September 18, 2017
Millennials, not long ago talked about as teens who can't get off their cell phones, are coming into their own as talented and valuable adult employees. The vast majority of this large population wave are graduating college, starting their careers, buying homes, and building families. While it's easy to think of them as kids on mobile devices, there's no denying that millennials will make up about 50% of the workforce by 2020 and grow in prominence with each passing year as previous generations retire. This means that in today's crunch for talented employees, your company's ability to recruit and retain millennials will determine whether or not you can fill your key positions and continue to grow.
However, millennials are different from previous generations. Not only are they 'tech-natives' who prefer fast-paced online conversation and development, they also require their employers to be socially conscious, technically advanced, and willing to be flexible about traditional policies built for people born before the 1980s. If you've been struggling to recruit and retain the new wave of young, talented employees, here are 5 new techniques you may not have tried yet that millennials are sure to respond to.
1) Get on Social Media
If there's one defining factor everyone can recognize about millennials, it's their complete and total adoption of social media. They network like no generation has ever been able to network before, sharing information and opportunities with contacts all over the globe. Millennials care about social media and tend to respect companies that can hold their own in this realm. Make sure you have a company page, update it regularly, and feel free to approach desired recruits through their social media accounts.
Millennials also value their social media freedom highly and are very likely to reject a job that tries to keep them from posting on Twitter or Facebook. While they are understanding of certain decorum and proprietary information restrictions, don't ask your young employees to completely disconnect or you'll see them walking out the door to a more flexible competitor.
2) The Podcast Recruitment Ad
Podcasts are an incredibly popular and growing form of mobile media. These are series of recorded radio shows that can be downloaded and listened to while working, exercising, and on the daily commute. Podcasts can be industry news, storytelling, musical broadcasts, and much more but the important factor is that millennials love them (and so do tech-savvy older people). Commercials in podcasts aren't pre-recorded shouting, they are delivered directly by the host making them more personal and downright cooler. If you're looking for top talent through unusual routes, consider picking a few industry relevant podcasts and buying a little air time or even giving an engaging interview to draw in recruits from the podcast listners.
3) Create Opportunities to Make a Difference
Millennials care more about social, environmental, and charitable causes than previous generations and want to see that reflected in their place of work. They contribute in personal ways like recycling, installing LED lights, and giving small regular amounts to charities. You can help millennials feel proud to become your employee by making a difference with your company and giving them an opportunity to contribute personally.
4) Respectable Entry Level Positions
Unlike those that came before, millennials don't want to 'start at the bottom' as mail room clerks and overlooked interns. They want jobs that others will view as respectable and are willing to freelance rather than take a position they feel will bring them disrespect. Even if you're hiring young people with minimal experience into entry-level positions, make sure your millennial employees can talk about their jobs to friends and family in a way that will make them feel good and gain some admiration for their efforts.
5) Focus on Skills over Formal Education
Let's face it, college is expensive and degrees mean less and less these days. While some companies and positions still require a degree from every employee, when it comes to millennials, a college diploma is not actually a great indicator of skill and ability. With so many online sources of information, skills that can be gained on home computers and the ability to buy and work on kits without direct industry or educational infrastructure, a large number of millennials are highly skilled and self-taught. Rather than focusing on the paperwork or school-standard procedures, hold skill tests in the interview process instead.
While companies across the globe are experiencing a talent shortage, part of the problem may simply be that many businesses don't know how to hire and handle the rising wave of millennial professionals. By understanding their expectations, values, and skills you can gain a truly competitive recruiting edge begin drawing in talented and enthusiastic millennial employees.