By Avery Helwig, aPHR and Robin Throckmorton, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Whether you like it or not, the Millennial generation has arrived; and amid the stereotypes, this is a generation that is determined to reach success. While it may be hard to look past the labels that have been put on this young generation, we must learn to modify our recruitment efforts to attract this outstanding talent and truly recognize all they have to offer. The Millennials include both Generation Y (Born 1977 – 1990) and Generation Z (Born 1991 – end not determined) and are predicted to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Here are 7 key things to consider as you begin your search for new talent specifically targeting the Millennials. And, guess what, they are just paving the way for the rest of us. Many of the strategies to attract the Millennials, you’ll find, will help your overall recruitment for all talent.
1. What is the company’s reputation?
The company’s employment brand and reputation exists whether you’ve taken time to focus on it or not. This means, your job recruiting a Millennial starts well before you start creating the job ad. As Avery explains, “when I see a job that appeals to me, it’s not only the job description that gets me to apply, it’s the reputation and culture of the company as well.” Some things to think about include:
- Does the company appear on Glassdoor? Google? Facebook? Is it positive or negative?
- What are others saying about working at your company?
- What is the company’s social media presence like? statuses
Millennial job seekers are actively looking at these types of websites. Plus, Millennials are also great at networking and will seek out others who have worked for that employer for feedback.
2. What does the company do?
The majority of Millennials value meaningful work over almost everything else. This makes it no surprise that Deloitte found that 77% of Millennials note their current company’s purpose was one of the primary deciding factors in accepting a position.
Some companies are going to naturally appeal more to Millennials. It is critical for you to be sure it is easy for someone to understand your business either through your company website and/or the job ad. Avery said, “If I’m applying for the job, I want to understand exactly what the company does. I’ve run into employers with open positions that I’ve researched and I could never quite figure out what they do, which made me less likely to apply to the job.” Millennials want to be able to make a difference at a company and need to ensure their values are aligned with the company.
3. Is your job ad compelling?
To catch the attention of a Millennial, your job ad should not just be a job description or a short one paragraph classified ad. You need to make the ad compelling to catch the attention of the Millennial so they are interested in learning more. Think about:
- What hooks you can use?
- What details about the job and company need shared?
- What’s in it for me? Why should I apply?
- How do I apply?
4. What’s your application process?
How do I apply? The simple answer is your application process needs to be very easy. How easy is it for someone to find the careers page of your website and drill through to your current job openings? Statistics show you lose about 50% of your job seekers with each click they have to make to drill down to the job and apply. Plus, a Millennial job seeker is less likely to apply if it takes 15 minutes just to get to the application.
Recently, a Millennial stated “If I’m applying for a job, I want to give you my name, email and resume. If you are interested in me, let’s talk further before I give you my social security number, supervisors, compensation, etc.”
Your application process needs to be short and quick. With technology today, you are able to make your application processes efficient. Candidates shouldn’t need to recreate their resume in your online application but rather just attach their resume. If your process really needs them to complete an application, consider having the candidate complete the application when you decide to have them interview with you. Remember, your application process is a good example to candidates on how your company runs.
Even more important, show your candidates you care that they are investing this much time into the initial application. Take the time to respond to the candidate regardless of your decision to pursue them or not.
5. How do you reach out to Millennials?
Like other generations, Millennials are extremely busy. But, their cell phone is never far away. The best way to reach them throughout your recruitment process is email or even text. This allows them to get to a place where they can respond to you without interruptions or distractions.
Of course, emails can get lost in spam, so a phone call may be necessary but should be secondary and include the details for how the Millennial can get back to you via email rather than playing phone tag.
6. What’s Your Feedback Process?
Last, but surely not least, in your recruitment process is demonstrating respect to the Millennial for the time they invested in your company. Providing feedback that they are no longer being considered or even why they aren’t being considered is critical. Remember #1 above, company reputation: the Millennial not hired still becomes an ambassador for your company; will it be positive or negative?
In Proactive Talent Blog’s “5 Tips to Create a Winning Candidate Experience”: they cited:
- 42% of job applicants who had a negative experience say they would never apply to that company again;
- 78% of the applicants say they would share their bad candidate experience with their network; and
- 34% of the candidates would share their negative experience on social media for the entire world to see.
7. Don’t Stereotype!
The final most important part of your recruitment process should be avoiding stereotypes. Millennials are extremely eager to learn from the older generations and forming those successful partnerships are crucial for success.
While understanding how each generation is different helps your company succeed, using those differences as stereotypes will backfire. Not all Millennials (all 75 Million of them) are the same. Assuming they are all lazy, disrespectful and entitled will end up causing you to lose out on some great talent that your competition will win. Millennials grew up in a different era and they are highly motivated, innovative, and tech-savvy quick learners. Therefore, they go about things in a different way…but no less effective. What did the generation before yours say about you?
How will you change your recruitment process to attract more Millennials and ensure you have a diverse workforce?
Struggling to recruit or have questions about this article? Contact Robin at Robin@strategicHRinc.com, Avery at Avery@strategicHRinc.com, or visit our Outsourced Recruitment Solution page to learn more.