Generally understood to be those in their 20s to 30s, millennials are already the largest segment in the American workplace. Despite often having short and scattered work histories, they offer skills that many older employees may not possess. It is time that business owners across the U.S. realise that in order to maintain a competitive edge in today’s labor market, they must adapt to the changing trends and successfully entice younger workers.
Why do I need a special recruitment strategy?
Millennials show enough distinctive characteristics that a one-size-fits-all recruitment strategy risks missing them. By stressing what’s important to them you are more likely to catch their eye. There is no downside to this as many of the things that they prioritize when searching vacancies appeal to all other candidates.
So what do millennials look for?
It’s not all about money
Millennials–even those with careers in the professions–don’t want to be just a machine for making profit. They want employers to respect the fact that they are individuals with lives outside of work.
Working long hours to the detriment of their family life, as some earlier generations did, is not usually for them. They want work that leaves time for themselves and their families so they look at the whole job package – not just the pay rate.
So build a package that offers flexible hours, and family-friendly policies if possible, and mention that in your vacancy.
Show your ethical side
Millennials emphasise a social conscience. They like to feel that their work makes the world a better place. Universities and schools encourage volunteering, charity work and fundraising that helps others, and many millennials will have taken a gap year working on socially-beneficial projects. They know the sense of satisfaction that this brings and they want to feel their job offers this too.
Write your vacancy to highlight how the role benefits others, not just the way it adds to the organisation’s bottom line. Even where that’s not possible, be sure to mention any charity or fund-raising work your organisation does. Corporate Social Responsibility is or large and growing importance.
Flash your loyalty card
Millennials are often accused of being less loyal to businesses than their forebears, but it’s also true that the job market has fundamentally changed, both with self-employed people, fewer “jobs for life”, and the rise of the gig economy.
While some millennials may be fickle, always chasing something better, a competitive advantage you can show over other employers is demonstrating the loyalty you have to your employees. Showcasing employees who have been there for a long tenure, or offering sabbaticals and work breaks might be a way of showing that your business rewards people who stick around.
Manage your reputation
Millennials are excellent researchers – they grew up with the internet. They research organisations in far greater depth than previous generations of candidates.
They will be checking your organisation’s standing in ‘best employer’ ratings, and looking on sites such as Glassdoor to see reviews of your selection and onboarding process and what existing employees think about you. Take action to ensure your reviews are as good as they can be and make your selection process as efficient as you can.
Also review the kinds of businesses which rank highly in these areas and see if you can emulate some of their practices.
Target social media
A LinkedIn survey found that 62% of millennials visit an organisation’s social media sites to find out information about jobs, usually through mobile devices. Ensure that your social media presence portrays your organization and its culture in a positive light, and any content you want them to read is mobile-friendly!
Offer extra training
Gaining new skills is key to career progress, so vacancies that offer opportunities for learning new skills will attract ambitious millennials.
Flaunt your green credentials
The environment is big news at present and no-one, least of all socially-aware millennials, want to say they work for a company with a less-than-green reputation. Mention your environmental achievements in your vacancies.
What to do now
Review the way you write your vacancies so that you attract millennials. They are not going anywhere, so do it now to ensure you are prepared not just for today, but for the future.
Take a look at gendered language in your job adverts, and make sure you are writing your adverts to attract a diverse group of candidates.