Savvy sales managers are looking to reach, hire and retain the next wave of sales professionals, and they have found their answer in Gen Z. Born between 1996 and 2010 (ages 22 and under), Gen Z will comprise the largest generation ever to enter our workforce. They’re often called the igen because they’re digital natives – a generation reared on technology. They’re adept at learning in front of mobile screens, tablets or laptops.
As a group, Gen Z is entrepreneurial, highly-motivated, focused, responsible and optimistic about the future. All desirable qualities for a sales position in any industry. So, how do you attract this cohort to your salesforce pipeline? The key is a proactive, multi-pronged pursuit.
Use the same technology. While Millennials are more in tuned to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Zs are more often on Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube. Yes, Snapchat can be a recruiting tool. Why do these platforms resonate with Gen Z? They’re visual, quick and efficient — all things Gen Z loves. For example, Snapchat allows employers to showcase how their companies operate and what makes them special. This becomes a crucial tool in employment branding when these stories focus on things potential Gen Z candidates desire in an employer.
Keep messages short and visual. Gen Z favors receiving and responding to messages instantly. When communicating with them, keep in mind their well-documented attention span of eight seconds and their preference for visual communication. They use YouTube like Google search. Take advantage of these preferences by publishing concise, branded, visual content on a Z-preferred platform.
Align with Gen Z’s sensibilities. Gen Zs are future-focused and expect to work hard, and according to a study by Sparkes and Honey Agency, 61 percent want to be entrepreneurs rather than employees. This isn’t a bad thing for recruiters. It means they’re extremely independent and confident. Spotlight open sales positions in your organization to showcase the mutual alignment between your company and their drive for independence.
Highlight career growth, training and mentoring. Gen Zs are eager to get in the game! They’re foregoing college degrees in favor of getting jobs with growth potential, making on-the-job training highly attractive. Promote your professional development programs as often as you can. Consider developing a summer internship program for teens nearing graduation.
Focus on personal interaction and feedback. Believe it or not, as the most tech-savvy generation to date, this group craves interaction with humans. Communicating in-person and frequently with Gen Z is the way to win this generation over. Include lunch meetings or phone calls in your strategy to nurture top candidates in your recruiting pipeline.
Nimbleness is key in reaching and retaining Gen Z. Tailoring your strategy will help you harness this powerful workforce and develop motivated sales teams for the future.
Tricia Warren, Marketing Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.