Keeping Next-Gen Talent Engaged – From Interest to Interview

Millennials and Generation Z may be primarily known as digital natives, but they also represent the first wave of the population exposed to unprecedented social media contact. They send an average of 67 texts per day and typically have around 250 Facebook friends. They are used to frequent personal interactions, and, unsurprisingly, they expect the same amount of contact throughout the job hunt.

When recruiting — and ultimately hiring — these digital and social natives, you must maintain momentum and keep their interest high through a community-based approach to communication. Think social media messages, emails, and even old-fashioned phone calls.

And don’t fear that you are filling them in too frequently — 95 percent of younger workers want communication throughout the job search, even if you have rejected them. In fact, even after this generation are hired, they often want more feedback than they ask for or are given. A good talent communication platform will integrate with your applicant tracking system so you can keep tabs on how many touch points you’ve had with your candidates and gauge what types of messages were most effective.

Beyond staying in touch, digital natives are accustomed to a call to action. Compelling CTAs will allow you to convert your potential job candidates into applicants. If you’ve identified an interested candidate that hasn’t made their way from your online career site to USAJobs, more action-oriented messaging will help to guide them all the way through the application process.

Just as you should do with your job descriptions, leave all your federal jargon and acronyms behind. Continuing to create messaging in startup-style, go-get-em language will create an authenticity around your brand, a key marketing point toward millennials. A casual tone that lets a candidate envision how they will make impactful change at your agency will help reconnect them with the good first impression you’ve made.

Millennials and Gen Z do their research. Nearly 60 percent look at a company’s website when applying for a job. You can help them do their research by creating mobile-friendly online career site, as well as, being active on social media. By engaging with this audience on the platforms which they are accustomed, they stay tapped into your hiring cycle and you can bridge the gap between interest and interview.

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Three Ways to Improve Your Agency’s Message to the Next-Generation Workforce

There is a famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi you’ve probably seen on t-shirts and bumper stickers: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Though he was born in the 1860s, this quote might make you think Gandhi was a modern-day 20- or 30-something looking for a new job.


Why? Because these generations do actually expect to change the world and rate culture above all other criteria when finding a place to work.


Government agencies change the world every day, implementing new regulations that could have a powerful impact on our collective future like climate change,health care, and space exploration. But are millennials and Gen Z absorbing your message? If not, the problem may be your brand. Here are three things you can do today to improve your agency’s message to its next-generation workforce:


1. Identify Your Agency’s Hook


What would you put on a bumper sticker to let people know how your employees are making the world a better place? If you don’t have an idea, a good place to start may be asking the people that currently work there. After all, they are the ones that tapped into your message in the first place. Plus, nine out of 10 federal employees say the work they do is important. Communicating your agency’s purpose as your brand is essential if your agency is going to compete with jobs in the commercial sector at startup companies.


2. Make Sure Your Brand is ACTUALLY Seen


To do this, you must deliver a digital experience to attract next-generation talent. Create a central online location where your brand shines through. This might include your mission statement, interviews with current employees, pictures of the agency softball team — things that create a personal impression to give millennials and Gen Z an idea of what a day in the office might be like. This site has to be mobile friendly to reach younger talent, especially considering that 21 percent of this demographic only use mobile devices to go online, and 46 percent of people will not revisit a website if it doesn’t display well on mobile.


3. Ensure Your Agency’s Content is Engages Your Audience


One great way to do this is through social media, where photos and videos make the biggest impact. Visual content garners 94 percent more views than content without any imagery. Many agencies are already doing this. The National Park Service, for instance, has a captivating Instagram, where it shows eye-candy landscapes from around the country and pictures from agency events.


Your agency’s next-generation workforce needs to feel a sense of belonging to apply to an opportunity. They want more than just a job, and money alone cannot entice them. On average, they’d give up $7,600 in wages to like their office more. Creating this attachment to your agency’s brand identity will help bridge the gap between attracting new talent and getting them to apply for a job.


Learn more from our Next-Generation Recruitment Resources.

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Reaching Next-Generation Talent in the Age of Real-Time Social Media

There is a new frontier in recruiting, and it’s throttling the pace of candidate interaction into warp speed.


Social media is gaining popularity with hiring managers. Ninety-two percent of them say they are using sites like Facebook, Twitter — even Snapchat — as hiring tools. This is a prime way to spread your brand’s message, and recruit, outside of your company’s website or career center portal.


While this approach may seem novel, it’s a key way to reach Millennials and Gen Z — a demographic that can help fill the positions of the 600,000 baby boomers who will soon be eligible to retire out of government service. It is also a method these candidates increasingly want to use for job searches. More than 40 percent of people born between 1979 and 1997 think the federal government should use social media as a hiring tool. Social recruiting can also serve another purpose: feedback. Millennials and Gen Zs desire candid and frequent feedback, and social platforms provide a two-way street for your agency to communicate directly with interested candidates.


So how can you effectively communicate your open jobs to this sea of people eager to find employment through social media? Above all, this generation wants to find purpose and meaning from their work. More than 90 percent say they desire a job that lets them use their skills for good. Your agency needs to succinctly express how it is making an impact — and the shorter the better through these channels.


Think about how the Marines market themselves: “The Proud. The Few.” Every government agency has the ability to be as captivating while being concise. People have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. And more than any generation before it, these young candidates will respond to a short, but accurate, job description. Embrace Twitter’s tight character count and you can make a quick but powerful impression on this under-30 set.


You are also empowering your hiring department to find passive candidates — people whom your agency can consider for employment even if they are not actively seeking a new position but meet your in-demand skill set. Passive searching is the number one reason organizations use social media for recruitment. This is ideal for organizations that are searching for a employee versed in a niche software program or for a project with very specialized skills. This is a huge opportunity for federal hiring managers to fill the expected 3,500 vacancies in cybersecurity and IT that will occur in 2017.


By getting your listings on social media, you can create a new way for candidates to find you — and you to find candidates — in the fastest, most accessible way possible.

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