Tapping Into Gen Z's 'Gig Economy' Labor Pool
As the overall quit rate continues to rise and the labor market further tightens, retailers across the country find it extremely difficult to hire enough well-trained workers to deliver a good customer experience. But while many generations are shrinking in the workforce, Gen Z is a rapidly growing generation eager to work and ready to make the most of seasonal opportunities. In fact, almost half the members of this generation have a side hustle — and about 20 percent of them have more than one.
But do you know how to recruit them? The best way to reach Gen Z is, unsurprisingly, through social media. However, many retailers don’t know how to best harness and leverage these platforms to tap into this worker base. Here’s a quick overview of how to use social media to find, engage with, and recruit Gen Zers to build out your seasonal worker base.
Focus on Brand Awareness
Social media tactics based solely on recruitment won’t succeed. To effectively leverage social media as a recruiting tool, brands should prioritize using channels where they already have a strong presence. If your company already has a solid presence on TikTok or Instagram — two of the most popular platforms for Gen Z — start brainstorming how to fold recruitment into those existing social media brands.
Now more than ever, Gen Zers can sense when a company is authentically engaged with its audience — i.e., the people that interact with their social media posts — or when they’re totally disconnected. Typically, it’s the former companies that they’re interested in working for.
Understand Gen Z’s Priorities
Unlike previous generations, members of Gen Z are unwilling to compromise on their personal and professional goals, desires and values — even if it means passing on a seemingly great job opportunity. They care about time-off policies, corporate values, and company culture just as much as they care about getting compensated fairly for their work.
The brands that can highlight this as part of their social media recruitment campaigns will set themselves apart as a must-work-for organization. If you’re already plugged into what Gen Z loves about your brand, you’ll have an easier time with this; you’ll be able to identify and underscore what your brand offers outside of a paycheck that will appeal to these workers.
Leverage Partners With Social Media Understanding
Partnering with job-search platforms that understand Gen Z and know how to reach these audiences organically is an essential step in bringing members of this generation into your retail workforce. Knowing where and how to find and engage with Gen Zers is half the battle. If you feel your recruitment team can’t quite keep up, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing.
The power of social media to recruit Gen Z talent to your retail workforce cannot be overstated. However, it’s important that you speak to members of this generation in a way that truly resonates with them.
Leveraging the expertise of people already in the business of recruiting Gen Z, building recruitment into your existing social media branding, and focusing on the platforms that already show a healthy amount of engagement are all solid strategies you should implement as you work toward tapping into this labor pool.
Your Next Steps
As the labor market tightens and the need for skilled workers in the retail industry grows, Gen Z presents a promising labor pool full of eager and industrious individuals. With nearly half of this generation already engaged in side hustles and open to seasonal opportunities, retailers have an opportunity to tap into this talent through social media recruitment strategies.
By prioritizing brand awareness, understanding Gen Z's priorities, and leveraging partnerships with experts in recruiting this generation, retailers can successfully engage and attract Gen Z workers. Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, where Gen Z is highly active, offer a valuable avenue for connecting with potential candidates.
Demonstrating authenticity, aligning with Gen Z's values, and offering more than just monetary compensation are crucial factors to appeal to this discerning generation. As retailers adapt and implement these strategies, they position themselves to stand out as desirable workplaces for Gen Z, contributing to a more robust and skilled workforce in the evolving gig economy.
Samantha Chen is founder and CEO of Fetti, a platform that offers personalized lists of open jobs that match searchers' skill sets from companies that match their values.
Samantha Chen is currently leading the development of Fetti, collaborating with former Fortune 500 recruiters to establish an extensive repository of free job-seeking resources online, alongside the creation of streamlined recruitment software. Previously, Samantha founded SC Media, building a portfolio of social media brands that facilitated user acquisition and revenue growth for fintech unicorns and publicly traded companies.