Reaching Generation Z

Reaching Generation Z

22 March 2018 by Justin Rush

Reaching Generation Z

Generation Z, Gen Z or Millennials are the children of Generation X and have been born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s.

This is a group which do not know life before the internet, breathe social media and have a level of connectivity that is unprecedented.  As many organisations now look to expand and grow, they are actively seeking to appoint new graduate-level staff from this demographic. The challenges of recruiting from this group in the Northern Ireland marketplace are more significant than many would perceive. Here is what you need to know:

Unemployment is currently at a 10-year low.

NISRA statistics on the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period August-October 2017 was 3.9%, the lowest reported figure since 2007. The pool you are fishing from is shallow.

Graduate job opportunities are on the rise.

Guess what? You are not the only employer who feels that the time is right to invest in some new young blood to help support your growth. Northern Ireland now has a number of large scale employers whose business models centre upon the appointment of high volumes of graduates each year. If you are planning to appoint business, IT, accountancy & finance, law and engineering graduates you need to make sure you benchmark your offering.

The Grad gap.

On average 20% or more of local graduates want to travel and work outside of Northern Ireland upon graduation.  On average 70% or more of Northern Ireland graduates studying in the UK &  Republic of Ireland don’t return here after graduation. We estimate that we are losing between 4,000 to 6,000 of our best and brightest each year.

Traditional attraction methods don’t work with this group.

This is a demographic which beliefs in the power of the recommendation. It does not matter, how much you say about your awards, your training programme, your corporate social responsibility (CSR), your culture, etc. This group wants to hear validated opinions from others like them before considering you, this is how you will gain your applications. (But of course, you still need to have the awards, training, CSR, etc).

Salaries are on the rise.

Long gone are the days when £14,000 would secure the appointment of a 2:1 graduate. Not only are salaries higher, but the expectation for the provision of benefits has also jumped forward. For example, fully supported training programmes.

If you are struggling to understand Gen Z attitudes visit youtube and type in ‘Millennial job interview’ it will bring you to a video created by LA Reel House Media. This video is a parody of a job interview between a Millennial interviewee and a Baby Boomer interviewer. It speaks volumes about expectations of this group and it is equal parts scary and funny.

Justin Rush is a career recruiter and Director at Abacus Talent Group. Justin can be contacted on [email protected] for further advice.


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