Attracting Gen Z: How to Use Technology to Your Advantage

Both millennials and members of Gen Z are shaped by technology. While millennials grew up with it evolving to what it is today, Gen Zers were born into today’s digital landscape, and are leveraging it in various ways. To get a sense of how tech-forward this generation is you only need to look at how their education is changing. Case in point is Maryville University’s look at digital media degrees, outlining how modern technology has changed every aspect of business and that a new workforce has been created to meet this demand. This is a direct result of a generation across the globe that is not only being brought up with the latest tech but one that is studying it at degree level. Of course, digital media, though, is far from the only industry that Gen Z will disrupt, given how they are poised to be a primary source of talent soon. In fact, they are expected to make up as much as 36% of the worldwide workforce by this year. Expect the numbers to rise in years to follow, as more Gen Zers reach the right age for work.

Moving forward, it is imperative that companies start tapping into the Gen Z talent pool. This way, you’ll be able to fill vacancies with new hires equipped to herald your company into the digital age – especially now more are studying digital-based degrees. That’s why you need to get and keep the best talent possible — and right now, some of the best and brightest are part of Gen Z. So, to target this generation, it’s important to ensure a great candidate experience that makes use of technology. Doing this in-house gives you absolute control on the process — but it is a bit more labour-intensive. As such, there’s no problem with outsourcing assistance if talent acquisition isn’t your forte.

Regardless, a great candidate experience will result in your company being recommended on social media and is also key to getting good reviews on job sites like Glassdoor, as well as positive word-of-mouth. This is why using technology in your talent acquisition practices, and ongoing engagement and retention strategy is crucial. Put simply, it can do wonders for the candidate experience. In turn, your organisation is more likely to entice Gen Zers. That being said, here are some tips that will help you take advantage of technology:

Utilising technology to hire Gen Z talent

Turn to AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being utilised worldwide in résumé screening. This is because it streamlines the process and helps ensure that candidates are matched to each job posting. Having said that, your brand can level up your use of AI by following the lead of Unilever. This multinational company requires candidates to answer a set of identical questions through a recording on their smartphones. It then utilises AI to analyse the candidates’ language, tone and facial expressions. This use of AI will let you interview and assess more candidates prior to actually bringing them in, which will help you make more informed decisions and save you time on face-to-face interviews. Remember this too: Gen Zers view AI favourably in terms of customer service. In fact, 72% of them are likely to do a search on the company’s help centre, while 43% engage companies via chatbots. This makes AI an excellent means of reaching out to this young, tech-savvy generation.

Leverage social media

Fast Company points out that Gen Zers spend lots of time on social media, which is something you can take advantage of. So, create a constant and creative presence across all social media channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Then, promote your brand aggressively to make your presence known. Update all accounts regularly, too, and make sure you actively promote vacancies. However, Tech Crunch warns that you should tread carefully with Gen Zers. That’s because as much as they are fond of social media, they are nonetheless sensitive over their personal information. Use social media to promote your brand and advertise job offers, but do not recruit people through it. Have a separate process that they can apply through.

Employ VR

As Gen Zers are digital natives they are more likely to respond to technological innovations. Having said that, very few things are as innovative as virtual reality (VR). Its use in talent acquisition began as early as 2018 with Lloyds Banking Group among the notable pioneers. The company uses VR to immerse their candidates in scenarios they are likely to face. You can do the same for your company, and make VR a part of your assessment strategies. You can even use it to give virtual tours of your workplace. These are authentic, immersive experiences that will allow your company to build a connection with your Gen Z candidates right away. Consequently, you’ll be more likely to catch their full attention. This will then increase the chances of the candidate choosing your organisation.

Gen Z woman wearing virtual reality goggles

Use Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are an increasingly popular software used in talent recruitment worldwide. In fact, 95% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS to keep up with the numerous applications they receive. This is because ATS manages and streamlines talent acquisition through one platform only. For instance, ATS can automate parts of the recruitment process to make it highly organised and more efficient for both you and the candidate. In this way, no one will fall through the cracks due to human error or the sheer number of applicants. This ultimately cuts down the time it takes to hire a new employee, which can be a huge resource drain.

Utilising technology to engage and retain Gen Z employees

As you employ the above technologies, make sure your organisation actually embraces technology in all aspects. After all, your company will look disingenuous if it employs the latest technologies in the hiring process, but doesn’t embrace the technology in actual work practice. Crucially, the Forbes Technology Council regards technology as a major factor in employee retention, as innovative tech that streamlines work processes appeals the most to Gen Z employees. So, make technology part of your brand’s culture and be a technology pioneer. Here are some tips on how you can do so:

Utilise our Workplace Experience App

Put simply, District’s app assists your workforce in finding and accessing the people, places and resources they need for productive work. The Workplace Experience App also provides an innovative means for internal communication that helps increase productivity, promote wellness, and nurture a sense of office community. All it’ll take is to reach out to us, and we’ll help you do the rest.

Automate simple tasks

The Startup describes automation as an overlooked business practice that’ll give your company an edge over others. That’s because it can simplify and speed up operations and processes, which leads to increased efficiency and productivity. Automation, in this case, means allowing a computer or a computerised machine to perform simple, repetitive manual tasks such as sorting files and sending messages. In doing so, your workforce will be more engaged to perform higher-level tasks or those that actually add value to your business.

So, find out which processes you can automate, and start the process of automating them.

Elicit your employees’ input

Decisions on workplace technology adoption shouldn’t be made unilaterally. Rather, they should be made in consultation with the employees who will be most affected by said decisions in the first place. That, however, isn’t happening most of the time. The Independent reports that 3 out of 5 employees are shut out when it comes to decisions about adopting technology in the workplace, which can lead to disengagement. So, do elicit your employees’ input on technology adoption by asking them what technologies they think will help them and the company best. Then use that input to make informed decisions in terms of technology adoption in your organisation.

Indeed, Generation Z is poised to take over the workplace. Thus, it’s imperative that you start putting in place strategies to reach, engage, and retain them, as they will ultimately be your biggest source of talent. In doing so, you will ensure continuity and productivity as well as save the company lots of money. After all, recruiting talent costs at least £3,000 per new hire, which makes keeping the turnover rate low a priority. Fortunately, technology can help with this in many ways. Use it to hire new talent, and keep them thereafter.

 

Written exclusively for District-tech.com by Alison Blaire

- Share this post -