Increasing brand awareness is a challenge for most companies, but it can be especially difficult when your audience is Generation Z. Members of this generation, those born after 1996, are looking for something different when it comes to learning more about and engaging with industries. And early brand awareness is important to them.
In 2020 Tallo surveyed over 29,000 Gen Z high school and college students to understand the top companies they want to work for and learn more about their expectations during the recruitment process. We found that 70% decide on their future employer in high school or early college. And 74% indicated they would be more inclined to work for an employer if they connected with them prior to looking for a job.
5 Tips to Build Your Brand Awareness for Generation Z
Increasing brand awareness should be top of mind for companies. Here are five tips when building your brand for Gen Z:
- Reach out to them early on.
As the abovementioned stats show us, it’s almost never too early to start building your talent pipeline. If you’re hoping to recruit college graduates, start introducing your brand to them while they’re in high school or earlier. If you wait for the last career fair of college senior year, you’ll have to go up against companies that these job seekers already know about and have potentially built a relationship with. Don’t miss out. But what if you don’t even have an internship or job available for high school or college students? Getting in touch with them still matters!Well, Tallo conducted a survey of 512 high school and college students in 2019 to better understand Gen Z’s attitudes towards personal and professional branding, communication preferences, and how potential employers can appeal to their interests. We learned that 96% want to build network connections—even if jobs aren’t yet available.
Although you might not have immediate opportunities, establishing a relationship with emerging talent who aren’t quite ready to join the workforce can lead to higher yields later on.
So, how do you get Gen Z’s attention?
- Meet them where they are.
Members of this generation are digital natives, so you need to build your brand online. Having a presence on social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter will connect you with this younger talent pipeline. And considering that 98% of Gen Zers own a smartphone, you need to create mobile-friendly content that grabs their attention before they can keep scrolling past your post or move on to the next website. While posting on these apps is essential, a word of caution: Gen Z prefers when you personally connect with them on more traditional platforms. In our 2019 survey, 94% of respondents prefer recruiters reach out to them via email; 63% prefer being contacted on professional apps like Tallo. Only 14% said they would want to be reached out to on their personal social media.
Now you know you should establish a consistent online presence, but you don’t know what kind of content you need to post and how. That leads us to our next tips…
- Get creative.
If you think your brand isn’t suited for platforms like Snapchat, you might want to think again. This list of brands that have found success through the app, from Taco Bell to Acura to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, can inspire you to make some creative and fun posts. Nontraditional approaches can break through the constant noise from other companies vying for attention. For example, American Trucking Associations, Inc. had difficulty recruiting Gen Z talent. So, its Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) took a different approach and developed a video game to connect with this next generation. After all, according to Fortune.com, 87% of Gen Z play video games on smartphones, gaming consoles, and computers at least weekly.Check out the 20-minute webinar we hosted with Robert M. Braswell, the Executive Director for ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), to learn more.
Looking for another creative example? During the pandemic, Corteva Agriscience made the adjustment to go virtual—from internship orientation to recruitment. Jenna Suckow, University Relations Recruiter at Corteva, met with us in this 20-minute webinar to discuss how her team made the shift to being flexible and incorporated virtual options in their internship recruitment and program.
- Be authentic.
Gen Z wants more transparency from companies than any generation before them. They’d prefer you to be upfront about the not-so-glamorous side of your industry while mixing in some fun and humor too. One example of a company that gets this right is Starface, creators of pimple patches and acne stickers. That industry might sound bland, but due to its out-of-the-box branding that includes fun posts showing real, unedited skin, Starface created an online presence that resonates with nearly a million people. (Its TikTok has more than 917,000 followers.) And since its videos depict Gen Zers using the products, the company embraces this young generation’s direct involvement with its marketing efforts.Another way to increase your brand’s authenticity is to share your story. Why was your company created? What problems does it solve? How does it disrupt your industry? Nearly every superhero movie involves an origin story, so take inspiration from these films and show off your humble beginnings! You can also spotlight employees who love the company. There’s no better way to show why your company is a great place to work than by going to the source. (Pssst! Since visuals have the most impact, ditch the long print pieces and opt for short video interviews or photos besides quick quotes.)
- Know who you’re talking to.
Mass messaging is never as authentic or powerful as more targeted efforts. After you’ve built an online presence and are ready to reach out with specific opportunities for Gen Z, take a microtargeted approach to your messaging.
A microtargeted approach means that you choose key demographics—such as location, age, education level, career interests, GPA range, and more—for the ideal candidates you want to reach.
Instead of canned messaging that was obviously sent to thousands of users and will get deleted in two seconds, you’ll have a message that provides specific information about your opportunity and calls out the recipient’s qualifications, encouraging them to connect with you further. It’s much more impactful, and Gen Z expects this approach.
Ninety-one percent of our 2019 survey respondents think that a potential employer should know their professional details ahead of time, and 63% even felt that the employer should know some personal details about the candidate as well. When you’re ready to recruit Gen Z talent, make sure you do your homework!
Increase Your Brand Awareness with Tallo
More than 1.5 million students and professionals access Tallo to find career opportunities like internships, apprenticeships, and jobs. We connect with Gen Z early on through authentic, personalized messaging, helping to build your brand and talent pipeline. Plus, we have the data insights to help inform your next steps when recruiting Gen Z.
Don’t just take our word for it—Marcy Hamrick, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Publix, has said, “Tallo is like LinkedIn but for younger generations. It allows businesses such as Publix to find and message these kids and try to engage them in either careers, at a college, or employment with organizations.”
Set up a 15-minute demo so we can show you how we do it.