As of 2017, millennials (people 22 to 37) have established themselves as the most prominent generation in the US labor force, comprising a full 35% of participants. This shift away from Gen Xers and baby boomers representing the bulk of the nation’s working adults requires companies to reevaluate the way they choose to recruit employees, as younger applicants have different expectations and different job-seeking habits than their older counterparts.
A recent survey sought responses from millennial workers at 107 companies, asking them how they search for employment, how professional recruiters could be helpful to them, and what they’d like recruiters to avoid. We read the survey results and discovered the following 4 tactics that companies can use to attract more interest (and, subsequently, more applications) from millennial candidates.
1. Don’t underestimate the value of social media.
According to the survey, 28.04% of the millennial subjects listed social media as a key place they seek out new job opportunities. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t the top spots for candidates to look for new jobs (that distinction goes to job-focused boards like Indeed and Monster), plenty of millennials have used (or would consider using) social media to follow up on job leads. LinkedIn provides an ready platform for companies to post job listings, but Tweeting a job opening or putting up a Facebook status post about the available position can expand your reach and attract a broader spectrum of millennial applicants.
2. Use recruiters who invest in their online presence and who have a strong reputation for treating candidates with respect.
When asked about their top recruiter-related complaints, 62.62% of surveyed millennials cited messy and ineffective websites. This generation (and their Gen Z successors, who are quickly growing into adulthood) lives a digital life, and any company or recruiter wishing to connect with a younger workforce must put time, energy and money into building their online presence. Review your recruitment website with a critical eye, and make sure that it’s fully functional and easy to navigate.
However, a strong website doesn’t mean much if the recruiters behind it fail to treat candidates with respect. 44.86% of survey participants complained of recruiters “seeing me as a commission, not as a person”, and 42.99% disliked the tendency of recruiters to be “tough to get ahold of/not offering enough support”. While hand-holding certainly isn’t necessary or expected, millennial candidates value recruiters who regularly respond to emails and phone calls, and who keep them in the loop on hiring decisions and interview requests.
3. Conduct pre-screening interviews over the phone or via Skype.
The survey indicated that 36.45% of millennials prefer to conduct preliminary or pre-screening interviews via phone or Skype rather than in-person. From an employer perspective, this also makes sense; in-person interviews require a far larger investment in time and staffing, while valuable information that can easily rule a candidate out can be gleaned via a quick 10-15 minute phone conversation. While full-scale job interviews should still be conducted in-person whenever possible, preliminary screenings can and should happen in a more convenient, less time-consuming manner, and millennial applicants will appreciate this effort to expedite the process.
4. Post a salary range in your job listing.
It’s common practice for companies to withhold specific salary information until the job-offer stage. However, providing a basic range of expected pay gives applicants useful information, and can prevent candidates seeking a far-higher salary from wasting their (and your) time. It’s a belief shared by 59.81% of surveyed millennials, who cited salary transparency as the most important way to improve the interview process.