Millennials are a generation that have been fascinating marketers for years. They behave differently than Generation X and Baby Boomers, but why are marketers interested so in Millennials? Answer: Now they have buying power! How do they have buying power? They are entering the workforce (and some have already been in the workplace for years), so marketers are definitely onto something by paying attention to them.
Generation Y (aka Millennials) were born between 1977 and 2000, and they tend to be more pushy and demanding than their parents, which is why YOU may need to update your hiring process to appeal to them.
Know What Information to Ask for
During the hiring process, we may think we need all of the information up front. The truth is, we probably don’t need most of that information. If we are being honest, most of it is the “nice to have” rather than the “need to have” stuff. To attract a Millennial audience, try to keep your application short and to the point. You don’t need to know every little thing about the applicant -- is his or her favorite color really relevant for an entry level financial analyst?
You also need to keep in mind that Millennials bring a new skillset to the workplace. So make sure your job postings and application process are not eliminating them upfront. Shama Hyder, of Forbes Magazine, noted she heard a story of a Millennial employee leaving a company because of the amount of paperwork it took to order a stapler! You don’t want to be that company.
Keep Applicants Informed
While keeping applicants up to date is an HR “Best Practice,” it has recently become more of a social norm. Hyder also stated, “No generation before has had as much access, technological power or the infrastructure to share their ideas as quickly as the Millennials. They are used to speed, multi-tasking, and working on their own schedule.” Since Millennials are the stereotypical “always on their phones” cohort, try communicating with them in a way their “natural environment” (i.e. via text messages). Applicant tracking systems offer capabilities like text message alerts and email updates. Since Millennials are already glued to their phones, think of how in-the-loop they will be if your hiring system is texting and emailing them automatic updates! That will go a long way with younger applicants. Additionally, the art of pen and paper calendars has recently gone by the wayside. A fully loaded ATS, like Hyrell, will have calendar integration capabilities, which allow applicants to easily schedule interviews with hiring managers and quickly copy the time and date to their own calendars.
For the most part, applicants will be more than interested in joining your team. However, there are a few things that may turn off certain candidates during the hiring process. You don’t want to lose a great applicant because you took too long to schedule an interview, or make a final offer. Even the most seasoned HR pro can have a tiny slip up here or there -- and Millennials love to share their opinions. In a world where they can tweet and post every little detail (down to what color socks they are wearing), it may be beneficial to incorporate some social aspects to the end of the hiring process. At the beginning of the recruiting pipeline, candidates will be enthusiastic about just being included in the hiring process. Those are the candidates that will be less likely to tell you what was done wrong. However, those sames candidates will be more than happy to vent about a horrible candidate experience on social media, if they feel slighted at the end of the process.
We are all human, and are certainly not perfect, but there are ways to ease the pain of rejection. Follow up with rejected applicants or applicants that turned you down with a survey. (You can easily create one with free options, like Survey Monkey). This way the hiring process is a little more open, where everyone can share their opinions. Your willingness to follow up with an applicant can go a long way. A candidate that is promising for another position might be more willing to come back if he or she feels genuinely valued (even in moments of rejection).
For more tips on hiring Millennials and other rockstars for your organization, check out our e-book: 5 Tips for Hiring Rock Star Employees.