Millennials are the future of your company.
This is fact, not fiction. Millennials (those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s) are nearly half of our workforce, and those numbers will continue to grow as more baby boomers retire. Your company should evaluate its corporate culture and recruiting practices so it’s ready to attract the cream of the millennial crop.
The job market and economy have changed dramatically over the past few decades, and the rate of change is only picking up steam as we go forward. Businesses built to appeal to baby boomers are going to have a tough time attracting millennials because millennials value different things. Perks and corporate culture that would appeal to older applicants (even the Gen-Xers sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials) don’t appeal to these younger candidates.
If you want to more effectively recruit millennials, you should consider conducting a two-phase campaign.
Phase one is to actually become a desirable employer, not just label yourself as one. This has to be done first so that you can keep the candidates you recruit.
Tip #1: Create a sense of purpose
Millennials aren’t in it for the paycheck – not entirely, anyway. They prefer to work towards something, to have a purpose beyond simply making money.
Create strong vision and mission statements with meaningful goals. Then make sure your employees are aware of how their work advances those goals. Consistently drawing this line is key! In company meetings an emphasis on the importance of team members’ daily work should be a priority, as should individual performance reviews, employee recognition programs, and client outcome studies. Recognize that an informed and engaged employee is one who will more likely resist the millennials’ tendency to job-hop.
Tip #2: Support personal development
Contrary to popular belief, millennials do take the long view. But they think in terms of overall personal careers, not just their time at your company. Millennials are hungry to learn and grow and are less likely to stick around if they feel they’re stagnating.
Provide opportunities for millennials to get mentorship within the company. Create opportunities for them to develop their personal skills and advance professionally. When they’ve grown enough, make them mentors in turn.
Tip #3: Establish a work-life balance
Help millennials make progress in both their professional and personal lives.
Try loosening the boundaries between work and life – rigid compartmentalizing of schedules is no longer practical in today’s always-connected world. Offer more flexible scheduling; allow for more work-from-home opportunities, especially for parents.
Leverage today’s technology to boost productivity in non-traditional ways and throw in extra vacation time or in-office break activities to reduce stress and restore focus.
These first three tips may take some doing, and there may be some change management involved, but the effort will improve your employer brand and make you far more attractive to the millennials you want to hire and retain.
Now that you’ve looked inward to prepare your organization for a millennial workforce, you can move on to the second phase: actually reaching out to potential candidates.
Tip #4: Use Social Media
According to research, 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use social media in some form. Companies with an active social media presence can announce postings using a social media channel, which will get the attention of interested millennials.
However, before you make the announcement be sure that your online brand is healthy and garners enough engagement for your job ad to get noticed. Go on Glassdoor.com to see what people are saying about your company and respond to their feedback in a professional and constructive manner.
Tip #5: Hang out on their turf
If you know the type of talent you’re looking for, you can figure out where to find them. Check out venues such as industry conferences, expos, community events, online user groups, and the like. You’ll meet fresh prospects and have a chance to increase awareness of your company among these potential future candidates. With effective networking skills, you’ll also be able to reach other people that your initial contact can refer you to.
Tip #6: School job fairs
Diversify your recruiting efforts beyond job postings. Job fairs offer excellent opportunities to meet potential candidates for a range of internships and entry-level positions. When you go, be prepared to talk about the company and its culture; know in advance which positions you’re looking to fill and the skills and qualities that would be the right fit. Also, take the time to listen carefully to the questions you get asked – you’ll learn a lot about what’s on the minds of millennials!
Tip #7: Alumni associations
Job fairs aren’t the only way schools can help. Alumni offices often assist graduates with job placements even long after the actual graduation ceremony. Reach out to the alumni office with your needs and they will help connect you with their network.
Remember, doing a good job of recruiting millennials may require you to rethink how you do things, but it’s a wise move if you want your company to remain competitive. With an open mind and a willingness to try new things – from both corporate culture and recruiting perspective – you can attract the millennial talent your company will need to stay on top of its game as the next decades unfold.