In recent years, we have seen an increase in new technology based industries such as FinTech, EdTech and MedTech entering the marketplace. These companies have begun to challenge the way we work and ultimately how we attract talent to fulfill new positions, many of which have never even existed before. In line with this, Talent acquisition teams now face more challenges than ever before in terms of recruiting top talent due to increasing competition from these emerging industries and a shift in the expectations of candidates to have a more flexible & personalised experience in their work environment. As a result it’s no surprise that companies need to up their game in terms of how they attract Gen Z candidates.
Let’s take a look at the top 2 emerging trends of 2019 in the graduate recruitment world:
1. Utilising Mobile Apps
Generation Z has been stereotyped as a group who live through their smartphones, tablets, smart watches etc. Over 90% of Gen Z have a smartphone and on average they spend 34 hours per week on the internet. Instagram has 1 billion active users, nearly all access it through their phone and well over 50% of these users can be classified as proportion of Generation Z. 88% of online users between the ages 18-29 are on Facebook and over 75% of all users access this site via their smartphone. With these statistics in mind it’s clear that businesses wishing to connect with potential Gen Z graduates need to ensure their attraction strategies are heavily focused on mobile & social media.
In fact a number of companies such as CareerBuilder, Indeed & Pocket Resume have already begun to serve the needs of this generation from a job search perspective. Allowing candidates to create & store CVs as well as providing them with the option to search & apply for jobs via an app on their smartphone makes this job search a much better experience and speaks to the needs of this generation.
HeadStart mobile/tablet/computer app is another example of technology being used by recruiters in an attempt to capitalise on this trend. By using psychographic data as well as traditional screening points they can analyse role-fit and culture-fit, as well as personal traits, behaviours and motivations to produce an unbiased, diverse and suited candidate pool. The positives of this are apparent, as not only does it extend the employers reach to the target audience but it also increases diversity, reduces bias and creates a far more interactive and accessible talent pool which Gen Z believe to be essential!
In short; keep things mobile friendly and invest in creating apps to engage these candidates! Smartphones, tablets, watches and glasses can all connect to the web now, and Gen Z live and breathe in this technological and rapid culture of change. Having a graduate programme tab on your website may not be enough anymore and it’s up to employers to keep up and stay current in serving this candidate market.
2. Investing in Personalised & Gamification of Experience
Dropout rates among candidates in the application process are huge. The reasons for this are diverse but for many among Generation Z graduates it’s due to the lack of a personal touch and their overall experience in the application process. Used to instant gratification and personal touches they expect a similar experience when applying for a role and are more likely to switch off if the process is monotonous. Gone are the days where a generic email response will keep the candidate satisfied.
So, how are companies approaching this problem?
Some are utilising technology to create a more tailored experience for their Gen Z applicants. While many companies have utilized video interviews of employees describing their experience with the company and used Skype to have face to face interviews, this has been taken to a whole new level with the emerging trend of using VR. Virtual reality is expected to be used to interview candidates in a virtual environment before employers actually meet them face to face. It can also be used to allow candidates to see the office, the team and particular aspects of the job with their own eyes enabling them to decide whether they think the role is right for them before they even attend a face-to-face interview with the employer. This approach gamifies the experience and is more likely to leave an impression on these tech savvy Gen Z candidates.
In addition to this, companies are expected to once again invest in their websites and to provide apps to give a more personalised application process. Some companies give the option to candidates to observe where they are in the application process, see the next steps and interact in real time with members of the hiring team through live chat systems. This level of transparency and personalisation is more likely to keep Gen Z candidates engaged in the process and company.
Finally, there is an emerging trend of employers favouring preliminary casual interviews, perhaps going for a coffee, or meeting for a conversation somewhere outside of their office. Though this will usually be followed by a 2nd, more formal interview, this approach is designed to create a more intimate feeling between the company and the candidate while also allowing the candidate to be more relaxed when it comes to the formal interview. This is beneficial both to the candidate and organisation.
Overall, the important message to take away is that Gen Z candidates, be they graduates looking for their first role or candidates with a few years tucked under their belt they expect to receive a personalised and fun experience when applying for roles. They want to feel like they are being treated as an individual and not a part of a mass email chain.
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