One of the continuing challenges any business faces is that of hiring and retaining the highest quality staff members. Part of the difficulty here is the needs, interests, and priorities of workforces are rarely static. With each new generation, companies need to rethink their attraction and engagement techniques.
This has been particularly visible in respect to millennial and Generation Z candidates. The last few years have seen significant shifts in the employment landscape, including what potential millennial and Gen Z employees expect from businesses. Therefore, it’s important to take some time to review the steps some companies are taking to successfully hire and engage new generations.
Marketing is an important part of any hiring process. After all, in a landscape where various companies are vying for a limited pool of great candidates, effective outreach is essential. Not to mention that your approach to marketing can highlight potential positions to those who may not have previously considered careers in certain industries. Creative and relevant marketing efforts are some of the primary ways in which companies are attracting and engaging new generations of employees.
At the most basic level, this involves greater emphasis on social media platforms. Businesses are posting links to job sites and careers pages on Twitter and Facebook. Some brands are creating videos related to roles, career paths, and company culture to post on platforms like TikTok and Instagram that get greater Gen Z engagement. Indeed, TikTok itself piloted accepting applications directly via its platform.
The evolving needs of some industries have influenced approaches to generational marketing. For instance, the trucking industry is prioritizing recruiting millennials to address significant driver shortages. This has involved creating marketing content that addresses the perception of an unhealthy work-life balance and highlighting environmentally friendly programs. On a more creative level, some trucking companies have taken to marketing positions within video games, which can both reach their target audience and help younger generations to see that trucking positions can align with their interests.
The new workforce generations are perhaps savvier and more forthright about working conditions than those that immediately preceded them. The Great Resignation has gone some way to prove that millennial and Gen Z workers are cognizant of their value and are being more mindful about what businesses have to offer. Consequently, companies today need to be proactive in creating a positive and strong employer brand.
Demonstrating that the company is an employer of choice can have a positive impact on a company’s brand. Being an employer of choice means the company promotes traits that make it desirable for the current workforce generations. Some of the key traits include providing opportunities for career growth, employee recognition and reward programs, and benefits that positively impact workers’ lives. Highlighting attributes that reflect how seriously companies take fairness — in terms of pay, accessibility, and handling grievances — is also an effective approach.
How businesses communicate their employer brands is also influential in attracting and engaging new generations. After all, these are the demographics that have come of age amongst relentless online disinformation and repeated economic uncertainty. As such, they can be quite skeptical of a business’s claims. Therefore, tools such as independent behind-the-scenes videos that look at company culture, employee reviews, and recruitment content featuring trusted influencers can be helpful for an employer brand.
One of the characteristics of the current primary workforce generations is that they are ethically and socially engaged. This is reflected in their choices of employers, too. Studies show that millennials and Gen Z want ethical and transparent workplaces and business leaders. This is why companies who are able to best attract and engage these generations tend to be those that authentically reflect their target workers’ priorities.
This includes demonstrating high standards of environmental consciousness. New generations want to see that their employers are genuinely committed to adopting practices that protect the planet. Therefore, companies can attract and engage these workers by outlining in job advertisements how sustainability factors into day-to-day duties of roles. It’s also vital to include a link to content showing the clear evidence of the company’s environmental actions on the career pages of the company website.
Another priority companies are increasingly aware of is millennial and Gen Z’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. These generations are promoting equal access to careers and support among workers of all backgrounds. Therefore, businesses can attract candidates by showing genuine commitment to making the workplace a welcoming, fair, and positive space. This can include highlighting a diverse leadership structure and content that demonstrates how authentic inclusivity is at the core of company culture.
Attracting and engaging Millennial and Gen Z employees can be a challenging aspect of hiring. The first step is to utilize the most relevant recruitment marketing to reach these generations and capture their interest. It’s also vital for businesses to take the time to implement and promote authentic steps that build a solid employer brand. Current generations have clear ethical, social, and work-life balance priorities, too. Therefore, any recruitment and engagement strategies must reflect these elements. It’s important to remember, though, that these generations’ needs and priorities are likely to evolve in the near future. As a result, businesses must commit to performing ongoing research and adapting their hiring and engagement approach accordingly. By staying on top of the changes, companies may be less likely to see drop-offs in engagement and recruitment.
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