How to Retool IT Recruiting to Better Attract Millennials

It’s not secret that millennials are the fastest growing generation at the workplace. In fact, they are projected to make up 50% of the global workforce by the year 2020. This is especially true for technology and high-growth industries.

Millennials are made up of people born between 1981 and 1997 and are the first generation that was born into technology. When compared to previous generations, they also want different things from their careers.

As a result, enterprises have had to retool and rethink their recruitment, integration, development, and retaining processes. This is because it’s vital to attract and retain the best talent to remain competitive now and in the future. Further, when done right, older generations can benefit from it too.

Getting it right will have to start with getting rid of some of the negative stereotypes associated with younger workers (feelings of entitlement, job hopping, and too much reliance on technology). Millennials are a great addition to the workforce as they are tech-savvy, offer fresh perspectives, and are not afraid to share their ideas and opinions.

As they come into the workplace with more awareness, new ideas, and a greater sense of balance, they also have the potential to come up with better solutions right off the bat. But for this generation to thrive, they need the right environment.

Younger workers also expect quick informal communication, frequent feedback, and rapid career progression. As a result, as more millennials enter the workforce, organizations are currently going through a cultural shift.

So how do you go about retooling the recruitment process to attract millennials?

1. Career Choice is a Two-Way Street

Recruiters need to accept that career choice is a two-way street, so they need to keep the lines of communication open and fast. The days of telling prospects not to call are over and HR needs to accept and embrace change.

Further, the job doesn’t finish once the individual has been recruited. As a result, HR departments need to keep updating their strategies to become a resource that can provide a clear path forward to promotion. This approach will go a long way to help retain younger workers.

Further, you also have to make an effort to convince them that the work they do is connected to a broader purpose and meaningful. So businesses need to find a way to offer them something more than financial rewards.

One way to go about this is to offer opportunities for professional development. This can be what attracts them to the job and what eventually makes them stay with the company. As millennials are tuned to the world around them, offering opportunities for overseas assignments can also be a huge attraction.

2. Update Recruitment Strategies

The transactional recruitment is also now obsolete. It’s not like it was a couple of decades ago when you could just place an ad in the newspaper and wait for prospects to apply.

If you want to attract the brightest young workers, HR department will have to do a lot more. For example, it can start with identifying certain skills and doing a LinkedIn search. Once the talent has been identified, the recruitment manager can reach out to them directly.

Millennials like to be approached this way and according to a LinkedIn survey, as much as 93% are interested in hearing about a new job opportunity. Deloitte found similar results with 44% of younger workers stating that they would like to leave their present employer within two years.

This phenomenon is quite different from other generations who prefer to stay in the same position for much longer (as much as 4.6 years). This creates a massive opportunity for companies as loads of millennials are on the lookout for the next great opportunity.

This also means that companies need to up their content marketing game to get their name out there as millennials are less likely to know about your company than other generations. Further, they are also more likely to follow your company on social media.

As they are really interested in a company’s values and culture, enterprises need to find a way to communicate these messages effectively. More often than not, recruitment obstacles tend to be related to not knowing about the organization, not understanding the role and not hearing back quickly.

Slow response time can be a killer, so recruiters should send a thank you message quickly to get the ball rolling. But that alone will not be enough as you should also provide a timeline for when they will hear from you again.

This doesn’t mean calling each individual as texting is welcomed by this generation. But make sure that they have signed a waiver during the application process allowing you to text them.

Here’s a brief checklist to help you hold on to your millennial workforce:

  • Highlight your organizational culture and mission across all communications
  • Develop a flexible work culture
  • Provide a clear career roadmap to promotion
  • Devise a rewards system (beyond financial incentives)
  • Offer mentoring and training programs
  • Provide technology tools

As millennials drive significant change in the workplace, organizations that want to remain relevant have to develop fresh strategies to attract, develop, and retain top talent in this generation. Further, once these changes are implemented across the organization, it will enhance collaboration, inclusion, flexibility, and provide a better work-life balance for all employees (across generations).

This, in turn, will empower employees, encourage innovation, and be the primary driver of growth. So if your organization hasn’t stepped up to the challenge, the time to adapt is now.

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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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