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How to find the right candidate in 2022 with Matt Lozar part 2: Attracting and recruiting Gen Z

Are you having trouble recruiting Gen Z? Trust us when we say everyone is! We’re doing our best to give you tips or help you stand out, but there’s no better way to learn than by asking an expert. That’s why we talked to Matt Lozar, Director of Recruitment Marketing at the Haley Marketing Group, about his experiences recruiting Gen Z!

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Matt Lozar works as the Director of Recruitment Marketing at the Haley Marketing Group, the United States’ largest marketing firm dedicated to servicing small companies in the staffing and recruiting industry. We talked to him about recruitment marketing, how his company handles it, and what kind of takeaways he has from years of experience helping companies with recruitment marketing. This article in two parts is a boiled-down transcript of the wisdom Matt shared in his Webinar “How to find the right candidate in 2022” that you can rewatch here. 

For part 1 of this article, click here.

There are a lot of challenges in the job market right now, with lack of candidates being the biggest. As we all know the pandemic has worked as a hard reset of the job market, reshuffling the relation between employer and employee. Let’s have a look at all of the challenges and how you can navigate them. 

Recruitment marketing in a new world

So we’ve talked about messaging, now let’s have a look at the content fueling your job ads.

You need to change up your content regularly, simple as that. We work with a company in Oklahoma that does hiring for warehouse staff, and recently we changed their Facebook content. It showed people wearing masks, because summer 2020 there was still a lot of uncertainty. Their cost per lead during that time, with that content, decreased 46%. The copy was the same, the description exactly the same, so this great result comes only from changing those images. 

Use truthful images: if face masks are a common part of work for instance, your ads should reflect that.

Shift ahead 12 months and it’s a different world: in summer 2021 the ads stopped working so well and we decided to change the images again. This time the CPL went down by 10%, so not as much as the first time but still a very meaningful percentage. People were a little more comfortable, less concerned, and these images really made a difference again. This example goes to show that you have to continuously shift your content to match the feelings and goals of your audience, to keep them engaging with your ads. 

You can’t find this type of trigger without testing, and there’s no perfect playbook for where to start. Everyone needs to determine this for their own specific audience, because it’s probably different from everyone else’s. 

Talent is harder to get 

Talent’s the customer now: unemployment went down by half, in the US that’s 4 million people less who are looking for work. It’s becoming so bad that people not showing up for phone interviews is a problem, so you have to send thank you messages if they do show. 

There needs to be more focus on talent being the customer, companies need to realize that they have to flip their mindset. 

Trends we see in the consumer world trickle down into the recruitment world. Now that Amazon has made it possible for you to click a button and receive your package in 2 days or less, people are expecting this same speed and fluency from other companies. Recruitment is still playing catch-up: candidates want to be able to get what they need from us immediately, and we’re not always able to offer it yet. 

Reducing friction, then, becomes one of your top priorities: don’t ask for a CV and motivation letter, ask for contact information. Make it easy for them to apply, get a foot in the door and take it from there. 

Automation

Another way to save time and reach more candidates is by automating parts of your process. There are a ton of platforms that can help you with this and that post job ads for you on a ton of platforms, that run ad campaigns for you, or that feed back data about all of these to one central location, making your life a lot easier. The time of manually posting job ads to different job websites is definitely over. 

When a candidate applies, they don’t have to sit there waiting for a recruiter to contact them but you can get them into an automated workflow. You could even ask them questions that a recruiter would only need to review, saving both them and the candidate a lot of time. Once candidates are in your system, you could contact them again at certain times: when you know their assignment or contract is ending, or when you know that they always go looking for extra work on a certain day. That last one is mostly hypothetical, but it all boils down to the fact that you wouldn’t have to do these things manually.

The software can read the data, read the variables, and send it to the right people to keep them engaged. You stay top of mind with them and build your employer brand. The only problem will be that candidates will start to recognize bot replies, so it’s something that you need to stay on top of to guarantee quality. 

A good example of a platform is Sense. It’s a company that’s growing rapidly and is valued at half a billion dollars at the moment. We work with them a lot to help with candidate automation. Another one is Herefish, they offer many of the same functionalities. 

How do you recruit Gen Z? 

There is no such thing as an easy candidate these days. It all comes down to what they want, and Gen Z are mission-based. They want a job at a company that aligns with their values, that has a mission and a heart. It’s a challenge mostly because these goals are very personal and subject to change, so you can’t always anticipate them.  

They’re also big on flexibility, and this is a challenge because older generations have an inherent resistance to this. Gen Z will come in and ask them for exceptions on the time worked or on remote work, and giving them what they want isn’t always easy. 

A good way to connect with them is to get in on the ground level, when they graduate from college. Where are they spending time, think through the entire funnel and find them there. Online, Twitter or Discord are channels where they are crowdsourcing for jobs. You could try using these platforms to show that you have a strong employment brand, even though there is no real ROI on it, it’s hard to establish exactly what you would be getting from it before you try it. Word of mouth marketing can’t be tracked and this falls under that. 

The main takeaways: 

  • Use data to get in front of the right candidate
  • Be where they are spending time, advertise there
  • Rewrite your job ads and change the visuals to test the effectiveness
  • Long term, make sure you have clear ways to measure the cost per quality application, cost per impression, time to fill, and retention. 

Keep in mind that employer branding takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure to set clear expectations and metrics. 

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