Millennials seem to be making a lot of headlines recently. News sources talk of the generation that can’t comprehend a world before the internet. This Time Magazine cover frames these young adults as lazy and narcissistic. However, research like this study on Generation Y in the workplace have proven their perspectives are quite admirable. Surveys have shown that Millennials 1) prioritize meaningful work over a high salary and 2) believe that opportunities for career progression make an employer more attractive.
The facts show that this generation wants to work hard for you, and whether you’re ready or not, you’ll be hiring them. In 2014, 36% percent of the US workforce will consist of millennials, with that percentage increasing to 46% by 2020. Here are three techniques to help you find the best of Gen Y before your competition:
1. Get Social!
Millennials are deeply entrenched in their social networks, so utilizing these channels when sourcing talent is a no brainer. 92% of companies surveyed in 2012 said they were using social networks or social media to support their recruiting efforts, with 73% reporting that they have successfully made a hire through social media. Having a presence on social media gives these young professionals a less formal way to get to know your company. Tweeting with #job and #(your industry) can drum up millennial candidates you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Searching through your company’s Facebook Fans can uncover some diamonds in the rough who are already interested in your company.
Although Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the most popular platforms for engaging potential candidates, Google+, personal websites, and even blogs are all viable options for discovering Millennials. 13% of 18-to-29-year-olds say they use Tumblr, so why not add it to your arsenal? Try going outside the box and making some company memes or even posting about your company on a relevant subreddit. By casting a broad net in the social-sphere, you can grow your pipeline exponentially and even give your job posting a chance to go viral.
2. Get Their Attention Early
Colleges want to get their students and recent graduates hired. To do this, they invest heavily in campus career centers which host career fairs, coordinate on-campus events, and even partner with employers directly to ensure their students get hired. By building an internship program, you can gain an early opportunity to form a relationship with future employees that might be outside of your network down the road.
Hosting a career fair booth is an effective and time-tested means to reach out to a large number of potential hires. Draw more students to your booth by doing something different. A prize wheel or trivia game to win branded swag is cool, but a booth with Wii bowling draws a crowd and provides a great activity to share while having a casual but informative conversation. Similarly, try to spice up your standard job postings by adding images or creating a job description infographic.
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3. Create a Millennial Friendly Culture
Despite news headlines claiming that Millennials are desperate for jobs, don’t try and take advantage of them and the current market. Offering unpaid internships, assigning positions with no room for advancement, and dishing out tedious and unimportant responsibilities will only get you a bunch of dissatisfied and disgruntled Millennials. A fair opportunity and great workplace culture will make any employee so satisfied that they’ll naturally give their best effort.
But how do you build a Millennial friendly culture? Take their perspective into account: Millennials are often new to the working world, unfamiliar with it’s customs and cultures, and fear they may not live up to the expectations of their new role. Combat this by offering a closer look at what working at your company is like – create a “day-in-the-life” video of your office or even invite a potential hire to sit in on a meeting or join potential coworkers for lunch. Let them know that it’s okay to learn by making mistakes. If you reject a candidate, be respectful and let them know promptly if they didn’t get the gig. Having a welcoming, entrepreneurial, modern culture will ensure candidates you interview will want to accept your offer, and rumors of your awesome office lifestyle will entice new prospects.
Millennials have deep connections to social networks, expansive understanding of modern technologies, and outside-the-box thinking, all of which will change the way the business world functions. By integrating these three suggested tactics into your sourcing techniques you can ensure your business will be ready for this inevitable generational shift.
Casual Friday image is from motherAWESOME on Flickr