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Tips & best practices

With 70% of Gen Z wanting to work for a company whose values align to their own, it's time to evaluate your employer brand

Gen Z are predicted to make up 27 percent of the workforce by 2025 , so there’s no denying how critical it is to attract quality Gen Z candidates. This can be challenging if you aren’t tailoring your brand to their interests. ‍

Organisations of all sizes face these challenges. Your business might have a brand, products, or services that are unfamiliar to Gen Z. Or perhaps, you might be a well-known organisation but want to challenge your brand perception, demonstrate a clear career growth trajectory and provide clarity for students about where they can fit in.

To get you started, here are our top tips for building a strong employer brand for Gen Z job seekers:

Tip #1: Leverage your talent brand

You might hear the terms "employer brand" and "talent brand" used interchangeably, but they're actually different (though complementary) concepts.

“Employer brand” is the overall image of your company as an employer. It includes the narrative about your organisation that you can control through mission statements, values, benefits, and more. The “talent brand”, on the other hand, is the employee experience forged by authentic voices inside your organisation and is how your culture lives internally.

While both are important, when you leverage the experiences of real employees as part of your employer brand, you increase authenticity and build trust. Research shows that candidates trust a company's employees three times more than the company itself when it comes to getting credible information about what it's like to work there. 

Through Handshake, you can seamlessly create personalised relationships between candidates and employees, connecting non-recruiting team members through 1-1 meetings, intimate events and messaging. Handshake research into how Gen Z builds relationships found that 80% of Gen Z would be more likely to accept one job over another based upon personal relationships made throughout the recruiting process. These relationships can make it easier for prospective hires to find out more about who you are in a less intense setting than an interview – ultimately sparking genuine interest and improving your hiring outcomes. ‍

Tip #2: Integrate your brand across touchpoints

Consistency is key when attracting fresh talent, which means your digital footprint must be cohesive across channels and provide accessible information for candidates. And whether you offer a virtual, in-person, or hybrid candidate experience, your brand needs to provide a human touch. With 95% of Gen Z more likely to engage with an employer who is proactive and personalised in their attraction approach, this is a differentiating factor.

To reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, consider all of the channels where Gen Z can engage with your brand. These touchpoints are what candidates consider when they explore a new brand or pursue one they know. Consider the tone and design of everything from your website, social media profiles, your Handshake employer profile, as well as branding at careers fairs and interviews (both virtual and in-person).

Tip #3: Be authentic and do the right thing

Gen Z has high standards for social accountability and consistency, with 94% of them believing that companies should be helping to address critical issues . They want to engage with brands that are aligned with their values and goals. To attract this generation of candidates, it's important to be transparent and authentic about your company's values and employee experience, and to personalise your talent brand and storytelling to show that you understand what is important to the candidates you're seeking to engage with.

What’s more, Gen Z is more diverse than previous generations, placing a high value on representation and inclusivity in the workplace. In fact, 53% of Gen Z respondents to a recent survey agree or strongly agree that they would not apply to a job or internship where they find an employer lacks diversity. So, consider whether your employer brand accurately reflects the diversity of your workforce and whether it demonstrates a commitment to DEI goals. Think about showcasing representation in photos and videos, using inclusive language in job descriptions and the candidate experience, and highlighting opportunities for volunteering and supporting local nonprofits. It can also be helpful to have ambassadors or alumni who reflect the diversity of your potential candidates available for them to speak with.

Tip #4: Start early and leverage technology

Perhaps the most effective way to attract Gen Z talent is to start building relationships with potential candidates early in their university careers. As more than a quarter of students (27%) report that their biggest obstacle to their future career success is not knowing what field to go into, by establishing a presence and building connections with students through Handshake, you can position your company as a desirable employer and even encourage a good candidate to consider your sector. What’s more, you can show potential employees what skills and attributes they need to succeed in the workplace.

With the rise of remote work and the increasing use of technology in the hiring process, a year-round virtual attraction and recruitment strategy can help you reach a wider pool of candidates and stay top of mind with potential hires.

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