Millennials. They’re known for being tech-savvy, lazy, entitled, adaptable, constantly connected, and at times, detached from reality. And now they represent the largest generation in the workforce.
What Does this Mean for Recruiters and Hiring Managers?
Appealing to those born between 1980 and 2000 means knowing who they are–digital natives with less money to spend and more debt to pay off–and understanding how they behave–like putting off major milestones like marriage and children. Millennials are full of potential, entrepreneurial spirit, and creativity, but they pose a new set of challenges for recruiters because what’s important to them in a career is different than what was important to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
We recently hosted a webinar featuring expertise from Looksharp, an internship and entry-level job platform, HireVue, a digital interview platform, and The Resumator’s own internal recruiter, Sara Niemi.
Here’s what these hiring experts say you need to know about the 92 million Millennials that are or will be infiltrating the workforce.
Me, Me, Me + Your Company
Millennials care about culture and brand more than their predecessors, they’re obsessed with UX (even at the application stage), and they’re more interested in learning new skills than previous generations. Combined with Millennials’ sometimes unfavorable “me, me, me” reputation, convincing hiring managers to cater to this demographic can be another challenge altogether.
Four Ways to Recruit and Hire Millennial
1. Manage expectations on both sides
For starters, think about how to set expectations of both your hiring team and your candidates. Millennials are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than previous generations, so remind hiring managers not to focus too much on past work experience. Instead, get into the intangibles; look for personality traits and hobbies that indicate motivation and commitment.
Similarly, remind your candidates that entry-level roles aren’t always glamorous, but they offer opportunities for career growth and mentorship. Keep this “plus” in mind: Millennials actually crave mentorship (nearly 60 percent believe their managers can offer experience). So give it to them. (Also see tip #3.)
2. Know how to reach your audience
Be prepared to communicate with Millennials in new ways. While scheduling interviews via phone might have been the best strategy with generations past, NPR reports that “when it comes to voicemail, [Millennials] are just over it.” Instead of wasting time playing phone tag, consider texting applicants–especially as you’re setting up interviews. You’ll get a faster response and your candidates will appreciate the timeliness.
Also, keep social media in mind. With Millennials, you’re dealing with first always-connected generation. When asked "...how do you communicate with others about a service, product, or a brand?" 44 percent said text message while 38 percent said social media. So go ahead and tweet to them or send a SnapChat.
3. Coach your candidates
Studies reveal that Millennials look for jobs with strong leadership and learning opportunities. According to Forbes, “[Millennials] crave–and respond to–a good, positive coach, who can make all the difference in their success.”
Millennials are looking for mentorship, and the hiring process is no exception. Show your candidates that you’re here to support them by reminding them to do their research. Add links to their interviewers’ Linkedin profiles or your company’s social media accounts so they know where to get started. If you’re communicative and helpful during the hiring process, Millennials will see that your company offers the coaching they want and need to be successful.
4. Reject with respect (your brand’s at stake)
More than ever before, your company’s brand is out of your hands. Remember that Millennials are more apt to share stories on social media, post reviews online, and chat with their friends. As a recruiter, you can protect your company’s reputation by ensuring that your candidates have a positive experience, even if they’re not chosen.
Make sure that you close the loop on everyone and respond to all follow-up questions. Millennials are eager to learn so they’re also more likely to reach out and ask what they could have done differently. Don’t ignore them! As a rule of thumb, if they take the time to write to you or apply to a position at your company, you should respond. (Not a bad tip for candidate communication in general.)
- We Are All Becoming Millennials
- An Employer's Guide to Hiring - 8 Steps for Success
- Bridging the Gap Between Hiring Managers and HR
Rachel Cook is a Customer Advocate at The Resumator, a performance recruiting platform. Founded in 2009, The Resumator's performance recruiting software gives more than 3,000 growing companies the tools–from planning and posting to sourcing, screening, reporting, and everything in between–to transform how they recruit top candidates.
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