Want a generation Z workforce? 4 tips from a student marketing agency
Capturing the attention of the next generation is all the rage among marketers. Raptor's chief exec and co-founder David Burgman considers how marketers can work to get in front of generation Z.
From my conversations with CEOs and recruitment teams as part of The Drum Network, it’s clear that there's a crisis in attracting incoming talent. As the chief executive officer of the student marketing agency Raptor, here are my top tips on employing a member of generation Z, as learned through conversations with our student network.
1. Driving company culture
In our most recent data study of 105 students from 35 universities across the UK, 52% of students said that company culture was the most important factor in deciding whether to take their first graduate job. But what exactly is company culture?
Raptor provides a four-step guide for marketers looking to reach Gen Z.
Pre-pandemic, company culture could manifest in the form of an occasional well-being talk, a birthday off work, or a raucous Christmas social. In the post-pandemic world, generation Z demand more.
Company culture isn’t just about what you do; it’s how you create an environment for your employees where they can thrive, and feel valued and heard. At Raptor, we operate on a flat communication structure. From our interns who join straight from university to account directors, we foster a culture of value from junior to senior to ensure that everyone’s opinions are taken seriously. After all, who better to tell us we’re old-fashioned than members of generation Z themselves?
As recent graduates, junior members are launched into responsibility from the get-go. From managing a team of over 40 ambassadors independently, to leading projects within campaigns and presenting their ideas directly to the client, team members learn the skills of communication, ownership and confidence from their first day.
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2. Standing for something
In the same survey, 15% of students agreed that joining a company that aligned with their values was the most important factor in choosing a potential employer. But stamping sustainability on your website without acting on it is a sure-fire way to say goodbye to generation Z.
Generation Z is one of the most critical generations to enter the workforce. As digital natives, they’ve learned the skill of calling out lies, and they’re good at it. Values of inclusivity, representation, and sustainability are not what they want, but what they expect in a future employer.
Establishing simple measures within your company can allow for values to become ingrained in day-to-day life. Including pronouns in company signatures, establishing clear sustainability practices, providing the resources needed to act upon these goals, and considering representation in recruitment processes are all simple measures to begin acting on your values in a tangible way.
3. Treat employees with respect
One of the biggest pain points for students entering the workforce is not being treated with respect. Expecting a student to move to a big city and begin working full-time in an office on a less-than-living wage salary is unrealistic and unfair.
At Raptor, we aim to offer benefits to our employees such as a rental deposit scheme, cycle-to-work incentives, and realistic working hours to ensure that employees feel confident in taking their first graduate job.
We want to encourage growth in our employees, so from the start of their careers, we offer progression plans to show graduates exactly how they will grow. Every six months, we want them to be hitting a new target, revealing the next chapter in their career journey.
4. Do fun work that people are proud of
Our motto at Raptor is to do work that is memorable, shareable, and enjoyable. If you work with clients that your employees love and that align with their values, they’ll feel prouder and more committed to their work. Through working with brands recommended by team members, getting great results for clients is easy.
As a student marketing agency, we aim to work with the most up-and-coming brands in each sector. From Depop in circular fashion to Nando’s connecting with student music culture, everything we do has student culture at the heart of it. By extension, students love what we do and want to be a part of it.
Generation Z is one of the hardest demographics to please. But with this tough stance, they provide some of the most valuable insight and hardest work ethics we’ve ever seen. By developing strong company culture, establishing values you care about and building a client base that brings enjoyable work - you’ll be able to bring generation Z straight to your door.
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