employment, hiring Millennials and Generation Z

Attracting talent from the younger generations is a growing priority for companies.

Together, Millennials and Generation Z now make up nearly half the U.S. population, according to Nielsen. 

The Pew Research Center identifies Millennials as anyone born 1981-1996 and Generation Z as those born after 1997. 

“The candidate pool today is different from 20, or even just 10 years ago,” said Andrew VanDerWege, founder and CEO of Go West Camps. “One of the things that we find is we have to use different means and methods to communicate with young people. You have to be willing to accept a text message from somebody, which used to be perceived as kind of unprofessional — but even email is kind of old school for these younger folks.”

VanDerWege and Colorado Sno-Balls co-owner Jennifer Sweet recently spoke with the Business Journal about some of their experiences hiring younger employees. 

Sweet found Facebook was the best tool to connect with teenagers and young adults when filling the shop’s summer positions. 

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“You can actually post job listings right on Facebook now,” she said. “Most people will then come in and get the application and fill it out right away, but it also gives you an option for people to apply online by uploading a resumé.” 

In May 2017, Pavel Krapivin, founder and CEO of outplacement and recruitment service VelvetJobs, talked to HR Dive about using technology to attract adolescent workers.

“Generation Z tends to be more inclined to turn to technology to explore career opportunities and they embrace resources that streamline the job search process more than any other group of candidates before them,” Krapivin said. “From resume matching and job alerts to direct help from outplacement services, they know how to use technology to find the companies that align with their professional goals and personal values.” 

Last year, ChooseATL, an initiative of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, hosted the largest job market booth at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. 

The program used a social media campaign to achieve its goal of finding young talent to work for companies in Atlanta. 

“We knew before we started this campaign that 90 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 29, use social media,” Kate Atwood, executive director of ChooseATL, told HR Dive. “Therefore, these platforms served as the most ideal way to not only reach our target audiences on a national level, but also reach them in a format that appealed to them.”

So what does all that mean?

Well, for starters, employers may need to reevaluate how they’re trying to communicate with the younger workforce. If a company doesn’t have a social media presence, it might be time to consider creating one. Because while national data indicates a decline in the teenage workforce, neither VanDerWege nor Sweet have had issues finding help. 

“We still are getting teenagers coming in and asking if we are hiring for the summer and I’m having to tell them, ‘Sorry, we already filled those positions,'” Sweet said.