Millennials are taking over today’s workforce. According to the 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study by Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding, Millennials will be the largest generation in the U.S. workforce as of this year. In fact, the study found that 28 percent of Millennial workers are already at management level.
Unfortunately, while the study found that 82 percent of hiring professionals believe Millennials bring a unique set of skills to the workplace and are more technically adept than prior generations, the majority (53 percent) report difficulty in finding and retaining Millennial talent.
This unique generation of workers requires an equally unique recruiting strategy. Here are six need-to-know Millennial recruiting techniques:
1. Give them a sense of purpose.
Demonstrate quickly how Millennials can make a significant contribution to the job while they’re there, particularly if you can attach some level of social impact or purpose to the job. As a Millennial myself, I can speak to how this appeals to me and my fellow Millennials. We are more purpose-minded and socially aware. Millennials would prefer a job with purpose or social impact (i.e. reducing the company’s global environmental footprint) over just another job.
While we absolutely want something that pays the bills, if you want to keep us there past one or two years, show how we can make a solid contribution to the job using what we know. Show how what we do can make a financial impact on the company, or a social impact on the community or another stakeholder. This adds something significant to us working that particular job — outside of just “getting paid for time.”
One theme that has consistently come up in interviews and employee feedback alike is growth. While salary and benefits are still important, Millennials care most about the ability to learn and grow as a professional and an individual.
To that end, we have training sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we also incentivize reading relevant books, becoming certified, etc. As far as attracting new hires, our office has an open floor plan. From the moment a potential new hire steps in, he or she sees that this is a place that encourages open communication and collaboration. More often than not, the candidate suggests the desire for personal and professional growth, and we then discuss how we offer that.
3. Get social with candidates.
During the pre-screening interview, invite the candidate to check out your company Instagram account. Of course, you want to make sure the account regularly features new photos and videos that show off what it’s like to work at your company — the environment, people, and culture. It’s not hard: take photos at company events and shoot quick videos of current employees answering fun questions.
Millennials value transparency and authenticity. They don’t want to hear a carefully-calibrated pitch. They want to hear from and see the actual people who work at your company and enjoy what they do.
At Spreadshirt, my position as Feel Good Manager was created so that there was always someone who had company culture top of mind. A good reputation and word of mouth are the best ways to attract and retain Millennial talent. Due to Feel Good Management, more than 20 of the new recruits at Spreadshirt came via the recommendation of a current “Spreadster,” and 95% of Spreadshirt’s employees said they would recommend Spreadshirt as an employer to friends.
Culture and work life balance are extremely important to the Millennial worker. They are prepared to give 100 percent at the office as long as they have ample time to devote to projects related to their passions and to spend time with the people who matter to them. They want to feel like they are making an impact within their community and company. Most importantly, they want to do all these things for a company whose ideals they can identify and connect with.
Stefanie Haussler, Global Feel Good Manager, Spreadshirt
5. Help build their personal brand.
There are two major things that I focus on when recruiting and retaining Millennials and both are ingrained in our culture. I make sure there is an opportunity to be invested and impactful within the organization no matter if you’re an intern or a director. I also make sure there are opportunities for each team member to build a personal brand and grow professionally inside and outside of the office.
Candidates can usually see these values shine through on our website and social media, so there’s no selling it or faking it. These Millennials apply because they want to be a part of what they see. Recruiting is pretty organic for us and that’s the way it should be.
What I’m seeing is that Millennials really want to feel like they’re coming into a new company with a new vibe. Our team has been growing so quickly that we’ve had to move locations three times. What I’ve found every time is that everyone was excited for the new environment and the new office. So we’ve decided to switch up the office every year or so, giving the room a completely new feel! Right now, our offices have a cool, aesthetic edge as everyone is separated by bookshelves, but still able to mingle with one another.
Millennials don’t want to just come into an office and work for a company that is going to be completely stagnant. They want to see things in a state of change. It’s almost like they really do want to work for a new company every two years. By re-creating a new office space, Millennials are provided with a fresh new environment — without actually having to leave their job!