True or false: During the pandemic, Gen Z was the most economically affected generation in the workforce. If you answered true, you're correct.
Gen Z was more likely to lose their job, have a reduction in hours and pay, and be reassigned to a job they were not hired to do. This hindrance, in addition to the 7% increase of graduates entering the workforce in 2021, makes early talent the most viable talent pool in the market.
So how do you create career sites to catch the attention of a generation of entrepreneurial digital natives?
Build career sites that showcase your authentic employer brand
Today's job seekers do their research, and they're good at it. So it's safe to say that your online presence, namely your employer brand, is the first thing that can attract or deter them from progressing through the hiring process.
Your career site is the central hub for expressing your employer brand. When done right, it contains rich information about who you are, what you stand for and who you're looking for ticking off integral boxes for job seekers before ever coming into contact with a recruiter or hiring manager.
But to showcase it properly, you need the right recruiting technology to stand it up. The digital natives of Gen Z have little patience for outdated recruiting technology and they expect a seamless candidate experience akin to the online consumer experience they are accustomed to.
Career site must-haves
- Career site personalization: When a candidate visits your career site for the first time, they see the default home page. However, as they begin to click around, the next time they visit, they'll be served a page that is relevant to their last visit. So, if they viewed content about a call center representative, they'll see call center-specific content automatically on their next visit.
- Chat in real time: Chat assistants can answer questions, suggest relevant jobs and capture contact info and resumes - all at the convenience of the job seeker. By putting power in the hands of talent, you're letting them engage with your brand when, where and how they want. Its immediacy also makes it ideal for reaching passive job seekers.
- Enhanced job descriptions: Aside from a quick job overview and position requirements, you can enhance your job descriptions by bulking up company content. Allow candidates to view videos, employee testimonials, career path opportunities and other relevant content to inform their next steps. (Also, make sure those job descriptions are inclusive and inviting. Leverage a DEI browser plugin to make sure you're not portraying any unintentional bias.)
- Apply painlessly: One of the most significant drop-off points in the candidate journey comes when they're ready to convert and are stopped cold by a lengthy, cumbersome and often confusing application process. Leveraging a checkout-style apply process uses AI to acquire vital candidate data from various channels (remember that chat assistant from above?) By the time a candidate is ready, they only need to complete a few basic questions before hitting "submit."
Candidate experience isn't a transaction it's a lifecycle
Suppose they get the job, then they're lucky to be the one candidate that experiences joy in today's painful talent acquisition processes. Now, as their new employer, your team's job is to turn new hires into brand advocates.
That's right, the early talent you hire will help define your company culture, and can elevate that ever-important employer brand with their employee stories, online advocacy and if you're lucky, even some great referrals. Once you get these testimonials, share them on your career site and candidate communications.
But don't stop there. Remember to keep them interested in your company by doing your part to advocate for your brand.
Internal career sites to promote early talent mobility
Now more than ever it's critical to keep top employees at your company. With remote work spiking, job opportunities are opening up on a global scale. Keep talent, particularly early talent who is looking to quickly grow their careers, interested in your brand by promoting internal mobility opportunities.
To promote internal job openings you'll first need to create an internal career page. Often employers focus heavily on recruiting new talent and forget to lean into the talent community within their own organization. (No wonder turnover is so high).
After you create an internal career site, push open jobs to your current employee base.
Send messages and job alerts and ensure your internal leadership team has open conversations about career mobility.
Keep early talent engaged with talent pools
What happens when they don't get the job? Remember, this is a lifecycle, not a transaction, so you need to keep every candidate warm and active in your talent pipeline. Even though they may not have been the best fit for this position at this particular moment, it doesn't mean they won't be the right fit in the future. This is where a talent network comes into play. (And where you get to extend joy to candidates who aren't selected right away).
You'll notice on many best in class career sites a critical CTA to join the talent network (that's right, they don't even need to convert to an applicant to opt-in), but this can also be embedded in the application process.
Once you have them in your network, you can send relevant information on new job opportunities and if you want to outpace 93% of the Fortune 500, you can send additional content like company initiatives, DEI information, employee stories...you get the picture.
The moral of the story, to get early talent in the door, you need three things: a strong, authentic employer brand, an up-to-date career site to activate it and personalize the experience, and a talent network to keep candidates warm and build your talent pipeline for the future.