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Five Ways TeamKC is Helping Attract Gen Z to Kansas City

by Logan Derosia | Nov 30, 2022

Is your TikTok game ready? Because Gen Z is coming in ~ hot ~ and is predicted to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025

However, as a smaller generation (4.5% smaller than millennials), Gen Z is expected to pose a challenge for recruiters. With an increased number of baby boomers aging out of the workforce, the gap in talent puts pressure on companies to win this generation of young individuals.

Good news - Kansas City already has a leg up in the search for Gen Z. Over the past five years, KC is one of only 20 of the largest 50 U.S. metros to gain population in the 18 to 24-year-old category. Kansas City’s highly educated population in this age group grew 24% since 2017, faster than Nashville, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis (U.S. Census).

“The rise of remote work means that talent today picks a lifestyle and community before picking a job,” said Danielle Hilton, managing director of TeamKC,in a recent article by the Kansas City Business Journal on winning Gen Z talent in Kansas City. 

TeamKC positions Kansas City as a top destination to live and work for the next generation of our workforce. In collaboration with partners across the metro, here are five ways TeamKC is helping attract Gen Z to Kansas City: 

1. Illustrating our region’s diversity

Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history, and this population of talent expects intentional and inclusive lifestyle and career opportunities. 

TeamKC tools work to illustrate Kansas City’s diversity and equal access to opportunity. For example, TeamKC Community Insight Guides highlight resources and organizations for people of diverse groups. Think spiritual organizations, restaurants, retail spots and professional development organizations like Black Excellence KC.   

Additionally, TeamKC works to shine a spotlight on Kansas Citians contributing to our community. The Kansas City Business Journal writes, “Part of Hilton’s job is to help young workers ‘see themselves’ in the Kansas City area. That includes prominently featuring the stories online of people like Marissa Gencarelli, co-founder of Yoli Tortilleria, and Katie Sowers, the first woman and openly gay coach in the Super Bowl, as well as putting Vine Street Brewing Co., the area’s first Black-owned brewery, on the cover of its KC Options magazine.”

2. Engaging with college students directly

TeamKC’s regional intern program provides opportunities for students to connect and find community in KC. Our team visits dozens of employers throughout the year, connecting with interns and providing “insider knowledge” on cool places and things to experience across the region. Additionally, TeamKC engages with interns through local event ticket giveaways, sharing access to young professional networking events and sending updates on the latest happenings in KC. 

This fall, the Kansas City Area Development Council - TeamKC’s parent organization - launched “POV: Life in KC,” a series of pop-up experiences at regional universities that introduced college students to the many lifestyle and career opportunities in Kansas City. More than 2,200 students engaged with KC-based food and entertainment vendors, as well as young professionals representing a cross-section of industries who shared their personal experiences of living and working in KC. 

3. Providing opportunity for collaboration

What makes the TeamKC network of more than 1,000 talent acquisition and HR professionals uniquely successful is the willingness to partner and collaborate. Even though all of these employers are competing for similar talent, they know that there’s a competitive advantage to create solutions together that win Gen Z for the entire region. TeamKC provides opportunities for knowledge sharing on Gen Z through various programming such as Recruiter Roundtables, TeamKC’s Annual Training Camp, Board of Advisors meetings and more. 

With more than 300 companies in the network, there are endless opportunities for collaboration and ideation. Events hosted by TeamKC are just one of the ways the initiative provides a platform to foster a community of thought leaders throughout the region.


4. Helping Gen Z connect to KC

Gen Z’ers care about the place they choose to live and work and want to feel fulfilled in the community they pick. TeamKC works with teams of recruiters to create customizable lifestyle content such as “Top 10 Lists” that highlight lifestyle assets around the region, virtual maps and more. 

Our team also created the Intern Bucket List - an exclusive landing page for interns to use as they explore Kansas City. It includes restaurant recommendations, a streetcar crawl, a brewery guide, local discounts and a list of local influencers and publications to follow. 

TeamKC also connects young professionals with real estate experts across the metro to assist in their apartment search or home-buying process.

5. Meeting Gen Z where they are 

Gen Z’ers connect on their own terms and turf, preferring authentic messaging versus overly curated material. Their favorite platforms are Spotify, Instagram and TikTok, which focuses on user-generated content that is both engaging and dynamic. 

KCADC’s KC Heartland campaign engages Gen Z on Instagram and TikTok, not through a “hard sell” but instead with authentic stories of people and communities in KC. 

Also, following the success of the campus pop-up events, KCADC is running a digital campaign targeting Gen Z students, keeping KC top-of-mind as they navigate internships and job opportunities.

Bottom line - there’s so much opportunity for Gen Z throughout the region and Kansas City is ready to welcome this next generation into our workforce. With big things happening in this city in the coming years - including the opening of the new KCI airport terminal, the 2023 NFL Draft and the World Cup coming in 2026 - the Kansas City story is one that young people want to be a part of. 

How is your organization attracting Gen Z talent? Let us know! 

For more information of TeamKC: Life + Talent, reach out to Danielle Hilton.

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