Denver has a rich selection of recreational activities for Millennials: abundant hiking trails, nearby ski slopes, microbreweries, and more. But they are not coming to the Mile High city simply for vacation; they are moving here to work and start their lives. With a myriad of job opportunities available, Millennials are flocking to Denver in record numbers. This novelty-seeking and goal-oriented group is constantly on the move onwards and upwards in life. They want to hike mountains in the Rockies while they climb the corporate ladder.
Right now, the market is skewed in favor of the candidate, not the employer. Great news for the recent graduate, bad news for the recently established startup. To compete in the vicious grab for young talent, organizations in hot cities- Denver is a prime example- must take a comprehensive look at their hiring process, organizational design, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
You can bet that competent and smart millennials have diligently researched culture and compensation typically found in Denver companies. They have, therefore, already found specific traits in potential employers before the first interview. They walk in the door looking for things like:
- Work Culture
If any of these essentials look weak during a first impression, a candidate in the job market will likely look elsewhere.
Consider a refusal as an opportunity for insight though. To gain a crucial edge over your competition, the most important candidate feedback can be collected from a candidate who rejects your seemingly attractive job offer. You conduct “exit interviews” for departing employees; why not pick the brain of departing candidates? If you are having trouble retaining bright, young talent on your employee roster, take a look at our list of the five reasons why positions go unfilled:
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1) Lack of Leadership Skill Development
The Global Millennials Survey discovered that a full two-thirds of millennials are planning to leave their current jobs within the next two years. The real shock is the reason many are citing for their discontent: stagnation.
Overwhelmingly, millennials complained that their leadership skills were not being properly developed in their current jobs or roles. According to the survey, 71 percent of those planning to leave within the next two years cite this as a problem. Even among those planning to stay, 54 percent claim it as a concern for them.
Like most employees, Millennials want to feel as though their jobs are taking them somewhere. They do not feel they can effectively climb the corporate ladder if the company is not investing in their training by developing their leadership skills. As a rule, Denver candidates want to learn as fast as the world is changing. They want to feel safe to ask questions, work through frustrations, experiment, and improvise.
Your organization undoubtedly has a loft mission statement and an ambitious growth strategy. Supporting the ambitions of not only the organization but also the ambitions of individuals will benefit everyone involved.
2) Failure to Wow Candidates
Fortune warns that companies interested in attracting Millennials to their business need to rethink the old interview process. Millennials want to be courted to a large degree, whether that is for temporary IT jobs or long-term employment.
A time-consuming and burdensome interview process- one with seven different interviewers and extended wait periods before receiving an offer or feedback- can repel bright candidates. Rather than having a candidate vetted by seven different interviewers and forced to wait an extended period of time before an seeing an actual offer, aim to be a more efficient interviewer:
- Speak informally with the candidate before the interview. Rapport building before diving into formal questions will allow both sides to take inventory.
- Step outside the office and take the interview to the nearest coffee shop.
- Arrange for them to meet with leading innovators within your organization.
- Allow them to shadow organizational mentors to see what life in your company will be like. Corporate leaders can take a cue from the hospitality industry, where cooks and servers frequently “stage” before joining the team.
3) Conflict with Ethics and Values
Healthy work environment, handsome compensation, and ultra-convenient location: you know you have it all. But even the most selfish 20-something job seeker has a little bit of altruism. The modern candidate, therefore, wants to know about a future employer’s role in the larger Denver community. He or she may even accept a smaller salary from companies with impressive CSR activities and programs.
Many people are surprised to learn just how values-driven Millennials happen to be. While conventional wisdom pegs this generation as more-than-a-little coddled by life, research proves the opposite. They collectively have a strong value system. Inc.com recently reported on the Deloitte Millennial Survey that 44 percent of Millennials have turned down jobs because the values of the company making the offer were not in line with their own.
Nearly half of them have rejected assignments at work that conflicted with their own values and 56 percent have vowed not to work with certain organizations because of their values. Aligning values in the workplace will, in the long run, nurture loyalty among young employees.
4) Lack of Mobile-Friendly Career Information Center
If your goal is to recruit more Millennials for your Denver business, you need to do things that optimize the application process for ease of accessibility. A generation frequently on-the-go will be far more likely to submit applications and send resumes via mobile devices than to hunker down in front of a desktop.
To recruit top talent in Denver, where a potential employee could either be at a laptop in a coffee shop or on a phone from a ski lift, it is essential to be mobile-friendly. A robust career information center and mobile app will ease the application process and engage your target applicants. Fortune reports that only one-third of organizations have career information sites that are easy to navigate by a mobile device. Pair a responsive website this with a relevant social media presence and you will have a significant advantage over businesses competing for the same prospects.
5) Low Compensation and Benefits or Lackluster Job Offers
The offer itself will get a better return if delivered in a timely fashion and presented with compelling benefits. At the very least, salary and other compensation need to be competitive according to trends in the Denver job market. And beyond the salary numbers, millennials do like to feel wanted and wooed. This means delivering great offers and delivering them quickly. For the very best candidates, act fast if you want them.
Millennial candidates have lived their entire lives surrounded by technology. They are the first generation to do so. This means they can immediately find answers with a one-click search, contact friends twenty-four hours a day, and receive same-day delivery. They move fast and they do not wait (unless that wait it is in a long line for artisanal doughnuts or amazing food-truck empanadas). For an employer, that can be a great asset to increase productivity. But dragging out the offer process will not play well with a generation that expect instant gratification by default.
Of course, companies may not have control over every reason a job offer gets rejected. The candidate may decide to pursue a different career path in a different industry or elect to live in a city other than Denver. Otherwise, it is time to confront the five reasons positions go unfilled.
Still struggling? Similar to the idea of an exit interview we mentioned earlier, start tracking how many candidates are turning down job offers. Further, to really gather insight, collect feedback from those rejecters. The person who declined the job offer may provide you with valuable information about your competitors. Yes, you can stop obsessing over reviews on Glassdoor and address the source directly. You, your organization, and the job candidate can mutually strengthen one another with a little frank conversation.