The job market has become a jungle, especially when it comes to attracting Millennials, which now make up the largest segment of the labor pool.
The rise of online tools has changed the recruiting game. Hyper-connectivity means that both employers and job seekers can gain information on each other quickly. Highly talented individuals find themselves being wooed by a number of attractive employment suitors, and there is no time to try to figure out what they want and adjust — to win that choice candidate, you need to make a strong impression from the start.
But how do you know if you have what it takes?
A lot of research has been published in the last two years about the Millennial consumer. These marketing principles apply not only to selling products, but also to selling yourself as an employer. For example, one survey found:
“Millennials (58%) expect brands to publish content online before they make a purchase and rank authenticity (43%) as more important than the content itself (32%) when consuming news. Millennials don’t trust traditional media and advertising and are looking for the opinions from their friends (37%), parents (36%) and online experts (17%) before making a purchase.”
In a nutshell: online authenticity backed by personal endorsement.
This aligns with the latest Gallup State of the American Workplace report, which showed the top three resources employees used in job searches were company websites (77%), referrals from current employees (71%), and suggestions from family members and friends (68%).
Combine this with what we know Millennials are looking for at work, and three fundamental components emerge for a winning Millennial recruitment strategy .
1. You need to have a strong employee engagement program. Simple recognition programs and employee satisfaction surveys are not enough. You need to have a program that contains all the basic elements that drive real engagement. (Not sure what you have? Start by asking these questions.)
2. Your environments (virtual and physical) must reflect engagement with authenticity. You will make your first impression online. Does your website feature your actual workplace? Does it demonstrate opportunities, recognition, and purpose? And when they come in for an interview, will your physical space agree with that first impression?
3. Cultivate brand ambassadors. How many of your current employees recognize and can describe the components of your engagement program? If you’re not sure, try pulling a few aside and asking them some of the engagement questions. Find ways to remind current employees about what they have, and it will both boost their level of engagement and enable them to speak on the company’s behalf.
Millennials are the future of the workforce, and attracting the best candidates means meeting them with the engagement and authenticity they are looking for; and investing in a strong engagement program will not only win you the best new candidates, it will keep your strongest employees engaged with you for years to come.