“Millennials” is a term that is now frequently heard in business. And usually not in a good way. As the most diverse generation, the Millennial generation presents a significant challenge to employers and recruiters, giving them many sleepless nights. This is because of the unfavorable stereotypes that are usually attached to Millennials, or, people born between the mid-80s and 2000s. It is said that they are narcissistic, have a very demanding attitude and do not take their responsibilities seriously. Like most stereotypes, they have a grain of truth, but these are strongly exaggerated and one-sided. Before we go on, I have a confession to make – I am a Millennial too. That’s why I decided to share my thoughts on how to effectively recruit and manage Millennials. In this article, we will have a closer look at recruitment strategies.
Why are Millennials so important?
We should remember that very soon Millennials will make up a majority of the workforce. Understanding them has never been more important for employers. Whether employers like it or not, Millennials are dictating the rules now. If you are a company owner or recruiter, the best that you can do is open up to Millennials and tailor your recruitment strategy to their needs and expectations. But how?
1. It’s 2016 – Make Your Company Visible on the Internet!
Millennials live online with their heads bowed over smartphones and thumbs constantly scrolling up and down. As they explore job boards, they may pass by your company without even noticing it. To get their attention, you need to become visible on the Internet and especially on social media! Make sure that your career site stands out from the crowd and catches attention. This is not a simple task, as Millennials are rather impatient. They need only a second to judge whether they like something or not. If not, they brutally scroll down the page and your company loses a potential employee. If you manage to catch their attention and make them intrigued, they may be eager to click and explore your website. That’s half the battle! The other half is making them want to work for your company. To do so, you need to make a case that is in-line with Millennials’ ambitious and resilient attitudes.
2. Appeal to Their Values
You should know that Millennials crave authenticity, transparency, and engagement, and you can recruit them by letting them find that at your website. Replace stock pictures of fake employees with videos and photos of your actual employees, and be sure to show the real atmosphere of the office. Publish employee quotes to give potential candidates a real idea of what it is like to work at your company. Give candidates the possibility to ask questions or comment on the content. I don’t think I also need to mention that your career site should be mobile-friendly!
Your next opportunity for appealing to a Millennial candidate is at the interview. When you invite a candidate for an interview to your office, don’t keep them closed in a meeting room all the time, but walk them around the office and let them feel the atmosphere. Let them see the space, meet the people, and hear the conversations. Nothing can advertise your business better than happy employees.
3. Shorten Your Application Process
As I mentioned before, Millennials are impatient by nature. They are used to getting everything quickly and without much effort, so a long application process can easily discourage them from applying. Have a closer look at your application form and measure how long it takes to fill out. If it is more than 10 minutes, you should get rid of some steps and questions. You can always include them in further stages of the hiring process if necessary.
4. Make Use of Technology in Your Recruiting Process
We are gradually entering the age of digital recruiting which means that we may begin to say goodbye to paper resumes and standard job interviews. Experts say that the norm will consist of video resumes and video interviews, both of which are already preferred by Millennials. Does your career website enable visitors to upload a video resume? Have you ever conducted a video interview? If not, it’s high time to change that!
5. Care About the Candidate Experience
Millennials are a bit narcissistic and like to feel that they are the center of your attention. Positive and immersive candidate experiences are a must. They will be happy if you treat them personally and care about them. Don’t even try to use one-size-fits-all recruitment strategies! Millennials favor companies that are willing to establish a dialog with them, look at them as individuals, address their questions and fears, and build relationships.
Additionally, your candidate experience should be focused on communication. Millennials like to know what’s going on, so do not keep them in suspense. Inform them on a regular basis where you are at with their application, or give them an estimated time frame. Remember that they have grown up with smartphones in their hands, which resulted in them being a very connected group. They share their feelings and emotions with their virtual friends, so it is highly likely that they will share their experiences with your company, and this can significantly help or hurt you. Remember that they often have hundreds of followers on social media, and one positive comment can easily turn into a referral and attract other Millennials. However, one negative opinion can spread far and can have many unpleasant consequences for your company.
6. Offer Relevant Incentives
Are you wondering what’s the greatest incentive you can offer to Millennials to work for you? “More money” is not the correct answer. Statistically, Millennials appreciate flexibility and freedom much more, so stronger incentives consist of flexible working hours and telecommuting. For many jobs, it shouldn’t matter if they work from home or a café, as long as the job is done on time. Millennials can be turned off by a tight leash and an overbearing boss, so if the job allows independent working hours, let them have it!
Recruiting Millennials requires an effective recruitment strategy that is very different from past generations, but creating a targeted strategy is well-worth the effort. Aside from the negative traits which receive a lot of bad press, Millennials have also a lot of positive characteristics. They are creative, smart, team-oriented, driven, well-educated, and adaptive. Thanks to that, Millennials can make significant contribution to the success of your organization. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and recruit the next generation before your competition!