Generation Z: What They Want from Your Employer Brand

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employer brandChances are you’ve spent the last decade trying to get to know and understand millennials. This generation is unlike any other and it has taken much longer to figure out their priorities and professional needs. This has likely forced you to rethink your employer brand and present it in a way that appeals to younger talent in recent years.

And now that you’re all warmed up, it’s time to make further adjustments to your employer brand because Generation Z is about to take over.

In fact, according to research from Bloomberg, in 2019, Generation Z will become the largest living generation. People born after 1995 will make up 32 percent of the population and the majority of them are joining the workforce.

The trouble is many employers mistakenly assume there are enough similarities between millennials and Gen Zers they don’t need to update their employer brand. Don’t risk repeating the same errors made with the millennial generation. By understanding the specific characteristics of Gen Z, you can recraft your employer brand so it speaks to this generation while still being true to the company’s identity and attract top talent faster.

1. Showcase activism

When it comes to societal issues, Gen Zers stand up for what they believe in. This group of young people has already proven they put in hard work to make a difference. When looking for employers, they want to join organizations that are just as dedicated to positive change.

In fact, a 2017 study from Bridgeworks asked Generation Z how they defined professional success. While the millennials before them favored factors related to autonomy and stability, Gen Z respondents value being able to make a social impact.

Show that your company cares about and gives back to its community. Share photos of your team at special events on social media. Also, be sure to actively follow and engage with the charities and causes that are important to your organization. This way, when Gen Zers research your employer brand, they’ll see how dedicated you are to meaningful social issues.

2. Embrace differences

One of the biggest problems that arose when millennials entered the workplace was the creation of a generational divide. Millennials had new ideas and different expectations that caused tensions with older generations. It’s not that anyone was wrong, companies simply weren’t prepared for the differences.

As a result, many current employees are wary of what will happen as Gen Z joins the ranks full-time. In fact, a 2018 Jobvite study found that 27 percent of respondents felt threatened by Generation Z and how they would impact their professional lives.

Since an employer brand needs to speak to all potential employees, it’s essential you show both Gen Zers and prior generations that your organization values them equally. Instead of including employee testimonials that only feature one person, pair up team members.

Sit down with employees of different ages and ask them what they love about the company. Then use their responses in your employer branding material.

Hearing from a variety of employees on various topics, especially those they agree on, will give job seekers something to relate to and show all generational perspectives are accepted and supported. This will ease the tension off Generation Z and ensure a more seamless transition for everyone as you grow your team.

3. Use informal videos

Generation Z grew up with video calls and YouTube. They’re used to watching vloggers talk to them via handheld recorded videos. These young people aren’t expecting overly edited or formal employer branding videos.

However, this is different than what many organizations have been doing for years. If a company invested money in an employer brand video, they wanted to make it as professional looking as possible. But these seem stuffy to Generation Z.

Focus on the messaging in order to reach these potential employees. Find a way to speak directly to them so they feel like they’re part of a conversation, not just watching a video. One good option is to have leaders start a vlog about what’s going on with the organization currently.

These videos don’t have to be long and can feature leadership from various parts of the company. Every month, simply record a different manager or executive telling a story about something that happened recently. This will show Gen Z job seekers the personalities in the company. It will also convey what the team is really doing in a format that is familiar to them.

Want to learn more ways to prepare for Generation Z? Check out this blog post!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.