We know a few things about Millennials and Gen Z: they don’t trust lightly, they crave innovation and experiences, they love the entrepreneurial spirit, they express their need for growth, and have a tendency to disrupt and redefine industries.
So as a recruiter you’re in a tough spot; how to effectively attract talent right from the start. Old school recruiting tactics from 1994 don’t work as well these days getting Millennials and Gen Z talent to want to work for and stay with companies.
Don’t get me wrong, Millennials and Gen Z will happily work for companies. Recruiters just need to approach younger talent carefully. The secret: they need to connect with them on a deeper level, communicate in ways that feel organic, and tell them the “Real Deal” truth (connecting to them as individuals).
If it all sounds a bit coddling, it really isn’t. It’s about treating your audience the way they want to be treated: The Platinum Rule. Here are 11 ways recruiters can attract great Millennial and Gen Z talent.
Not every company can be everything to everyone. So be yourself. Don’t pretend. Not all companies have food, a full arcade, ping pong tables, video games and/or Massage Therapists (a la Facebook or Google). But for many companies, those perks wouldn’t even make sense to offer even if they could!
It is important that recruiters highlight perks that are relevant to the people in the industry they are hiring for. If the industry is technology, then having the latest technology and being a center of innovation and growth is a good sell. For a non-profit, it will be focusing on the tangible impact a candidate’s work will have. If it is the professional service industry, then experience and growth opportunities might be the right perks to highlight.
Whatever your industry, make sure to focus on the perks your candidates are likely to care the most about and that they compliment your company’s culture and values.
Go To Them
Millennials and Gen Z are not looking through the classifieds to find jobs. 86% of professionals in their first 10 years of their career use social media as part of their job search. If you want to get in front of the eyes of young talent, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat are where you should be.
Don’t make the mistake of being everywhere, though. Spreading yourself too thin is likely to do more harm than good.
Be authentic and appear on the platforms that people in your industry are most likely to be on. Professional industry talent might more likely be on LinkedIn whereas creative talent will be on Medium and Instagram.
Use “depth not breadth” to make your efforts as effective as possible.
Highlight the Impact That They Will Make
It is incredibly important to Millennials and Gen Z that they feel they are making a difference with the work they do. During the interview process, Millennials will be looking for concrete examples of how they are going to be able to hit the ground running and contribute right away to the company’s mission. Recruiters should make sure they communicate how their company harnesses that youthful energy and provide examples of the types of opportunities young talent will have to make an impact.
Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with the world at their fingertips. Millennial talent knows it is coveted and it won’t wait around for you to slog through a long recruiting and onboarding process. Make sure the recruitment process is as swift and efficient as possible. This is the generation that invented Tinder after all! However, make sure you’re getting the right fit. They attract quickly, however, test fit.
Tell ‘Em What They Want to Hear
No, not Ping Pong tables or “dope swag.” Millennials and Gen Z want to hear how their work will contribute to the company, how the company contributes to its community, the types of professional development opportunities the company offers, and the flexibility they will have in terms of working hours. These perks may not be flashy, but they are the ones that Millennials care about most.
Focus on the Experience of Your Workplace
Millennials kicked their parents habit of materialism and they are bringing their experience-first mindset to the workplace. They don’t just want to know what they will be doing at work, they want to know how they will be doing it. Are they going to be asked to connect to AOL via a dial-up connection or does the office have a modern internal messaging platform? Do senior staff take the time to connect and mentor younger staff? Do their colleagues spend time together outside of the office for happy hour or team building?
The experience of the workplace is nearly as important as the work itself and young talent will be weary of companies that aren’t eager to share the day-in-the-life of their employees.
Show Off Your Diversity
Millennials are a diverse bunch and they want their employer to reflect that. They are on the lookout for people from different backgrounds professionally, culturally, sexually, and geographically. It is important to them that they work for companies that are actively trying to break down social barriers, be more inclusive, and provide opportunities for all people. Highlighting these efforts will be important to catch the attention of Millennials and Gen Z.
Share Your Company Story
Millennials killed off brands that didn’t have a compelling, original or meaningful story driving their company’s mission and they will happily walk away from employers who come off as similarly shallow.
If you have a great company story (and we all do!) make sure it gets shared during the recruitment process.Your story should tell why your company does what it does, why your people come to work fired up everyday, and how that purpose is found throughout your organization.
Having a genuine story of why your company does what it does can be the difference between landing and losing young talent.
CSR Policies are Important
Millennials and Gen Z care about the environment and their community and they want the companies they work for to be equally invested. Recruiters should make sure to share tangible and specific examples of how they are putting the environment and their communities first with their Millennial and Gen Z talent.
Provide a Roadmap to the Future
Young talent craves professional development and the chance to move through (and up) a company. It isn’t so much about the big corner office and fat paychecks; Millennials want to know about how their skills will be honed, what areas they might become experts in, and how their position might help them take on larger roles in the future.
For people who have lived through wars and a recession, they want a clear picture of how their current position will help set them up with greater stability in the future.
Let Them Meet Current “Team” of Millennials
Let Millennials and Gen Z meet your Millennials! The chance to spend half a day with your younger talent is a great way to show how your company caters to younger generations in tangible ways, demonstrates a transparency that Millennials respect, and allows for your current Millennial talent to be your brand ambassador.