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The volume of information available to employers with regards to the student recruitment market can be quite overwhelming. So, with a little help from some ICAEW Campus Ambassadors, here are some top tips on how you can attract Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2015) to your organisation.

The 5 pitfalls to lookout for when recruiting Gen Z:

Being too vague

Understanding how your recruitment process works can be a minefield for potential candidates, especially when every employer does things slightly differently. In our session from the recent ICAEW Global Employer Conference, our Campus Ambassadors agreed that knowing what the application process involves is so important and helps them prepare for interviews. Research from Bright Network’s 2021 student report shows us that out of the whole application cycle, it is in fact the interview stage that students worry about the most.

Recommendation: Host a virtual insight day

Virtual insight or open days are a fantastic way to create a dialogue with potential candidates and enable them to directly ask you some of their burning questions. Also using this platform to provide some handy top tips may help ease some of those unknowns around your recruitment process.

Bright Network’s 2021 student report also shows us that an organisation’s workforce and culture are the most important aspects for students when choosing a graduate role. So, what better way for potential candidates to see what it is like to work for your company than hearing from current employees on a virtual insight day.

If a virtual insight day is not for you, you could speak to a couple of employees about their roles and find out what they enjoy most about working for you, to help inform future candidates that are applying to work for you. We have some great examples here.

Not mentioning the salary

An experienced graduate recruiter on LinkedIn asked their network whether employers should display the salary on their job adverts. Out of the 650 responses, 91% agreed that recruiters should do this. Imagine getting through to the final stages of the recruitment process only to find out the salary was not what you expected – how frustrating.

Recommendation: What is the salary range?

Ever read a job description and see the words ‘competitive salary’ and think what does that even mean? Mentioning the exact salary might not be for everyone, but how about giving a salary range instead? Potential candidates would not be disappointed, and you save time screening candidates who are likely to pull out later down the line. Win-win!

What about the feedback to unsuccessful candidates?

Usually, if a candidate has not heard back from you, they can assume they have not been successful, right? Yes, this saves time, but we want potential candidates to shout about what a great recruitment experience they had with you! This could be the reason that encourages potential future candidates to apply. 

Recommendation: Personalise your communication 

Gen Z love personalisation and although we have seen some fantastic, personalised emails, we have also spotted ‘insert name here’ left on the mail merger email too – whoops. Cibyl’s latest graduate research says that Gen Z favour YouTube when it comes to careers-related content. Videos could be a great alternative to let candidates know they have not been successful by receiving a personalised message. 

Do not miss out on the opportunity to include those handy links! This might be to future opportunities or maybe a Q&A session you have coming up - you do not want to lose them now, especially when you have worked so hard to get them here. 

Where is the human interaction? 

Cibyl’s latest student report tells us that almost all students want to meet employers at the early stages of the application process. This is more than likely because every employer’s recruitment process varies so much and therefore students are unsure of what to expect. 

Recommendation: Why not host a virtual Q&A? 

Research from Bright Network’s 2021 student report shows out of the whole application process, it is the interview stage that students worry about the most. A great way for potential candidates to learn what to expect from your recruitment process is by providing a virtual skills session. By providing some top tips, this will help students to feel supported by their potential employer. 

Closing application deadlines early 

Imagine spending hours preparing to apply for a role only to find the application deadline has been closed early. An experienced graduate recruiter on LinkedIn asked their network whether employers closing their roles early was a good thing. Out of 300 responses, unsurprisingly over 70% said no it confuses students!  

Recommendation: State the closing date and extend if needed 

The obvious recommendation here would be to state the closing date but if this isn’t possible, why not show an earlier date and then extend it if you do not receive the number of applicants you were hoping for? Signposting applicants to your newsletter so they can be the first to hear about new opportunities is a great way to keep in contact with those potential candidates. 

Want to know more about Gen Z?

We hope you found our advice useful, and it has helped you get ready for your next recruitment cycle. If you want to know more about Gen Z and what you could be doing differently to connect with them, check out our video here. Alternatively, you can take a look at our Gen Z report  where we share more of our handy top tips. Of course, if you do have any questions, feel free to contact us:

The Student Recruitment Team

Akin Dogankaya – Marketing Executive
akin.dogankaya@icaew.com

Zoe Stubbings – Marketing Executive
zoe.stubbings@icaew.com

If you belong to Gen Z and you are looking for a new job, or need to refresh your interview skills, visit our CVs and interview skills section where you can find a range of books, articles and guides.