How can employers communicate with Gen Z?

Your future talent come from Gen Z, those born since 1995. This generation of digital natives is notorious for their online multi-tasking and short attention spans.

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But the truth is more complicated. This generation is also serious and pragmatic.  They want content that is authentic, engaging and informative. They prefer video. Bombarded by online advertising they make quick decisions. If something doesn't grab their interest within 8 seconds they move on. But if they are interested they will focus and stay with it.

So how do you attract Gen Z to focus on your company and your opportunities?

We have been talking to young people in South London about how they’d like to be communicated with. Here’s what they’ve told us.

1. Be authentic and real

Young people value authenticity and real people. They avoid anything that looks too corporate or branded. They like watching video blogs on YouTube and they follow bloggers they can relate to and find interesting.

There are some huge stars on YouTube who have influenced the mode of communication. For example, RiceGum, started out making gaming videos and moved into story/vlog style videos and diss tracks. His YouTube channel has reached over 10m subscribers. Although he’s a mega star now the videos aren’t glossy or polished. It’s all about his personality and his particular take on the world.

Young people look for micro vloggers like this one who they can relate to because they are closer in age, experience or interests.

Gen Z gets a lot of their advice from these kind of peer influencers.

Videos might be shot on a smartphone or have shaky images at times, but the sound is always clear and they are very good at getting a message across. They are well structured, get to the point fast and uses a mixture of video, onscreen captions, split screens and graphics to explain and show at the same time. Funny scenes and conversations draw out the key points and the “what not to do”.

2. Make content shareable

The top source of information for young people is via posts from friends. Their number one activity is checking out each other’s feeds and communicating with each other directly via messaging, Snapchat and comments and replies on posts. They communicate using images, emoticons, memes, voice messages, GIFs, short videos and live streaming, posting stories on Instagram to show what they are doing right now.

What makes content shareable will very from person to person but its usually because it’s funny, interesting (in a “who knew?” kind of way) or resonates emotionally.

Jungle Creations have got the creation of shareable content down to a fine art. They build social brands through shared content and reach millions of people every week. They create communities of interest to tap into people’s passions. We all remember the ones we love. For me, it’s this - funny, human, cute…

3. Provide useful information

Young people have a thirst for knowledge and inspiration. They want to learn stuff that is relevant to their life. It could be the answer to a pressing problem, like how to kiss. Or how to revise for your science GCSE.

They want to learn new stuff that interests them.  It could be related to a practical interest, like how to lay down a beat.

Or it could be a video essay that opens up a world of knowledge from someone who’s really well informed, like this example from Kaptainkristian on how to make monsters

Young people are interested in work and opportunities. They follow startups and job pages and they want to know more.  

4. Demonstrate values and diversity

Gen Z care about the values of the brands they engage with. This is even more important when thinking about a potential employer. They care about how companies behave and how inclusive they are towards different kinds of people.

They want to feel comfortable at work. They value human connection and community.

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So how can we apply these insights into creating youth led employer content?

At We Rise our videos are made by young people who, like their peers, start with preconceptions about large companies.

Our team creates a video journey of exploration that explodes these preconceptions through moments of revelation. They seek out the human warmth, passion and commitment inside your organisation.

They find out what your people do, what they care about, what makes them human. And they have fun doing it.

Our films make the human connection to show what your organisation can offer to diverse young talent.

The videos we create are authentic, shareable, informative and rooted in your values.

To help two different worlds understand each other a little better.

We’d love to help you reach diverse young talent. If you think we can help do please get in touch.

Contact abigail@werise.org.uk


Abigail Melville