When it comes to recruiting, candidates from different generations are used to different practices.

On one end of the generational spectrum, we have baby boomers, who believe a strong resume and cover letter will land them a phone interview. On the other end, we have the up-and-coming generation Z, who will probably be checking Twitter every few seconds to see if the companies they follow replied to their tweets.

The popularity of social and digital media is slowly growing with older groups, while today’s high school students are obsessed with how many likes their last Instagram post had in one hour. Recruiters may need to consider the different personalities and beliefs of each generation, but they can still use the same tools to recruit talent from any generation.

Here are some ways you can use technology to recruit across generations:

1. Optimize Your Social Media for Recruitment

Think boomers aren’t using social media? Think again. According to a study by Global Web Index, 70 percent of baby boomers use Facebook, 39 percent use Google+, and 31 percent use Twitter. For Gen X, those numbers jump to over 10 percent more for each channel.

If you’re going to use a social media channel like Twitter for recruiting, ask your followers to tweet you recommendations for jobs you’re looking to fill. Pick a top personality trait or skill you want the person who fills your position to have. Let’s say you want someone who is outgoing. Instead of blatantly saying you have a job opening, ask your followers, “Who’s the most outgoing person you know?” A Jobvite survey found that 29 percent of Twitter users are likely to share a job opportunity with a contact.

Social media will be one of the most helpful recruitment tools of the future, especially because of the boundless networking opportunities and the endless number of people who may know the talent you are looking for. Jobvite says that 64 percent of recruiters believe referrals lead to the highest quality candidates, and 59 percent believe social media does the same.

2. See Who’s Writing on LinkedIn.

This might come as a surprise, but not all social media channels are Gen-Y havens. In fact, 57 percent of the 300 million users on LinkedIn are 35 or older. Unlike other social media sites, Linked allows users to publish articles to build their brand and establish themselves as thought leaders. With the average post receiving 31,000 views, 250 likes, and 80 comments, it’s clear these authors are sharing newsworthy content.

To find and recruit great talent across multiple generations, search for industry-related posts and see who’s writing about the subject you want your candidate to be an expert in. Connect with them, comment on what they write, ask questions, and engage them in conversation. You can also publish articles to engage a following that is interested in your industry. The key is to connect with people by sharing great content and starting conversations.

3. Ask Candidates to Record a Video Introduction.

No matter what position you’re recruiting for, a video introduction is a time-saving tech tool to help you find top talent. Many video introduction platforms are user-friendly, enabling anyone with a computer and a webcam to film and introduction with the same ease as checking email.

In the absence of a computer, candidates can use a smartphone to record and share a link to a video introduction. Candidates usually have a recording time limit of about one minute to express themselves in a way that shows why they’d be a good fit for your company. It’s the perfect one-minute snapshot you need to determine if you’d like to pursue a candidate further.

4. Conduct a One-Way Video Interview.

A step beyond the video introduction, the one-way video interview allows you to send text questions to candidates, who then record responses on their own time. Answers are as easy for candidates to record as the video introduction. Plus, you can send and view these interviews on your smartphone.

This tool will be a favourite of Gen Z, considering these young people are so attached to their mobile devices that they experience symptoms of emotional stress when separated from them.

5. Send Candidate Info to Your Team.

Involve your team in the hiring process by allowing them to view prospective candidates’ social media profiles, video introductions, and one-way video interviews.

For example, if you’re using a video interviewing platform that allows you to store all candidate recordings and info, you can send interview recordings to your team. No matter what generation your team members are from, watching the recordings and leaving comments and feedback is as easy as using YouTube.

6. Use Mobile for Instant Information.

Easy access to search engines has conditioned many of us — especially members of Gen Z — to expect any information we desire on demand. Keep this in mind when recruiting candidates from the younger generation.

Use your phone to communicate with them on social media apps. Favourite or like content and respond to messages quickly, or you might lose your candidate to someone who got to them first through a tweet or quick Facebook message.

Meeting the needs of candidates across generations will require the dynamic use of today’s hiring tech tools. However, the recruiters who learn to use them will be rewarded with top talent of all ages.


By Josh Tolan