Up Your Email Game to Attract Millennial and Gen Z Talent

Hiring today is challenging. It requires ingenuity not just in recruiters methods but also in the tools they use to communicate with candidates. Evolution in the tools and platforms recruiters use is all but required to attract today’s candidates. There are hundreds of new communication tools and platforms geared toward creating smooth communications between you and your candidates. But there’s one tool that will never go out of style: Email. The communication platform of choice for nearly every employer/candidate interaction, email is not going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean email is exempt from change. Not at all. Savvy recruiters understand that closing their desired job candidates requires adapting email strategies to reach their target audience.

So let’s talk about all the different ways recruiters currently use email.

  1. Initial outreach: Check the temperature of potential candidates: Are they interested in your company or position? Do they have the skills necessary to do the job well? What roadblocks are there that would prevent them from doing the job?
  2. Nurturing: Important, but not often used, these communications build trust and keep your company top of mind for when the right job opens up-- these communications help you to develop talent.
  3. Candidate engagement: Answer questions, schedule interviews, follow-ups, etc.
  4. Closing candidates: Getting candidates to say “yes” to your position.

Recruiters have been using email successfully for a long time— so what’s the problem now? Why aren’t your emails working like they used to?

  1. Demographic changes– Millennials now represent 35 percent of the U.S. workforce and on a global basis are expected to represent 75 percent of all workers by 2025. And younger Gen Z workers are also joining the workforce in large numbers. These generations have strong values that vary quite a bit from previous generations.  
  2. Unprecedented opportunities for them to choose from – They know that they don’t need to jump at the first opportunity or offer that comes their way.
  3. Getting left UNread – With so few conversations actually happening face to face anymore, you’d think the popularity and prevalence of email would have soared. But for Millennial and Gen Z candidates email is competing with every other form of online communications. Whether that’s a comment on their latest Instagram post, a message from a close friend, or even contact from a recruiter on LinkedIn. Your email messages are competing with all these other channels.

We’ve covered why your emails aren’t working, but what can you do to get them back on track? What do members of these generations expect? After all, how different can they really be from those who came before them?

Don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of similarities between generations— but there’s also a LOT that’s different, especially when it comes to choosing their careers.

Beliefs/Values need to align: You need to show them your values upfront, they want to know that your organization shares values similar to their own and will not work for you if they don’t see that. Millennials and Gen Z especially looks for ethical practices both as consumers and job seekers. 69 percent of Gen Z said they would be more likely to consider working for a company that “emphasized a racially and ethnically diverse workplace in recruiting materials.”
Connection/Authenticity: They want to feel that your organization values their time and want to be treated like human beings, not a quota to be met. 90 percent of Gen Z workers said that they desire a human connection at work.
They do research: As we mentioned above, Gen Z wants to know about your impact on the world, so you can bet they’ll do their research. Be sure to share information they’d want to hear about in your emails. Then, when they do their research elsewhere, if they can find that information corroborated you’ll gain their trust.
On the go: Generation Z has grown up with cellphones. Though they value face-to-face connection, they do also use their cellphone to stay connected. They will often use multiple platforms at once! Their veritable media multitaskers. You’ll want to create emails that grab their attention and do it quickly: you’ll probably only have 8 seconds of their undivided attention before they decide to move on to something else.

So what do you need to do to get Gen Z job seekers to read your emails?

Give them something extra: Each communication is an opportunity to stand out compared to the other recruiters emailing candidates. You need to give job-seekers something to chew on, think about, mull over. Don’t just send the standard information you share everywhere, they can find that on their own. Share additive information about your company, paint a full picture, show them that you’re well-rounded. Share infographics, awards, benefits, stories, policies that set you apart from your competition. Make their research easy by sharing the information they’re actually interested in. Make it informative but quick to consume, highlight the information that falls in line with their priorities.

If you want to attract millennials and Gen Z you can’t just use the same old tactics that have worked for you in the past. With new values and priorities, you need to make sure you’ve updated your tactics to reflect them. For insights on how you can share more content with jobseekers, reach out to WorkReels.

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