As of 2015, millennials make up the majority in the U.S. workforce. Are your recruiting efforts keeping up with the times?
You already know the scoop on millennial workers, right?
They’re “entitled.” They’re tech-savvy. They expect constant feedback. They want to change the world, and want to work from home doing it. They expect their careers to revolve around flexibility, meaningful work, and high salaries.
At least, that’s what the internet will have you believe.
Whatever you might personally believe about millennial workers, the success of American companies lies in the effective engagement of the this generation.
Last year, millennials surpassed both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the American workforce. By the end of 2016, over 3.5 million Baby Boomers will have blown the candles out on the cake from their retirement party, and the next generation of 20-and-30-somethings are the ones that are stepping into these leadership and influencer roles.
Unfortunately, there’s been a history of misunderstanding between hiring managers and millennial candidates that affects their ability to connect.. As a talent acquisition professional, you might be asking yourself some basic questions:
- How do I know which candidates to hire?
- Where do I find the best millennial talent?
- How do I keep millennials from leaving the company after spendinga hundred hours apiece hiring and training them?
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Here are the four things every recruiter needs to know about hiring millennials in 2016.
Don’t just look for experience — look for prolific learners.
The past several years have seen an unprecedented growth in online education. Today’s 20-and-30-somethings are teaching themselves how to do everything from coding iOS software to brewing their own beer.
This year, you will see a lot of resumes from unqualified candidates. However, a savvy recruiter won’t judge a younger candidate solely on their experience (or lack thereof) Instead, learn to judge candidates on their eagerness and deftness in learning new things.
Always consider the candidate who is hungry for learning and getting educated, even if there’s a lack of experience. This demonstrates a rare and valuable quality for your company — a young, hungry worker eager to master new things. Avoid candidates who aren’t demonstrating any effort to increase their skill set.
Don’t fight job-hopping; fight company-hopping.
My new ebook is based on the widespread phenomenon of 20-somethings working tirelessly for months (or years) to realize a career goal, only to experience a lack of fulfillment when they finally achieve it.
For hiring managers, the question isn’t whether or not young workers will consider changing positions early on — it’s when. As a result, many millennials are job-hopping their way through their 20s. Here are the questions millennials begin to ask themselves when they experience this “buyer’s remorse:”
- Can I make more money somewhere else?
- Can I change the world more deeply somewhere else?
- Can I get a more flexible work/vacation schedule somewhere else?
- Can I be fulfilled and challenged somewhere else?
Your company’s solution is simple: provide them with opportunities that allow them to say “yes” at your company.
Younger workers are looking for organizations that have a widespread hierarchy, which translates to plenty of opportunities for growth. Not just upward mobility, either — lateral movement. Project involvement. Interdepartmental collaboration. Exposure to diverse mentors, supervisors, and leadership.
Prepare the way so that when your millennial employees wonder where they want to head next, it will be another department in your company, and not the building down the street.
Millennial workers are targeting companies who want to change the world.
Millennials want to change the world. Thanks to social media, technological advancements, and social revolutions in the past decade, millennials are changing the world all the time. There’s a reason millennials want to work at the Googles and the Facebooks of the world — and believe it or not, it’s not about the money. These young workers don’t care as much about money or prestige as they do about getting the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Many recruiters have a difficult time attracting applicants for entry-level roles that are anything but glamorous. Sometimes, recruiters have a tough time creating a buzz for the company itself, due to lack of funding (or lack of…well, glamour).
In 2016, millennials aren’t just looking to work for the Fortune 500. In fact, the reason that many younger workers are increasingly accepting job offers from obscure real estate firms and small-town financial institutions isn’t because of the brand name; it’s because they’re part of a larger movement that is making the world a better place.
Younger workers want to work somewhere where they can make a difference in the world, or at least work for a company whose mission/vision is to change the world.
Millennials crave mentorship, leadership, and personal growth from their employer.
The New York Times once said: “No one truly understand millennials. Not even millennials.”
Younger workers are eager to find an organization that offers effective mentorship programs and personal development opportunities. More than constant feedback, these job-seekers are looking for a coach that will guide them through the confusing, shifting landscape of their careers and passions.
Does your organization currently have these measures in place? If not, hiring successful and committed younger workers in 2016 may be a lost cause, simply because of the turnover you can expect while these young workers try to figure themselves out.
Younger workers are looking to better themselves, hoping their employer will oversee the process. That means training by mentors, participation in new/exciting projects, and the ability to drive real, lasting change.
In 2016, many hiring managers will find themselves frustrated with their recruitment efforts towards younger candidates. They’ll have a difficult time attracting qualified candidates, preventing turnover once they’re hired, or engaging younger employees to produce their full potential on the job.
Knowing these four millennial work trends can help. Hire the right millennial workers by giving prolific learners a chance, providing them with new challenges, include them on your mission to change the world, and give them meaningful supervision in the process.
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Anthony Moore is the founder of StuffGradsLike.com and author of the book Buyer’s Remorse: The Life You Thought You Wanted in Your 20s. Follow him for answers and solutions on how to be successful in your 20s.