As millennials enter the workplace in record numbers, it’s becoming clear that their attitudes toward work and careers differ from previous generations. The idealistic, digitally-enabled and social nature of millennials ideally positions them to positive impact organisations. To successfully attract and recruit millennials, it’s firstly important to understand what makes them tick and what drives them.

As a result of the higher levels of access to technology, communications, and publishing compared to previous generations, millennials career and lifestyle aspirations are typically very different to that of older generations. Recent research suggests that millennials place “meaningful work” and “social media freedom” over a large salary. In the same way that your approach when marketing to different audiences needs to be targeted appropriately, so too does your talent attraction strategy when trying to recruit multiple generations.

How should you go about refining your recruitment strategy to be more millennial (or generation Z)-friendly?

Engage via Social media

Following historic debates surrounding the ethical use of social media when recruiting, it’s now commonly being used as a USP and differentiator for employer brands. The key to successful talent attraction through social media is to use real people to engage with talent, rather than a corporate identity, as it helps create a far more personal connection – an approach millennials respond well to. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn give them an opportunity to easily get to know your company, its products and services. It also offers a way for them to engage and network with your company and existing employees within in it.

What’s in it for them?

The days when employers held all the cards have rapidly deteriorated and are being replaced with a far more candidate-centric market. For companies to compete effectively in this environment, they must sell the business and clearly communicate to potential employees why they should join, the career progression that is available and how their skills and input will make an impact on the company. Not only does this communication need to be clear, concise and in their language, it also needs to be delivered quickly. Raised in an age of digital communication, millennials expect rapid responses from employers, regardless of whether their job application was successful. If they don’t receive this communication they’re far more likely to spread the word about the ‘bad’ service they received.

Building and maintaining relationships

It’s particularly important that you maintain good relationships with millennial recruits as they’ll be the first to tell their friends and family about their experience. By making the candidate experience a positive one, you create brand advocates and turn recruits into recruiters.

Relationship building with millennials is a process that can start before they even enter the job market. By involving your business in universities and other education providers you are able to identify talented students before the competition does, while raising your brand awareness.

Employer brand

The culture of a company is a vital consideration for millennials looking for their ideal employer. Whatever your company brand or culture is you must be honest and genuine about the employer brand that you present to them, rather than pretend it to be something it isn’t. If the employer doesn’t live up to those presented brand values, millennials are likely to move on very quickly.  

A number of businesses use innovative ways to promote their employer brand to appeal to younger generations, such as inviting potential employees to spend time in the environment they’d be working in to give them a flavour of what to expect. Another way to attract the right kind of attention to your employer brand is to record video clips showcasing ‘a day in the life’ of the roles you are recruiting for. Video is a great way to show millennials that you’re a modern, creative company, while providing candidates an insight into the business and what it’s like to work there. Twitter has taken a humorous approach to their recruitment video, resulting in the award of ‘The Best/Worstcer Recruitment Video’ of the year and huge viral success, as well as an increase in job applicants. 

Enjoyable working environment

A good work-life balance is top of the agenda for most millennials so a job that offers flexibility makes far more sense to them. To cater to this demand, flexible working such as working from home, flexible working hours and job sharing opportunities, is becoming more common.

The attitudes of most employees is affected by the environment around them – none more so than millennials. By creating a positive and engaging working environment for them, they are more likely to want to work for you, they will feel more motivated in their role and they will feel more loyal to the business.