How to Hire Millennials

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They’re the favorite punching bag of the Boomer media—lazy, inept, and coddled from birth to expect undeserved rewards: those wascawwy Millennials.

Lazy Businesswoman Or Student

But, like it or not, they’re also the future workforce. And, surprisingly, reports of their narcissism, over-sensitivity, and weak work ethic may have been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, according to a PwC study, Millennials are just as hardworking and committed to their work as previous generations. Additionally, while desiring workplace flexibility and prone to job-hopping, Millennials are highly likely to be ambitious and to look for career growth and personal development when applying to positions.

What this means is that you should be actively courting Millennials for open jobs, if you’re not already. Whether you haven’t yet hired any, or whether you have but aren’t seeing the great applicants you need, here are three tips to help you recruit Millennial rock stars.

1. Use social media well

It’s not enough to throw a job posting up on your rarely-updated corporate Twitter account and call it a day. To attract a Millennial superstar you need to actively engage them in conversation on social media. You also need to have a real human face to your social media accounts. Because Millennials use social media so heavily, they can sniff out corporatese like bloodhounds, so putting a face to the tweets (or Facebook updates, or LinkedIn groups) keeps you more relevant and likely to be approached.

Other things to keep in mind when using social media to hire Millennials:

  • Keep it updated, or you’ll seem like you’re just going through the motions.
  • Showcase less sanitized, more genuine views of your organization. Because Millennials tend to be entrepreneurial, their view of failure is different from other generations. Don’t be afraid of bringing up potential failures or examples of lessons the organization has learned.
  • Show your culture, not just the new things your company is doing. Millennials are less attracted by money than other generations, and more by collaborative work environments and a sense of accomplishment.

2. Be flexible

Millennials want flexibility in their jobs. Fully 1/3rd of Millennials would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary when deciding on whether to accept a job offer or not. They’re looking for a place they can blend their personal and work lives; where what’s important is not the hours in the office, but the work that’s getting done.

Here are some flexible options you can offer in the job to increase its attractiveness to Millennials:

  • Flexible hours: Why enforce 9-5 if the same, or better, work can get done from 10-6?
  • Work from home options: Being able to skip the commute one day a week, or having the flexibility to stay home to wait for the cable guy is a key benefit for Millennials.
  • A “no-policy vacation policy”: Not micro-managing and tracking every day off and trip works well for the more entrepreneurially-minded Millennials, and also shows potential applicants the high level of trust you place in employees.

3. Offer training and development opportunities

65% of Millennials said that the opportunity for personal development was the most influential factor in choosing their current job. Providing the option to pursue professional education and other career advancement programs is crucial to attracting Millennials as applicants.

Here are a few ways to give Millennials the personal growth they crave:

  • Offer a coaching or mentoring program: A study of Sun Microsystems found that participants in a mentee/mentor relationship had a 23% higher retention rate than those who didn’t participate.
  • Offer eLearning: A training program offered on-demand, from anywhere, accessible on any device meets the flexibility desires of Millennials, and can be provided by any of a number of different learning management systems.
  • Have a clearly defined career path: Ambitious Millennials want to know how they can advance within the organization so outlining opportunities will make your openings more attractive to them.

Have you had experience with Millennials?

What other things have you noticed help to attract the right Millennial to your organization? Share your tips in the comments below!

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.

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