Gen Z has notoriously set itself apart as the generation with higher standards for the workplace. They are asking for better pay, a positive balance between work and life, flexibility and more inclusive workplace cultures. According to a 2023 global survey conducted by Deloitte, less than half (48%) of Gen Z believe business is having a positive impact on society. Moreover, six in ten Gen Zers believe businesses have no ambition beyond wanting to make money. Though employers have made progress since pre-pandemic standards, there is still progress to be made to align brand values in a digestible package for job-seekers.  For companies looking to stand out to this finicky demographic, the answer may lie in the collaboration between talent acquisition and marketing teams.

Demonstrating Values and Crafting an Enticing EVP

When it comes to showcasing company brand and culture to catch Gen Z’s eye, a robust Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the cornerstone of any employer’s appeal.  An EVP is the set of promises an organization makes to its employees in exchange for their time, knowledge and skills. Those promises can include pay and benefits, growth opportunities, recognition, culture, and belonging. If crafted effectively, your EVP communicates why someone would want to work for your organization and what they can expect to experience as an employee.

Gen Z scrutinizes potential employers through a unique lens in comparison to other generations in the workforce.  Though misalignment of values helps candidates to self-qualify, employers don’t want to bypass potentially great candidates due to poor packaging or a lack of thoughtfulness when developing their EVP. Moreover, the company’s culture and values should be an integral component of the recruitment marketing strategy. But, how can companies convey their values and EVP effectively in their recruitment strategy? Airtight partnerships between Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Human Resources/Talent Acquisition teams are essential.

Selling Your Organization, Not Just Your Open Positions

Recognizing the need for innovative marketing strategies tailored to Gen Z’s distinctive job-seeking approach is imperative. That’s why the collaboration between a company’s CMO and TA team is so essential. By incorporating marketing experts to craft creative messaging, organizations can leverage responsive design and user-friendly interfaces to captivate the attention of Gen Z candidates. Creative-minded marketing pros, in-house or through a recruitment marketing agency, can also help HR build compelling career sites that power seamless candidate experience. A remarkable 67% of Gen Z attest to the influence of an organization’s career site on their decision to engage with that employer, so mobilizing the best and brightest to bolster your career site is a must.

Additionally, job board advertisements sway 55% of candidates in their decision-making process. Collaborating on these efforts also ensures that the EVP is strong and extended into every channel of an organization’s strategic recruitment outreach, which is no easy task when there are so many job boards and consumer marketing channels to consider. However, by nailing down which channels are most likely to reach your desired audience, this challenge becomes manageable, especially when analyzing the results of campaigns active campaigns and optimizing advertising dollars.

Targeting the Ideal Candidate

Marketing insights can shed light on the origins of an organization’s top candidates, enabling TA teams to refine messaging, campaigns, and ad placements to effectively target their audience. While consumers are mainly seeing or hearing job ads on Indeed (47%), LinkedIn (33%) and Google (31%), other popular platforms for job ads and employer branding include Facebook (30%), ZipRecruiter (29%), YouTube (18%), Amazon (14%) and TikTok (13%). If this target audience is spending at least five hours of their day on these social channels, then optimizing campaigns for these platforms can only multiply the engagement of potential candidates.

Video Platforms and Mobile Reign Supreme

Recruiting the younger generation of today requires a tailored strategy that keeps job-seekers engaged with the employer across platforms. And, what’s capturing this generation’s attention nowadays might not be surprising. The answer is video platforms.

Video consumption is ingrained in the daily life of Gen Zers, but its use is not restricted to keeping up with friends or the latest trends. A recent HireClix survey showed consumer sites like  TikTok and YouTube were among the most popular for displaying job ads and employer branding messages. This makes sense if you look at the amount of time younger generations spend engaging in video content. For example, a Deloitte report found that 20% of Gen Z spend five hours or more per day on video social media platforms alone – like TikTok and YouTube. This presents the opportunity for companies to meet candidates where they are by showcasing an employee value proposition to a passive candidate and directing them to a quick and painless lead capture process enabling them to join a talent community so they can get updates on future career opportunities.

Because most social media platforms are mobile-first, Gen Z spends a lot of time on their smartphones. This is clear in the way this age group searches for jobs, as 87% of Gen Zers want to find their dream gig from their phones. Therefore, another essential ingredient when recruiting Gen Z is to ensure career sites and the application process are optimized for mobile devices.

In this ever-evolving labor market, the employers of today and tomorrow must be agile and adaptive by embracing the change needed to cultivate a dynamic workforce. By aligning the efforts of their TA and marketing teams, organizations can construct a recruitment blueprint that resonates with the standards set by Gen Z. Embracing a mobile-first approach, amplifying the employer brand with a realistic and vibrant company culture and bringing CMOs together with the human resources team are pivotal steps towards not only attracting but also retaining the brightest talent of this generation. The future belongs to those who dare to innovate and evolve in tandem with the shifting landscape of the job market.

Neil Costa

Neil Costa, Founder & CEO of HireClix , has 25+ years of experience in digital marketing, e-commerce and recruitment marketing businesses with success driving marketing, strategic alliances, sales, and business development. Neil is a proven entrepreneur and leader, having grown the company over the past 12 years, building various service teams and expanding the business to better serve the talent acquisition market. He has a strong depth of knowledge managing the return on investment and the P&L impact of recruiting investments on businesses, along with extensive experience leading marketing, sales and customer service teams. He is also an experienced public speaker, leading industry discussions across recruitment marketing, recruiting analytics and employer branding topics. Neil is passionate about the future of digital marketing, recruitment advertising, employer branding, and the candidate experience and understanding how all of these impact the talent acquisition marketplace.