Each generation is different, and as such, reaching out to them is going to require different tactics. Before diving into the subject it’s worth noting that generations are not ‘real’ strictly speaking – not everyone is going to fit neatly into every category. Still, they are useful division, since each generation will have some things in common, not the least of which is the experience of the previous generation.
The most recent generation that is starting to enter the workforce is called Generation Z. They are usually defined as people who came of age during the decades between 2013-2020. They came after the more well-known Generation Y, otherwise known as Millennials. And that’s an important point to note.
Much has been written about Millennials. There are also many negative stereotypes associated with them, especially when it comes to work. And both Millennials and Gen Zs are aware of these stereotypes. This awareness will influence their behavior.
Often time, these digital generations will make efforts to prove the negative stereotypes wrong. So, when trying to recruit Millennials and Gen Zs, try to set aside the stereotypes you think you know, and take a look at what truly makes them tick.
Money Is Important, But They Want More
Growing up during the economic recession has left certainly marked these two generations. These two generations are definitely interested in competitive salaries, just like any other employees.
But oddly enough, the recession has left them more idealistic than the previous generations. Millennials value principles and strong corporate culture above materialistic concerns. If they are to invest their time and effort in a job, they need to feel like their work is meaningful and has a positive impact on the world.
To appeal to their sensibilities, companies need to put forward a set of principles to aspire to. Millennials and Gen Zs know that every job can help, but they need to be assured that the company also shares their concerns.
Digital Generations Crave Independence
The internet has given the world unprecedented levels of independence, both at work and in their personal lives. Older generations had to adapt quickly to these changes, and figure out how to make the most of this almost limitless potential.
Millennials and Gen Zs were born into this digital revolution. They grew up with this independence at the tip of their fingers. Not only that, but they learned from a very early age that this proactive spirit is a valuable asset. After all, the digital revolution also brought about the age of the startups, and young entrepreneurs who leveraged one good idea to gain fortunes overnight.
So, when you’re trying to get the attention of these two generations, it’s important for them to know that you will value their independence and entrepreneurial spirit. And rest assured, they will use this empowerment to its fullest.
They Are Well-Informed and Aware of Corporate Speak
The internet has provided these two generations with access to a vast amount of information. They know every trick in the book and if something feels off they’re going to look into it.
They are also hyperaware of the fact that everyone is trying to reach out to them, through marketing, recruitment campaigns and so on. Thus, using generic buzzwords to attract their attention is only going to make them distrusts you.
Millennials and Gen Zs hate being constantly reminded of their status. You should try to empathize with their position as the youngest generation in society, and treat as you would any other candidate. Popular culture tends to portray these two generations as a group of naïve, fun-loving youngsters who don’t really know what they’re doing, and want their workplace to be like a playground.
However, millennials themselves are a very diverse group of people, and when it comes to work, they definitely know when to take matter seriously. And this is the side you should try to appeal to.
They Appreciate Innovation and Efficiency
Young generations understand the value of tried and tested technologies that still prove their worth. Millennials and Gen Zs are not into innovation just for the sake of it. However, sticking to conventional procedures and technologies when there are more efficient and user-friendly alternatives is sure way to frustrate and put off these generations.
Growing up with these digital tools readily available helped these two generations move beyond the awe and marvel of the previous ones. This means they will appreciate cutting edge technology only if it is useful and makes their work and lives easier.
And they expect to have these tools at hand. They are not impressed if your company boasts about possessing such means. They believe this should be the norm. Flaunting these tools is going to raise a red flag.
They Want to Be Taken Seriously
Each young generations wants to be taken seriously as they reach maturity. But for millennials and Gen Zs this seems to be even more important. Because a lot of the conversations surrounding these two categories tend to focus on how naïve, self-centered and unreliable they are.
Millennials and Gen Zs are struggling to prove that these stereotypes are untrue. And if there’s one thing you can do when trying to recruit from these two generations it’s to show them that you trust them.
Avoid reaching out to them using the same old tricks and images. Try to send a message with a more personal feel, and engage with them in a conversation. Their love of independence means they want to be treated as equals.
That doesn’t mean they resent authority. But they prefer their bosses to act more as mentors. They appreciate guidance and constant learning opportunities.
The digital generations will soon become the dominant force on the work market. Reaching out to them is vital for the success of any business. Their unique experience has a lot to offer, and as an employer, it would be wise to listen to them once in a while. After all, millennials and Gen Zs are not only the future employees, they are also going to become the main customers. Their opinions and principles are going to dictate the future of the business market.
Amanda Wilks is a passionate career advisor who enjoys guiding her clients towards professional success and encouraging them to find their true calling. In her free time she enjoys writing influential articles and contributing at BestJobDescriptions.com.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.