We were born at the tail end of the last millennium and, yes, we are taking over today’s workforce. There is even statistical information to prove it. The unfortunate truth is that most traditional companies run by Generation Xers and Baby Boomers do not know how to appeal to us and have the wrong idea about our work patterns and job preferences.
It is easy to make an assumption about a whole generation of humans addicted to technology and excessive social media use. However, if Instagram were available in the 1970s, it would be hard to believe that attendants of the Woodstock Festivals would not go ballistic with posting filtered snapshots with emoji-rich descriptions.
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Instagram, Facebook, and all other social media sites not only enhance our leisure time, but also enhance our work life. Once talent recruiters understand our work-life balance better, they’ll be able to distract us from the music festivals by hiring us for great jobs. Research shows that we get our information from some unconventional places: we read our friends’ blogs, chat with our colleagues over craft cocktails, and ask Siri to search for advice from top headhunters. So, in order to get a better snapshot of our generation and get past some of these negative stereotypes, let’s look at the millennial-approved list of;
7 tips employers should consider when recruiting the modern candidate:
- Personalized Brands and Culture Are Priorities: What is the culture of the company like? Do employees connect with and believe in the company brand? Candidates want to be a part of what they can visually see. Candidates are obviously expected to do research on the company before being interviewed, so these values can and should be shown through the company website or social media pages. When serious about recruiting a modern candidate, companies should highlight its mission, vision, and values and then feature this identity as brazenly as possible. This can be done through welcoming candidates by word of mouth or showing engaging videos. Additionally, companies want to make sure that the talent they bring to the team matches up with the existing brand, which makes this point even more crucial.
- Give Them a Sense of Purpose: Generation Y wants to know that they can make a difference or that they are contributing to something (a consequential goal, not just a 401K). Additionally, they also want to make sure they have a career ahead of them. The times have come and gone where people retire from the same company who hired them 30-40 years ago. Millennials are often seen as job hoppers because they explore their options vividly to search for higher salaries and sense of responsibility. However, if recruiters could paint a vision of a candidate’s future career path with the company and also show them that their position has a sense of purpose (whether it is a financial impact on the company or a social impact on the community), then positions may be filled long-term more often.
- Get Social: In order to connect with this generation during the New Media Age, companies have to keep in mind that they should get social. Have the company be highly involved on as many social media sites as possible. Connect with top candidates so they can see company photos of happy hours and group trips on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure that any pictures or videos posted give the candidates a taste of what the culture and environment are like within the company. Posts of pictures and videos will automatically draw the candidates in and have them visualize some of the incentives.
- Offer Training/Mentoring: Although Millennials are known to be creative, independent, and technological experts, they still want and need guidance; especially in a newly acquired position. Although they may be online watching videos, YouTube is notoriously saturated with not only cat videos but learning tutorials. Millennials have a thirst for knowledge and want to be directed in their careers. It is also important to remember that many of these Millennials grew up watching parents, family members, or other loved ones being laid off when the market crashed. Taking that into consideration, this generation of people wants to make sure that they are not just going to lose their job at any moment, especially in a job market that is still not strong by any means. They want to be led in the right direction and thoroughly instructed on what exactly they should be doing (at least in the beginning of the work process) so they do not make any costly mistakes.
- Opportunities for Growth: This is not just an aspiration for Generation Y, but really for anyone of any generation. The goal is to move up the chain of command after years of hard work. However, for these so called “job-hoppers,” they want a chance to learn and potentially grow as an individual. Yes, salary and benefits are also important to them. However, incentives such as these will be more attractive as opportunity for growth increases. This is another reason why Millennials would like to have a potential career path painted out for them.
- Flexibility: Millennials are seen as the first generation to truly conjecture that life comes first and that work is a means to enjoy life. They have a strong work ethic; they just need a work life balance. They will give 100% of their effort as long as they have sufficient time to spend on what they are truly passionate about. Companies that offer more flexible work schedules are amongst the more appealing options to this generation.
- Supportive Authority Role: Millennials are frequently called Generation ‘Why’ in a sarcastic manor. This is solely due to the perception that they often disrespect authority by questioning them. This generation however, was raised to question things when they do not understand something. They learned to become independent and are not afraid to challenge the status-quo. Millennials want a relationship with their superior. The boss is seen as a mentor and the younger generation aspires to be in that position one day. Therefore, they try to obtain as much knowledge from their boss as they can. It is not that Millennials do not respect authority; it is quite that opposite actually. They feel as if their approach to learning by questioning is constantly being reproached. To keep a Millennial as an enthusiastic employee, acknowledge their questions and be able to genuinely answer them.