As millennials (80 million young adults born from 1980 to 2000) mature and continue to enter the workforce, companies must adapt to new techniques for hiring, motivating, managing and retaining young talent. Millennials don't follow traditional job patterns, and therefore require new approaches. Companies must adapt quickly; the sheer size of the generation demands it. According to a study by Lynch, millennials in the workplace made up 36% of the workforce in 2014 (and is the largest generational cohort in history) and they will continue to expand their presence to 46% of the workforce by 2020.
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On the whole, millennials are hard workers when they feel fulfilled by their work, they give anything for their team, and they feel a need to be connected with others in their community. If recruiters can appeal to these millennial traits, they can draw from a much wider (and younger) talent pool. So what do millennials really want? Here are some ways recruiters can draw in young talent:
Change the Approach
One particularly important job aspect for millennials is technology. As the most technologically literate generation, millennials find it important that employers keep them connected. One way to appeal to millennial talent, therefore, is to highlight the prevalence of technology in the business. For example, many recruiters now offer online pre-interview questionnaires and video interviews. Not only is the video interview process a cost-effective and convenient way to screen applicants, it also highlights the company's use of technology and can help draw in candidates.
Creating a stimulating work environment is also important. Strauss—Howe generational theory shows that this generation is civic-minded: that they have a strong sense of both local and global community. To that end, company culture and collaboration is important to a young, talented millennial. Many new employees expect companies to have both work and social spaces—that might include perks like gyms, cafeterias, or others to strengthen the community atmosphere and help cultivate cooperation in new and different ways. In the coming years, recruiters will focus more heavily on cooperation among employees in the workspace. As many companies add perks to their facilities, these will become main selling points for those looking to attract a younger workforce.
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Millennial expectations for rewards and instant gratification differ from those of other generations. An emphasis on connectedness and communication has cultivated an expectation of quick responses and appreciation for work well done. This appreciation is not necessarily monetary. Instead, millennials seek employment where their ideas are considered and appreciated. Many companies have adapted their review models so that feedback is communicated often and more openly. Recruiters who emphasize non-traditional mobility within the company or a flat office space (without offices for managers or senior leaders) can take advantage of the millennial desire to be recognized and appreciated for the work they do.
Educate and Develop
Millennials are a part of one of the most highly educated age groups in the U.S., and they want to keep it that way. 34% of 25 to 29 year olds have a bachelor's degree or higher, according to Brookings. The emphasis that this group has on education doesn't stop when they enter the workforce. Employee education and development programs can help this generation feel valued and important in the workplace, and in turn lead them to take initiative and innovate in ways older generations can't. Recruiters adding employee development and educational programs into their pitches can grab the attention of this highly educated generation.
What are millennials thinking about when they enter the job market? This generation has a unique set of concerns. As more and more millennials pour into the workforce, recruiters will have to change their tactics. A greater emphasis on technology, culture, rewards, and education can help attract top talent. Each generation is different, and recruiters must adapt the times. In turn, they can hire top talent more concerned with fulfilling work than the paycheck, which in the end benefits everyone involved.