The modern workforce is changing and fast.
Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, older millennials are rising into management positions, and Generation Z (those born roughly between 1994 and 2010), are starting their first internships and co-op placements. So, if you’re hiring students and new grads, it’s time to start considering how to engage this new generation.
To start, we can learn a lot about a demographic by analyzing the digital spaces they occupy. Similar to how millennials are seen as the “selfie” generation, Generation Z’s online habits reveal quite a lot about their interests and motivations. While they’re “digital natives” just like Gen-Y, where and how they spend their time online is a little different than the generation that came before. For instance, while millennials are defined by first-generation social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, younger teens are flocking to video-based mobile platforms like Snapchat.
To gain more insight, we dug a little deeper into the rise of the latest popular teen app, Musical.ly. This Instagram-meets-Vine style program invites users creating their own videos to accompany a selection of songs served up by the app. It’s clearly popular: Musical.ly has hit #1 in the App Store charts in 19 countries and is even spawning its own set of celebrities, similar to Instagram and YouTube before it.
Here’s what Musical.ly taught us about Gen-Z and campus recruitment.
While users are constrained to a video length of 15 seconds, the app offers a lot of room for creativity within that time frame. Musical.ly users can edit videos with creative effects and filters, and record and upload their own original audio tracks. The app’s popularity with Generation Z falls in line with the idea that this demographic defines themselves more by what they make than what they share online.
What this means for campus recruitment: Take advantage of this by giving your interns room to flex their creative muscles. Whether that’s creating a company Snapchat story, or a short marketing video to promote your company culture, tasks like these will keep them more engaged and excited in their roles than the typical social media tasks. It will also give them something they can add to their portfolio when they leave, rather than a simple line of duties on their resume.
Gen-Z is often defined by their affinity for entrepreneurship and are very aware of the power of personal branding. Therefore, one can see how the social network aspect of Musical.ly, along with its highly-shareable short-form video content, can be quite attractive to this demographic. They know that every post contributes to their ‘persona’ and what they share on social media is an extension of who they are as individuals.
What this means for campus recruitment: Appeal to a younger generation by incorporating technology into your application process. For example, asking for a video in addition to a resume allows them to inject a little personality into their application. Of course, while this approach might not be a great fit for all types of hiring, it is a great way to assess soft skills like communication and creativity, that can be hard to evaluate through a written application alone.
Unlike similar offerings like DubSmash, Musical.ly has an almost overwhelming amount of features. Additionally, there is no in-app tutorial meaning it can take some time to for users to get comfortable with using the program. However, this still has not deterred teens from flocking to the app in droves, even creating YouTube videos to help educate others on how to use the program effectively.
What this means for campus recruitment: Generation Z are an independent and highly resourceful group. In fact, as a Gen Z study by digital agency Deep Focus found, more than 50% of people in this group spend their free time building new skills, such as graphic design, video production, and app development. Therefore, to attract this demographic, focus on the way your company will help support their professional development, while also giving them the space they need to learn on their own, such as through an independent project.
Musical.ly users can upload videos, find friends, and start racking up “likes” within seconds of downloading the app, a fact that is quite appealing to Gen-Z users. While they’re more than willing to spend a couple of hours on YouTube to learn a new skill, they have no patience for inefficiency. They want to spend their time creating, not clicking through an endless set-up process.
What this means for campus recruitment: For many Gen-Z job-seekers, the typical employment process of filling out forms, waiting for a response, setting up interviews, and more can feel overly long and tedious. To optimize your candidate experience for this demographic, consider gamifying your recruitment strategy. For example, platforms like TalentEgg Challenges turn the hiring process into a contest, adding a level of excitement that is often missing from traditional recruitment.
Employer Spotlight: Public Outreach recently launched a TalentEgg Challenge to find their next Recruitment Marketing Manager. Want to learn more about how to use this innovative platform for sourcing talent? Head to our handy FAQ section!
While it is always challenging to try and define something as wide and varying as an entire demographic of people, the main thing you should take away from this case study is to always be open to experimentation. Generation Z is a group of individuals, just like any other demographic – no one tactic or strategy will work across the board, but try new things and adapt your approach to fit your talent pool’s evolving wants and needs.
Discussion: How are you tailoring your recruitment methods for Generation Z?