidates being of such high value in a tight labor market, make sure you have a plan for attracting and retaining Gen Z talent that involves modern and efficient technology, transparent communication, and engaging authenticity — periodt (See what I did there?).

Interested in a talent experience platform that will transform your Gen Z recruiting? Request a demo to see it in action!

If you’re a current customer and you’re interested in tips and tricks for Gen Z recruiting and are interested in getting certified, contact your Customer Success Manager today!

Tue, 09/28/2021 – 10:23

Getting Your Employee Value Proposition Right

Getting Your Employee Value Proposition Right

Standing out among candidates — and keeping the talent you have — is an ever-growing challenge in today’s tight labor market. It may be time to evaluate a key TA element: your employee value proposition (EVP).

On last week’s episode of Talent Experience Live, Michelle Sargent, VP of New Business and Partnerships at recruitment marketing agency Recruitics, shared pro tips on employer branding, creating EVPs that resonate — and how to spread the word to talent.  

Watch the full episode below, or read on for details!

EVP is everything

According to Sargent, who has helped many employers fine-tune and promote their EVPs, companies she hears from today tend to be in SOS mode. “Right now, the conversations are very much, ‘We need help now. We need to find candidates,’” she said. “So the first question I ask back is, ‘Well, what’s your EVP, what does your employment brand say?’” 

Attracting and retaining talent depends on a strong EVP

The concept of EVP has evolved over the past several years, Sargent said. And it’s become a top priority as companies revamp their approach to hiring and retention. 

Attracting talent. In fact, she noted, there are nearly 11 million open jobs right now, citing research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “How do you make your job, your company stand out from all of those? You need to have an EVP that differentiates you from all of those companies, all of those jobs. And as people start to get back to work, you really have to have that compelling message [as to] why they would choose you over those 11 million jobs out there.”

Companies can try every creative tactic in the book, from wrapped buildings to QR codes — but at the end of the day, it’s what they’re actually saying that matters most. “My advice is, level up the EVP and really take a hard look at what that EVP and employment brand are saying.”

Retaining talent. A well-defined EVP is also critical to retaining the employees you already have. “A strong EVP and workforce go hand in hand,” Sargent said. “Companies without them can have high turnover, or attract the wrong candidates.”

What channel works best for conveying your EVP?

To get a read on this, Phenom polled LinkedIn members on their favorite ways to promote their EVP. Here’s how they responded:

48%: Career site
30%: Social media
13%: Events
10%: Talent marketing campaigns

As for Sargent’s thoughts? All of the above are essential. “I don’t think that you can say just one. Your employment brand needs to live and breathe on every stage of that journey.”

Using HR tech to ensure consistency 

So, mixing it up channel-wise is good – but avoid mixing the message.

Before a candidate even applies to a job, they’ll experience an average of 3 to 18 touch points with an employer, Sargent said. As a result, it’s important that the EVP comes through at every touch.

She recommends using a talent experience management platform to ensure consistency and shared how using the Phenom solution was pivotal in promoting Brother International Corporation’s EVP, “At your side.” 

Case Study: How Brother International Corporation Increased Completed Applications 140% with Rebrand

“We started [integrating EVPs] on Phenom’s platform, and then we did it across the entire digital footprint. So it was a fantastic way to showcase all of the different touch points in the candidate journey, and how it’s important to be consistent in that messaging so that candidates really soak it in.”

EVP vs. Employment Brand: There’s a difference

Although closely connected, EVP and employment brand have different functions — and it’s important to understand the nuances, Sargent said. 

EVP should communicate what your employees and candidates stand to gain in return for their commitment to work for you. It’s more than a slogan, value, or culture code, Sargent emphasizes, “It’s about the promises you’re making to your employees and your candidates.”

Employer brand is the external face the company shows the outside world – the sum of all differentiators, the “why.” 

“In other words, the EVP is really, ‘Why come work here?’ and the employer brand is the ‘how’ and ‘what it takes to work there,” Sargent clarified.

Blog: 4 Steps to Establishing Your Employer Brand

Supercharging your EVP, step by step

So you want to level up your EVP. What’s next?

First, know that it’s a big commitment, and plan not to rush things, Sargent said. She recommends the following approach:

Define and refine your EVP

Again, good EVPs share certain characteristics: they convey culture. They convey what you stand to gain as an employee. “It’s about defining the essence of your company, and how unique it is and what it stands for. It’s the central reason that people are proud and motivated to work there and to stay there … I really feel it keeps your employees coming to work every day,” Sargent said.

“I tell [clients], think of [EVP] like a table, with four legs and a top,” she added. “Each leg is a promise and on top lays the EVP. You can’t have one leg without all four, and can’t have the top without legs to support it.”

The most impactful EVPs are the ones that authentically convey culture, she said. Sargent’s favorite examples of employer brands and value propositions are simple, iconic, and powerful:

Apple: Join us. Be you. The message here? We embrace our employees; you’ll fit in with our culture.Hershey: Haven’t reached your full potential yet? Neither have we. There’s more to be made. This clearly tells candidates and employees that they’ll never stop growing and learning.Chewy: Sargent gave props specifically to Chewy for its dynamic approach to culture. For example, Chewy calls team members Chewtopians. “I want to be part of that tribe – that to me is really compelling,” she said.

Blog: The 3 Levels of Employer Brand

Get your revamped brand and EVP in motion 

Once you’ve nailed your EVP, take these next steps:

Secure buy-in. Like any major initiative, securing buy-in has to come first. It should also come from all levels of stakeholders, from the C-suite to hourly workers.
Do your research. Conduct thorough research in the form of employee surveys, focus groups, competitive analyses, and internal analyses. 
Get feedback. Make sure you got it right – secure internal and external validation to make sure your employment brand resonates.
Activate the brand. Decide how and where it will be communicated, and monitor how it’s being received.

The must-have medium to convey your EVP

When it comes to communicating your EVP, Sargent is a fan of the power of video. 

“I don’t think anything will convey your EVP, employment brand, or culture better than video,” she said.

Investing in video development also primes employers to stand out on social media, where job candidates (especially younger generations) spend so much time. Think Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube … video is the way to connect with candidates on these platforms.

Key takeaways

Employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand are not the same. EVPs should communicate what your candidates and employees stand to gain in return for their commitment to work for you. Your employer brand shows the outside world what your company does and why. 

Define and refine your EVP. Once you craft a solid EVP, strategically implement it throughout every step of your candidate experience. Use HR tech and videos for consistent messaging that cuts through the noise. 

Don’t forget to get feedback. You work hard to create an EVP that accurately represents your company culture. Make sure your candidates and employees are receiving the message in the way that you intended. 

Read The Definitive Guide to Recruitment Marketing to crush your recruitment marketing goals with Phenom!

Sign up to get notified about future episodes of Talent Experience Live! Catch us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook every Thursday at noon ET to get the latest in recruiting, talent acquisition, talent management, and HR tech.

Tue, 09/21/2021 – 20:40

Building the Dream Team: What HR Can Learn From Pro Football

Building the Dream Team: What HR Can Learn From Pro Football

What do the most winning pro football teams have in common? A culture that embraces, recognizes, and invests in its people. That applies to high-achieving companies as well.

On our last episode of Talent Experience Live, Phenom’s Product Marketing Manager Devin Foster explored the parallels between building unstoppable pro football teams and thriving corporate organizations.

To find out how you can take a page out of your favorite team’s playbook to position your people for success, watch the full episode here, or check out show highlights below!

Roster check: It’s all about your people

People are at the heart of both a workplace and a professional sports team, defining its character and culture. 

Success ultimately depends on how all the players align how to work together to meet their goals (or, of course, to score goals, if you’re a pro baller).

So who’s who at your organization? It might help to think of your key players this way:

Team owners = C-Suite, Stockholders, and Venture Capitalists 

They’re setting the tone at the top, investing in the overhead that will get the work done – leading to attract top talent. 

General Manager = CHRO, VP of HR

As the leader of HR, this person is in charge of positioning the team with the technology and tools needed for optimal success. 

As Foster describes it, “When we look at it from an HR perspective, it’s the kind of HR tech that they’re providing you with to thrive — in the same way that a general manager selects or drafts star players.”

Coach = VP of Talent Acquisition

The TA leader, like a head coach in pro football, is pivotal to assembling top talent on your team for long-term success. “They are setting things up for the future and truly are all about bringing in your star players,” Foster said.

Quarterback = Recruiters

Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers. Patrick Mahomes. They’re household names for a reason: When it comes to winning or losing, quarterbacks have the most visibility, and these are the guys that have delivered over the past few (or many) years. 

Likewise, your recruiters get credit when they bring in the winning hires. Today, the most successful recruiters act as talent advisors, building relationships with managers and candidates alike in the same way that quarterbacks guide their teammates. 

Running Backs and Wide Receivers = Hiring Managers and Internal Leaders

What do running backs and wide receivers do? They’re the top scorers, the ones who get fans excited about showing up for the game. 

Hiring managers and internal leaders have similar star power in your organization. When do you need to make a big impression and really show off your culture? You bring in your most charismatic team leaders to score points fast.

The Offensive Line = Sourcers

It’s often said that football games are won and lost in the trenches. Who’s in the trenches for you? Your talent sourcers who are busy sending email campaigns and getting on the phone with candidates. They are the ones making the plays that fill the pipeline.

The Big D = HR Tech and AI

Having the right technology helps your star players get in the red zone by working smarter and more efficiently. In today’s super-competitive talent market, AI-driven tech is becoming essential to staying ahead, Foster noted. It also enables the constant communication and outreach needed to stay top-of-mind with candidates.

“When we look at chatbots and automation, and all of the aspects that go into AI — not only for external candidates but also for your employees – that’s your defense, that’s what’s going to help you win championships.”

The game plans that position you for success 

Game Plan 1: Technology is key 

Not only does technology make life easier for your team, it gives leaders the ability to evaluate what’s been working and what hasn’t. “You have to look back and see what performs well in certain situations,” Foster said.

It’s a little like HR’s version of reviewing game footage to adjust for next Sunday.

Game Plan 2: Culture helps win it

Just as Super Bowl winners proudly hoist that Lombardi Trophy, having a winning company culture is definitely something to showcase. But what if your culture needs a little work? 

Often when pro football teams want to change the culture, they simply fire the head coach and expect positive changes will naturally follow. It’s never that easy, though.

The best football teams and organizations alike know that real change comes from the ground up, with input and buy-in from all your players.

Game Plan 3: Data is your secret weapon

Sports analytics help teams dig in deep on performance, tactics, and strategy. In HR, a common challenge when it comes to leveraging analytics is the lack of cohesive data.

“When we look at analytics from an HR perspective, oftentimes we’re looking at very specific KPIs, like time to hire, time to fill, call metrics, email metrics. All of these are hyper-analyzed and they live in different places, especially if you don’t have a holistic approach to your talent acquisition suite,” Foster said.

Quality of hire, although elusive to measure, is the game-winning metric. As Foster explained, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many emails have been sent, calls made, applications submitted, or even candidates hired if turnover is high.

“When you look at your company’s analytics, you really have to take a look at the entire picture and take a 10,000-foot view and say, ‘Where are we getting the most qualified candidates, and how do we keep them here?’”

There’s no big championship game in HR

The season never ends for HR and TA departments – there will always be open jobs; that super-tough role to fill. “When you’re constantly fighting this uphill battle, you have to continue to get better in all phases of the game,” Foster concluded.

So get the right people in place. Then give them the tech they need for the blitz.

“With this tight job market, when companies are continually trying to pull everything out of their hat to get talent in the door, HR tech is the one thing that can help them out.”

Take the lead with IAMHR

Learn how industry leaders are redesigning the talent experience through AI and automation. Join us for Sept. 21-24 for IAMHR, our free 4-day virtual event!

Sign up to get notified about future episodes of Talent Experience Live! Catch us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook every Thursday at noon ET to get the latest in recruiting, talent acquisition, talent management, and HR tech.

Thu, 09/16/2021 – 21:58