Attract the Top Talent: Tips for Hiring Millennials in 2016

Business.com / Hiring / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Millennials make some of the most talented and diverse employees in today's world. Learn how you can attract them to your company.

In 2015, Millennials became the largest generation in the American workforce. As Baby Boomers move on to retirement, this group of young professionals is essential for companies’ continued growth and success.

Unfortunately, many employers misunderstand Millennials or simply do not know how to appeal to them. Here are four important tips to keep in mind when recruiting and hiring Millennials.

Look Beyond the Resume

Millennial workers are some of the most multi-talented employees. While a candidate may have majored in engineering, he may have also taught himself HTML and CSS, have a side hustle doing graphic design and run his own industry blog. With technology and innovative continued learning opportunities, workers can learn new skills on their own time and even secure freelance clients with their new talents.

It is important to keep this perspective in mind when hiring. While an applicant may not seem qualified at first glance because of her college major or current role, she may be just the person you are looking for with the talent and experience to back it up earned from a side gig or passion project.

When reviewing applications, look beyond the resume alone. Consider well-written cover letters that may cover why they are qualified for a position or portfolios that demonstrate their work experience in the area you are hiring. You may find the perfect person applying with a nontraditional background.

Related Article:Shift in Thinking: How to Change Your Culture to Recruit and Engage Millennials

Keep an Open Mind About Job Hopping

Millennials have figured out that staying at the same employer for more than two years can cost them more than 50 percent in lifetime earnings. While previous generations were happy to have landed a job and would stay there for 20 years, young professionals understand that employment is a two-way relationship and that they may get more fulfillment elsewhere. Additionally, during a healthy economy, pay increases of 10 to 20 percent are possible when switching jobs; for salary-motivated workers, job-hopping just makes sense.

However, it is also more than just money. Millennials are talented workers who often take on more than they were originally supposed to in their roles; they are used to doing great work and getting recognized for it. If they feel their work is not being noticed or if there is no opportunity for advancement, they are going to move on.

For companies to remain competitive, they need to ditch their preconceived notions about job-hopping. Work stints of 12 to 36 months are commonplace now. Ruling out people with roles that lasted under three years will mean losing a significant portion of your applicant pool. Keep an open mind about your needs and what you are looking for to ensure you have a broad applicant base to pull from and evaluate.

Related Article:What to do About Those Pesky Millennial Job Requirements

Emphasize Meaningful Work

While Millennials value good salaries, benefits, and working conditions, they are also looking for their jobs to provide a level of fulfillment. They want to feel like their work has meaning and purpose. They are looking for employers who are making a change and bettering the world. That is why so many millennials are willing to take the chance to work for small startups or lean non-profits; they want to see their work produce tangible good.

To appeal to young professionals, focus on what differentiates your company. If you are not the most glamorous business, you can still appeal to Millennial workers by focusing on what sets you apart, such as your commitment to transparency, customer service, or going green. Emphasize how their roles would contribute to the business and the community, and you can recruit top talent.

Remember Their Needs

Too many people write Millennials off as entitled because they want higher salaries or better benefits early on in their careers. However, before leaping to conclusions, keep in mind the issues they are facing. The majority of Millennials have student loans after graduation, with an average balance of $28,400. Their monthly payments can eat up a huge part of their budget, and student loan debt can keep them from being able to afford their own home, a new car or even getting married.

By understanding the challenges they face, you can help come up with comprehensive benefits that appeal to Millennials. Perks like employer student loan repayment benefits where companies pay a portion of the worker’s loans can be very appealing to young professionals and can be a cost-effective recruitment tool.

Related Article:Steps to Success: 9 Important Life Rules Millennials Should Follow

Millennials are one of the most misunderstood working generations, yet they are talented and well-rounded. Passionate and dedicated, they are committed to their work and delivering results to their employer. They bring innovation and creativity to the workplace and by taking the time to understand their needs and perspectives, you can better appeal to them as employees. By adjusting your viewpoints and changing how you approach young professionals, you can bring top talent into your workforce.

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