Millennials and Gen Z are dominating the workforce right now, and if you aren’t catering your recruiting strategies to these generations you’re losing out on diverse talent.
Tiffany Pham, CEO and Founder of Mogul—a global platform that enables women to achieve their goals and realize their full potential—recently spoke on this topic at RecruitCon 2019. In her session, Pham discussed some tips for attracting Millennials and Gen Z as well as a few statics on these generations.
For instance, did you know that Millennials make up 35% of the workforce? Or that Gen Z will make up 20% of the workforce by 2021? With over half of the labor force consisting of younger generations, it is imperative that you modify your strategies to appeal to these groups. Pham then offered attendees five steps for attracting and retaining Millennial and Gen Z talent, as outlined below.
1. Content Strategy
In the session, Pham said social media and content marketing are the ideal and necessary ways to reach Millennial and Gen Z talent. Which makes sense as these generations were raised on technology and are more likely to use social media when searching and applying for jobs.
To appeal to these workers, you must develop a content strategy to showcase your company and the culture you offer. Some best practices to keep in mind when creating a content strategy include:
- Make the content candidate focused. What you share should add value to your audience and give them useful information. It should not be a one-way conversation about your brand.
- Be authentic. It matches the tone and spirit of your company’s culture. Off-brand content is worse than no content at all.
- Content should be highly visual. Make sure you use plenty of visual content like memes and graphics when sharing on social. Younger generations are also into moving GIFs, which can help convey emotion through imagery, rather than text.
- Create FOMO: Give an inside look at what your culture is like—create urgency and excitement for prospective employees. Make them feel like they’re missing out by not working at your company (FOMO).
The key to achieving the maximum results from your content is to create a content calendar, said Pham. Creating a well-developed content calendar will allow you and your company to stay organized, divide tasks, and routinely track for high-quality content to put on your profile.
Pham advised attendees to post at least one people-related post, one industry-related post, and one job post per week. This will keep your audience engaged and show potential candidate’s what it’s like to work at your company as well as the type of work you do.
2. Use Technology Where Possible
As mentioned above, Millennials and Gen Z talent were born with cell phones in hand. If you aren’t offering these workers the technology they know and love, you’re going to lose them to the competition.
Pham explained that businesses need to stay ahead of the technology curve if they are to recruit and retain Millennial and Gen Z talent. Pham offered these best practices for using technology to recruit and retain younger workers:
- Tech your recruitment: Millennials and Gen Z are naturally tech-savvy—implement their expectations early in the hiring process and not just when they are hired. If you allow digital applications, make sure the process is mobile-friendly, otherwise younger talent will apply elsewhere.
- Think and act in real time: Using tech that mimics the behavior patterns of Millennials and Gen Z who like to collaborate, communicate, and get feedback instantly. If you’re trying to attract workers on Facebook, but a majority of these workers are on Snapchat, you’re missing out. Much like content marketing, when it comes to using tech to recruit these workers you must know your audience.
- Tech with a human touch: Millennials and Gen Z love tech, but prefer to have a human element to their teams. Furthermore, Gen Z workers crave face-to-face communication. If your workforce is scattered among many locations, turn to Skype or video conferencing to give them the face time they crave. Additionally, using video software is a great way to interview jobseekers who aren’t close to your location.
- Learning and development: Implement software that contributes to personal growth, even as a candidate, whether hired or not. Millennials and Gen Z value professional development over any other generation, so if you aren’t offering this a benefit, you’re missing out.
3. Offer Professional Development Benefits
Pham reported that 87% of Millennials and 64% Gen Z workers cite opportunity for “career growth development” as a top priority, which underscores the importance of designing career plans and training to attract and advance talent.
When offering this opportunity to workers, keep these best practices in mind:
- Emphasize personal and professional development from the get-go: Stress the importance of growth and your investment in training early in conversations with talent.
- Flexible and independent training: Use tech like e-learning platforms (webinars) that allow employees to access training on their schedule.
- Mentorship and relationships: Implement mentorship programs to cultivate relationships and collaboration.
4. Diversity and Inclusion
Millennials and Gen Z are the most diverse generation of workers yet, and they expect to work for companies that are as equally diverse. To drive this point home, keep in mind that 69% of Millennials employed at a diverse organization said they would stay with their employer beyond 5 years. And 77% of Gen Z said that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there.
Having a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program should be top of mind when trying to attract and retain Millennial and Gen Z talent. Here a few tips for developing and maintaining a D&I program:
- Top-down orchestration: Your D&I program will not mean much unless you have representation among your executive officers and decision makers. Make sure your leadership team is just as diverse as the workers it serves.
- Access: Include more people at more levels in your meetings and discussions to provide opportunities for promotions. Having a variety of talent included in the decision-making process allows for diverse thoughts and actions.
- Ground-level creation: Minorities need to be a part of the creation of any diversity program, as they’ll be able to share perspectives and experiences that others can’t.
5. Workplace Policies
Finally, Pham discussed how workforce flexibility is more important to younger workers than older generations. She cited these statistics: 28% of Millennials and Gen Z are frequently or constantly feeling burnt out at work, a 7% increase over older generations. In order to retain younger talent, you must create workplace policies that caters to their needs.
You can retain younger workers by implementing these best practices:
- Offer remote work (WFH): Offer flexible schedules such as WFH, 4-day work weeks, or telecommuting to avoid burnout and increase trust.
- Encourage time off: Holidays are not a luxury; they are a necessity for employees. Encourage time off by creating a mandatory system where it is required to use up paid time off (PTO).
- Parental leave: Support new parents throughout their transition by allowing your employees the time to fully switch off and recharge.
When recruiting Millennial and Gen Z talent, keep these five steps mentioned above in mind, otherwise, you’ll lose this younger group to the competition.
If this article gave you FOMO, fear not, RecruitCon 2019 will be hitting the road this November and heading to Nashville, Tennessee. The fall event will feature all new sessions, a few familiar names, and a fantastic opportunity to network and connect with your recruiting peers. Click here to learn more, or to register today.