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  • Writer's pictureAce Digital Group

Spotlighting Employees in Ads: A Smart Move to Attract Gen Z Talent

In today's competitive job market, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. With Gen Z entering the workforce in full force, companies are realizing that traditional recruitment methods may not be as effective as they once were. That's where a creative approach, like featuring employees in advertising campaigns, comes into play.

Group of people on phone.
Recruitment strategies for Gen Z.

The Power of Authenticity and Relatability

Gen Z job seekers are a unique demographic. They value authenticity, transparency, and relatability when considering potential employers. They want to be part of a community that aligns with their values. Companies like Chipotle and JetBlue are capitalizing on this by showcasing their own employees in their advertising efforts.


By putting real faces and stories at the forefront of their campaigns, these companies are able to communicate their authenticity and transparency to potential candidates. It's a way of saying, "This is who we are, and this is what you can expect when you join us." In a world filled with corporate jargon, this approach is refreshing and appealing to Gen Z. Chipotle's recent initiative, reminiscent of Footlocker's approach in the previous year, commenced on August 28, featuring advertisements across various platforms such as linear and connected TV, Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram. These new advertisements prominently feature existing Chipotle employees sharing their personal testimonials and experiences while working for the company. Additionally, Chipotle plans to leverage the potential of social media by creating carefully curated behind-the-scenes content designed to resonate with the Gen Z demographic.


Employee Stories as a Recruitment Tool

Highlighting employee stories serves a dual purpose. First, it humanizes the organization, allowing prospective candidates to see themselves as part of the company. Employee narratives provide a glimpse into the diverse roles and career paths within the organization, helping young job seekers identify where they might fit in. Second, these stories act as a recruitment tool by showing, rather than telling, what it's like to work at the company. When potential employees can visualize their future at an organization, they are more likely to pursue opportunities there.


Social Media Engagement: A Game Changer

In the age of TikTok and Instagram, social media platforms have become powerful recruitment tools. Companies are leveraging these platforms to share employee testimonials, behind-the-scenes content, and insights into their workplace culture.

This engagement on social media not only showcases the company's commitment to its employees but also creates a dynamic, appealing employer brand. It allows job seekers to interact with the brand on a personal level and get a sense of what it's like to be part of the team. Below are a few standout social media recruitment campaigns:



  • McDonald's launched the "Where You Want to Be" campaign on Twitter in 2021, highlighting various career paths within the company. They used Twitter to share employee stories, job openings, and information about educational programs.

  • The campaign targeted a wide range of job seekers interested in the food service industry.

  • In 2021, Microsoft launched the MicrosoftLife campaign on TikTok, where employees created short videos showcasing their work, office life, and company culture

  • The campaign encouraged employees to share their eeriences using the designated hashtag, providing an authentic look at life at Microsoft.

  • It resonated with younger audiences and potential job seekers interested in technology and innovation.

  • Walmart used LinkedIn in 2021 to promote its "Live Better U" education and career development program.

  • The campaign featured employee testimonials sharing their experiences with the program and how it had impacted their careers.

  • By showcasing opportunities for skill development and career advancement, Walmart aimed to attract talent seeking growth and advancement.

Employee Advocacy: Amplifying the Message

Encouraging employees to become brand advocates can amplify a company's reach and impact. Some organizations are offering incentives for employees to share their experiences on social media or refer friends and acquaintances for job openings. This not only boosts recruitment efforts but also strengthens employee engagement.


Addressing the Labor Shortage

As we confront the monumental challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and witness the unprecedented 'Great Resignation,' labor shortages have reached critical levels across industries. Companies are grappling with the formidable task of securing and retaining top-tier talent, particularly as they gear up for the upcoming fall season. In this fiercely competitive job market, innovation is paramount. By embracing inventive recruitment tactics like shining a spotlight on their own employees through advertising campaigns, businesses distinguish themselves amid the crowded talent landscape. These strategies serve as a dual catalyst, magnetizing Gen Z talent while concurrently fortifying the bedrock of their brand image.


It's evident that brands like Chipotle and JetBlue are at the forefront of a marketing revolution. They are reimagining their advertising strategies to align with the values of Gen Z job seekers—values centered on authenticity, community, and relatability in prospective employers. This innovative approach not only streamlines recruitment but also elevates overall brand image and fosters robust social media engagement. In a rapidly evolving workforce landscape, showcasing employees in ads stands as a shrewd maneuver for companies determined to attract the next generation of talent."


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