Know your audience

It’s a well-known fact that leaving school is a stressful and confusing time. Our post-millennials or generation Z are no exceptions, in fact, it might be more difficult for them, as post-millennials are faced with more choices than ever before.

The continuous question we hear is “how can I be sure I am making the right choice?” It’s up to us, as training providers and recruiters, to help them see the value of the choices on offer and give them a clear and succinct vision of what their lives could look like if they choose your path.

Generation Z consumes information in a very different way to the generation that went before them, so it’s high time we walked in their moccasins, just like Atticus Finch taught us in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. If we put ourselves in the minds of this generation of ‘digital natives’ how should we change our approach to attracting emerging talent?

Born between 1990’s – 2000 post-millennials have grown up in a time where things move at a rapid pace and they expect information to come to them, and actions to be taken just as quickly, and at the location – and on the device – of their choosing.

So what else do we know about Generation Z?

  • They are happier to live at home with their parents than the generations that went before them, leaving home in their late 20’s rather than their early 20’s.
  • They are getting married later, about 30 years old rather than 23 in the 1970s.
  • They are less likely to invest in major purchases, instead, they will access what they need when they need it – they are the UBER generation and part of the sharing economy.
  • As digital natives, they are way ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. They read reviews, scour the internet before they commit to something and in many ways are far pickier about their choices
  • They are healthier than their predecessors, with more information at their fingertips they are making healthier choices and choosing to eat well and exercise often.

So what does this mean for you as a training provider or employer?

Clear facts, figures and benefits are the order of the day when it comes to recruiting Gen-Z – give the opportunity some substance. (Checkout this Job ad by Hanson. This is a great example of an employer highlighting the best bits about working for them)

Reviews and testimonials from current employees/apprentices are a great way to engage these readers and the more independent the review, the better. (Checkout the Apprenticeship stories website and submit some real life stories of apprentices you have hired).were-hiring

Post-millennials are more likely to move more frequently from job to job as they have lots of other options to choose from. However, if you give them a good enough reason to stick with you, then they will work hard, stay loyal and drive innovation. Incentives could come in the form of career progression, mentorship programmes or financial perks. Expedia topped the 2017 list of best companies to work for thanks to their fantastic culture and environment. They have an emphasis on treating each employee as an individual, treating them fairly and allowing for growth within the organisation.

With technology a clear driver for this generation, they want to keep their finger firmly on the technological pulse. Ensure you are moving with the times advertising your vacancies and opportunities on the right mediums and channels. Make sure your brand and your vacancies are being seen on multiple platforms and optimised for multiple devices. Check out this Instagram post for a bit of inspiration, after all, they say a picture paints a thousand words.

With health and wellbeing, another motivating factor for this generation why not think about ways of incorporating perks like these into your employment packages to create a further pull for potential employees. Twitter do this really well by providing free healthy snacks for their employees and a gym membership reimbursement. We know they have tonnes of money to spend but you could team up with a local gym and provide discounts for employees and think of innovative ways to provide similar perks.gmfj-christmas-png

Snapchat is the more informal picture based social media platform, the perfect place to take potential candidates behind the curtain of your organisation. Why not send them a picture of an event or social activity in your office to give them a feel for your company culture.

In conclusion

There is no doubt, the aspirations of Generation Z are different from those that preceded them. More difficult long-term prospects, many more short term choices, means that engaging with this generation and ensuring their skills and talents add to the business success we must take a different approach.

The good news is that apprenticeships themselves offer a great route for many young people, whatever their aspirations, starting point or background, in a wider and wider range of frameworks and industries. It is up to us all to communicate the opportunities this means for Generation Z and beyond, in a way that feels relevant to them.

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