In 2018, we saw high schoolers organize one of the largest, if not the absolute largest, gun violence protests the United States has ever seen.
In 2019, we saw Greta Thunberg take on world leaders, raising awareness for climate change and challenging them to do better.
And in 2020, the oldest among this passionate, ambitious group, Generation Z, will continue entering the world of work.
If you’re an employer, recruiter, or individual in Human Resources who has had some experience with those at the forefront of this group, you may have already seen just how fundamentally different they are from their predecessors. Maybe you saw that because you were able to reach and interact with them, or, on the flip side, maybe you saw that because you weren’t able to reach and interact with them like you used to with older applicants.
Whatever your experience has been, the reality is that Gen Zers aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. In fact – according to a recent Gen Z survey conducted by Tallo – 43% of Gen Zers are expecting to stay at their first full-time job for more than three years, while 43% percent of Millennials envision leaving their jobs within two years, according to a Deloitte survey.
This is all the more reason why business leaders can’t just shrug off the things that make this talented group unique. They must make efforts to better understand Gen Z, and that starts with keeping the following three things in mind:
1. They want you to check out their professional profiles
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but considering how many platforms today’s students have access to, it’s good to know that 87% still feel that building a professional brand online is important. They still use LinkedIn and LinkedIn-like sites, and they expect that if they are going to put time into building a profile, professionals should pay attention: 91% believe that before they reach out, recruiters should know professional details about them.
2. They want you to check out their personal profiles
Interestingly, Gen Zers want professionals to take a peek at their personal social profiles, too. Sixty-five percent said their personal social media accounts accurately represent them as a potential employee, and such personal social media sites could be a good place for potential employers to determine whether their company is one that a particular Gen Zer would be interested in.
For example, some Gen Zers might be connected to or “like” pages of organizations that support causes they care about. These are important insights to have, especially considering almost all (99%) survey respondents said it is important to have a job that is personally fulfilling. They also aren’t all that concerned about big brand names either: 88% said they would pursue an opportunity at a company they’re unfamiliar with if the opportunity was a clear fit for them. By comparison, half that number said they’d pursue an opportunity that isn’t a clear fit at a company they know about.
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3. But be careful about how you introduce yourself
That said, Gen Zers have drawn some hard lines around where they want to be reached. Even if you’re already perusing their personal social profiles, think twice about saying hello there: Personal social media was the last place Gen Zers said they wanted employers to contact them.
Gen Zers prefer more traditional methods of communication from employers. Eighty-seven percent still appreciate email correspondence, 63% think professional social platforms like LinkedIn or Tallo are appropriate, and they find value in interactions where there’s no immediate goal in mind – 96% think it’s important to network even if there isn’t an immediate job opening.
They might seem like a bold and outspoken group, but recruiters should realize that when it comes to communication, Gen Z is still pretty reserved. There’s no need for businesses to make super flashy attempts at reaching Gen Z. The most successful will simply pay attention to their many professional and personal profiles, and be especially careful about what DMs and inboxes they try to slide into.
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