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Meeting Them Where They Are: Five Tips to Begin to Recruit Generation Z

If you have been in business long enough the idea that it is “hard to find good help,” has rung true in some part of your entrepreneurial journey. Each individual comes with their skills, experiences, and personalities; however, finding the right talent can get even trickier when generational differences get involved. Most of the talk has been about millennials, so it is easy to forget about the up-and-coming Generation Z. They may seem interchangeable with the former, but this generation is different in many ways than their millennial counterparts.

The Profile

  • According to Generation Z spans children born from 1995 to 2012, with the oldest being in their early 20s.
  • They have never grown up without the internet in some part of their lives, and they are known to be even better multi-taskers than millennials.
  • Due to their youth during the recession, this group loves a bargain, but are not excited about ads or commercialism.
  • They are global, big on individuality, and have high career and entrepreneurial expectations.

Millennial strategies are outdated on this group, so what can metro Atlanta entrepreneurs and small business owners do to attract them?

Use the College Scene to Your Advantage

It is easy to forget that Atlanta is a “college town.” With Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Spellman, and Morehouse within miles of each other and Oglethorpe and Emory not too far away toward the suburbs of Metro Atlanta, small business owners have their pickings. Going to career fairs are a significant first step, but it is essential to building a relationship with these students to gain their trust. Entrepreneurs should get in touch with the career and advisement offices of the main campus and those of the various disciplines to reach out with internship opportunities. Reaching out to them before they graduate opens the field for hire down the line.

Make and Network Under 40 Your Go-Tos

Atlanta has a vibrant presence on and the Network Under 40 event scenes. Generation Z is entrepreneurial, and even with a penchant for numerous devices, they understand the importance of networking and making contacts. Therefore, owners should find as many networking events geared toward this group as possible and either attend or have a younger person on staff go to connect and recruit. This is a more informal atmosphere which is perfect for making a stronger connection with this group.

Stay Current on Snapchat and Instagram

This is less related to the location of Atlanta, but it rings true, this group is not attached to Facebook. Millennials still use the platform, but Generation Z has moved onto other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Again, Generation Z is not excited about intrusive ads or recruitment that feels too forced, so recruiters have to be natural on these platforms. However, their attention is there. Creating Instagram or Snapchat posts about fun things happening at the office or intriguing office initiatives can peak their interest in the company.

Don’t Forget Pitch Contests and Incubators

Again, we were not exaggerating when we said this group was entrepreneurial. A study revealed that 72 percent of youth in this age group want to start a business. Atlanta has a myriad of opportunities for these individuals to pitch their ideas to seek funding or develop their businesses with the help of mentors. Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Emory, and Kennesaw State all have business incubators for current students, and some even put together pitch contests. A quick search of “Atlanta Pitch Contest” on Eventbrite reveals numerous events aimed at funding the next entrepreneur. Owners could find their next innovative employee at these events.

Take Advantage of Their Commitment to Service

Generation Z is heavily committed to supporting companies that care about sustainability, the environment, and corporate social responsibility. This coupled with the popularity of sharing volunteer acts on social media has made Generation Z open to working with a purpose. Small businesses should share what they are doing to help the community around them and engage with these individuals where they are. Attending Hands on Atlanta events and sharing them on Instagram and Snapchat will get the attention of volunteer-minded Generation Z students.

Sooner rather than later, the talk is going to shift from millennial trends to those of the up-and-coming Generation Z. Memories of recruiters and business owners frantically changing strategies to appeal to the former are fresh in the minds of many. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and recruiters who plan to meet this group where they are now will gain employees who are focused, innovative, and entrepreneurial.


8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millennials,

Gen Z Is Here: 4 Things You Should Know In Order to Recruit Them,

The Generations,

With eyes wide open, Generation Z looks to serve, share, and impact,

Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for ASBN.

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