The CIA is looking for Gen Z applicants for agency jobs and says it doesn’t matter if they have a major social media presence, according to the Washingtonian.
Anyone born from 1997 onward is considered to be part of Gen Z.
In an interview with Michael Burns, associate director for CIA talent, the magazine reported the agency says applicants for covert work don’t need to live offline.
"Social media is not a huge deal at all," Burns said. "In fact, if you are active online, don’t abandon your social media the minute you start working here."
Lisa Maddox, who worked at the CIA from 2008 to 2018, said that "the CIA is a pretty modern, savvy organization. They want and encourage most officers to have a social media presence because, quite frankly, it’s a red flag and it looks strange if you don’t.
"You’ve got to blend in and look normal. I would argue that some of the Gen Z–and-younger folks, their networks are so huge online, it’s almost a blessing. You can’t figure out who their close friends are because they’re friends with everybody. It almost negates the exposure."
But, according to the Washingtonian, the CIA knows it has an image problem with potential young recruits — some younger than the war in Afghanistan.
And the agency is facing strong competition from tech companies for the younger recruits.
The CIA is now bringing younger officers on college recruitment-style visits in the hope that the potential candidates can "see themselves" in the agency. The CIA also now has an active social media presence.
In January, the CIA, looking to further diversify its ranks, launched a new website in hopes of attracting top-tier candidates who will bring a broader range of life experiences to the nation’s premier intelligence agency, The Associated Press said.
While the agency has been diversifying for years, intelligence agencies still lag the federal workforce in minority representation. The CIA deals with thousands of job applicants but it also wants to make certain its workforce reflects national demographics.
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