Remember the feeling of cashing your first paycheck from your very first job? This feeling of independence and freedom is a milestone for any teen that has entered the workforce, learning the value of hard work, responsibility, and clear communications at an early age. When teens spend their time in a part-time job, they may begin to fund themselves and build a greater sense of self-reliance. They may also learn how to manage their money wisely and develop personal finance skills for a reliable future. Teens may learn how to balance their time and responsibilities. They may build confidence and learn how to network and create connections with others as well. For those of us in later stages of life, we know that the stakes are pretty high in adulthood. Instead, the teen years provide a time for learning and self-exploration. Learning how to conduct a job search, take on the responsibilities of a job, and fund personal expenses, becomes less daunting at this early stage. Teens may take this time to develop the skills that are necessary for a smooth entry into adulthood, without the heavy pressures of adulthood. Serving ice cream is no longer serving ice cream; it’s serving a future.
For companies seeking seasonal employees and targeting teens for employment opportunities, Instagram can be the perfect platform to do so. Both Gen Y and Gen Z, a mix of 15-25 year olds, are using Instagram as the predominant source for social media and messaging. Instagram is constantly growing and used effectively, it can be used to pique interest and create the right message for the right person.
Instagram can certainly get a bad rap. The platform is to blame for its interaction with adolescent’s self-development and mental health, creating a generation of self-indulgent, image-obsessed individuals. Instagram has been linked to negative schemas about body image, flooding young girl’s feed with images of the ‘perfect body’ and the ‘perfect life.’ At this early and impressionable age, the filter-filled platform can certainly affect an adolescent’s self-esteem. In fact, studies have found that the more social networks a young adult engages in, the more likely it is that he or she will experience depression and/or anxiety. The aesthetic aspect of Instagram can be especially impactful. When all of your friends are seemingly always on vacation at the best places, wearing the best clothes and eating the best foods, teens cannot help but to feel as though they are missing out, or that their life does not measure up. In this fabricated world of ‘perfection’, teens are always seeking more, and feeling less than.
Instagram certainly has its downfalls. Although, it can also be used to empower teens and reach Gen Z with a message that will change their lives for the better. The Instagram platform has allowed recruiters to connect adolescents with jobs and provide them with the life skills and confidence to make them truly succeed. For Lior Shabat, CEO and Founder of 45 Degrees East, this is his life’s purpose. The company started off as a digital marketing agency and fell into the world of recruitment by accident. Realizing how many jobs they were able to staff in such a short period of time, they knew their impact could be huge. Now, thousands of teens will be spending their summers gaining essential skills and making a difference in their communities.
In the early stages of his career, Shabat worked for a client in North Carolina who was hoping to solve an issue with seasonal recruitment. Every summer, they needed to hire 200-300 staff members to fill a variety of positions. They were actively visiting high schools, boothing at job fairs, and posting on online job boards, yet they still weren’t hiring enough people. Considering their target audience, Shabat knew that Instagram would be the perfect solution to bring the reach that they needed. After just three months, and a thorough outreach plan, there were over 500 applicants, staffing them well over capacity.
Currently, all of their recruitment is completed through organic, engaging content, targeting candidates in locations as specific as a single zip code or as broad as an entire state. It all depends on the client’s needs. Tapping into Instagram, Shabat hopes to expand both its recruitment and advertising efforts to connect people with jobs, learning opportunities, or the right product for them, whatever they are looking for, even if they don’t know what they’re looking for yet. According to Shabat, “Instagram allows young adults to stumble across the right opportunity at the right time. At its core, Instagram recruitment is about focused, well-developed strategy… It’s a powerful tool and it can be used for great things, not just peddling the latest health and wellness trend. “