BY ANDRÉA, COMMUNITY LEAD YOUNG PEOPLE @ MY JOB GLASSES
When talking about the Gen Z — these young people born between 1995 and 2010 — it is important to keep two things in mind to avoid a series of clichés which will prevent us from understanding this generation:
On one hand, this age group is protean, just like the previous generations. Just because they share similarities, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily alike
On the other hand, even if we are used to hearing the opposite, this generation is far from being incomprehensible: putting things in context can certainly help. Gen Z adapts and modulates its behaviours and attitudes according to the innovations they were born into
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FINDING MEANING IN LIFE AS A CORE VALUE
What does a generation that has grown up (at least the eldest age group entering the labour market) amidst climate emergency, fake news, cyberbullying and the #MeToo movement expect from life?
Imbued with the societal changes that surround them, Generation Z demands more commitment, more transparency and seeks to have a positive impact on the planet. The way they claim or demand it has also evolved: having reached maturity in the use of social media, this generation is bringing a new era to the forefront: that of digital activism.
Consequently, employer branding must then be able to adapt to this factor by aligning its actions with its positioning or its promises. Thus, any company that is seeking to attract and recruit new talents should be aware that this generation will pay attention to its ethics, its mission and its philosophy.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRIBES AND COMMUNITIES
When referring to Gen Z, it is quite difficult not to mention the concept of community, more particularly a new form of tribalism: more and more often, the group serves the individual in their individual emancipation.
More than ever before, each person belongs to a tribe (emergence of veganism, LGBTQ, etc.) which allows him to promote his personal style, features, personality, or skills while ensuring him protection against the rejection that his demands can provoke. This dynamic is applied by mimicry to the work environment, which needs to be promoted as a community experience to appeal to most.
This does not necessarily mean Gen Z is keen on merging professional and personal life. However, colleagues represent a social framework, and it is therefore imperative to take this point into account when building your employer brand.
When you sell a career, you sell an experience, interactions, common projects, etc. The candidate must be able to consider developing in the midst of his peers, including on an emotional level.
At the same time, we are witnessing the emergence of new forms of collective and collaborative intelligence, in particular through the development and distribution of video games. Geographical remoteness no longer necessarily implies social isolation. Remote work, does not necessarily have to become the generality but should be considered a possible solution, since this generation has learned to socialize and collaborate remotely at a very young age.
TEST AND LEARN & INTERNAL MENTORING
When using a new product, previous generations tended to read the instructions. Today, it appears that we are witnessing a paradigm shift, where the instructions are replaced by test and learn – especially in the startup world where everything has to be done and therefore to be tested first. In response, the new generation of employees differentiates themselves by their demand for experimentation and their ability to learn on their own.
This dynamic is doubled by their need for a space where the individual can feel free to create and take initiatives. Moreover, this generation is looking for a safe space, which tolerates mistakes and, above all, supports and guides them. This means a swift in the management scheme, which sees managers become internal mentors. A manager will consider the members of his team as equals, and will seek to make them grow by putting his experience to good use.
Therefore, the renewed employer brand must imperatively highlight the development of employees, their emancipation, and the variety of their missions.
VISUAL AND CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE DEFINE THIS GENERATION
The ability to learn autonomously is found in specific and determined fields such as tech (data, growth, code, etc.) and arts. Generation Z is known for their use of DTP tools (Illustrator, Premiere, After Effect, Abbleton) as well as UX / UI (user experience and interface) software.
Today, images are absolutely everywhere, in endless quantities. All this leads this peer group to develop more his visual intelligence and, therefore, different standards and requirements in terms of attractiveness regarding employer brands. Companies must then take care of their image and the way they present themselves.
The employer brand is simply a brand on its own. Each corporation has to work on its image, take advantage of aesthetic universes that will enhance it to allow its target audience to better integrate the messages shared by the organisation.
Finally, Gen Z remains is known for consuming live information: it anticipates less, reacts more and is often called elsewhere without having finished what it was doing due to a profusion of content.
According to a study conducted by The Future Laboratory commissioned and presented in a release by Samsung in 2019, human attention span has gone from 12 to 8 seconds since the transition to the year 2000.
Thus, this generation’s eye is more difficult to catch because of the enormous mass of information it is confronted to daily. As a result, employer branding must be effective if it wishes to succeed in getting the attention of these young talents.
This requires pedagogical, writing and directing skills, as well as choosing the right format, message, and momentum. Employer branding must focus on editorial and keep in mind these three aspects : message, format and distribution channel, which affect each other. It must also develop real brand content expertise, which is the cornerstone of its attractiveness.