Opinions and sentiments of the mass media and the general public about millennials are for some reason highly polarized.
Even when you try to google them, you’ll get a wide range of suggestions, starting from “millennials are lazy, narcissistic, broke, or even the worst” all the way to “millennials are hard working.”
You’re probably scratching your head worrying over the fact that you’ll have to hire those notorious job hoppers whose turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.
The truth is that Generation Y has been much-maligned based on a number of generalizations and stereotypes.
But in order for them to show their true colors and all their skills and talents, you need to have a millennial-friendly recruitment process in place.
Personalize the Recruitment Experience
This is the first and most important question that you have to ask yourself.
Are you the one who does most of the talking?
Are you scrutinizingly flipping through their portfolio while they’re answering your questions?
Then you’re not painting your company in a good light.
Active listening is the approach that you need to take when recruiting millennials (or any other generation for that matter.) Your Gen Y applicants want to be heard and taken seriously. Come up with a number of relevant and stimulating questions and they’ll open up and show you what they really got.
Millennials expect you to reach out to them throughout the recruitment process. Even if you decide not to hire them, let them know right away. It’s a matter of common decency which adds a human touch and makes the overall experience positive, even to those that haven’t gotten a job.
To establish whether a candidate is the right fit for your company and its culture, conduct the interview at their potential place of work. That way you’ll see how they stack up as well as how they feel in that work environment.
Highlight Work-Life Balance
It’s in a way logical that in today’s culture of busyness which glorifies non-stop hard work millennials are accused of being lazy. if we translate this to a non-hustling language, their alleged laziness can be interpreted as their unwillingness to sacrifice their free time in order to make more money.
Millennials cherish their freedom, family time, and me time.
They want to have a more flexible work schedule so that they can organize their personal life better.
So, if you want to attract and hire top millennial talent, don’t make long hours or rigid work schedules your job requirements.
Don’t forget that flextime, telecommuting, and remote work are a must and not an option.
Be upfront about these perks and make sure that your Gen Y candidates understand that you’ll respect their wish for flexibility.
Create a Sense of Purpose
Millennials are particularly socially conscious, and that influences their choice of a company they want to work for – 90% of MBAs from European and North American business schools prefer working for socially responsible companies.
According to this survey, ethics and the greater good rank higher than money on millennials’ priority list.
Similarly, 9 out of 10 millennials would rather work for a company with which they share core values and beliefs.
To be appealing to the millennial crowd, make sure that your company is committed to raising social awareness and promoting relevant causes.
Besides being focused on making the world a better place, millennials also want to contribute to the growth of your company and you need to show them how to do that and encourage them to take the initiative.
Don’t Keep Them in the Dark Regarding Salary
Although it’s true that money on top of their priority list when it comes to picking a job, millennials still want companies to be transparent about the salary they offer.
Moreover, employers’ reluctance to talk about compensation is one of the factors which sabotage the entire recruitment process and can negatively impact candidates’ relationship with the company. From millennials’ point of view, by refusing to disclose the salary estimate, employers are being inconsiderate towards their financial plans and aspirations.
So, to make your recruitment process more millennial-friendly (or should we say employee-friendly), be open about their salary, or at least give them an approximate estimate.
Just like you want to know what skills and traits every particular candidate has, and how they can benefit your company, your potential employees want to know what they can expect in return financially.
Millennials are extremely tech-oriented.
This means that they’ll most probably apply on your ad from their smartphone. In other words, your application should be optimized for mobile so that it can be seamlessly viewed on a relatively small display.
Social networks are a must, and it’s a good idea to use different channels to reach out to your potential candidates, as well as to post your job openings.
To additionally optimize the recruitment process and streamline it, you should consider building a custom app. It will make it easier for your candidates to submit their resumes and portfolios, and for you to keep all the documents in a single place and access them easily.
Such a piece of software is an even better solution than a mobile-friendly website as it’s more convenient and engaging.
Offer Them an Opportunity to Learn
Millennials know better than to allow themselves to get stuck in a dead-end job which doesn’t provide opportunities for professional development.
They want to learn new skills and hone the existing ones, and if you can offer them a chance to grow and advance in their career, they’ll appreciate that.
Millennials’ wish to prevent professional stagnation is what motivates their job-hopping behavior that we’ve mentioned. Can you blame them for that?
On the other hand, if you provide them with a dynamic work environment, mentorship, and guidance, you can expect them to stick around and invest themselves in helping your business thrive.
Companies that are willing to offer millennials a sense of purpose, a chance to grow, and work-life balance will be able to attract the best people for the job among them. As this generation has overtaken baby boomers as the largest and the most dominant demographic group in the workforce, it’s important to adjust the recruitment process to their needs and preferences.
This guest post was written by Michael Deane. Michael is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.