Published: Jun 06, 2018

In my last blog, I discussed the different attributes millennials are looking for in a company that enhance our employee experience and make us want to stay with our employer. While attracting and retaining millennials has a lot to do with understanding their motivations and designing experiences that support their drivers, it’s also important to remember that attracting millennials is not simply what you have to offer, but how you design a candidate experience that engages them from the start.

recruiting millennials

Speaking Millennial:

My generation is defined by our fast pace, our hunger for immediacy and instant gratification, and our ability to multitask. If it’s not available via smartphone, enabling us to connect with each other, and simplifying our lives—we don’t have time for it. As an employer trying to attract members of this generation, how does this impact your recruiting teams? Your tools? Your processes? Here’s a little insight from yours truly about recruiting a millennial.

Keep it short, keep it simple.

Millennials are often called “job-hoppers” because of how quickly they’ll jump to “the next best thing.” Admitting to applying to hundreds of jobs during the course of a job search, this generation is looking for a quick, concise applicant experience. Studies found that companies with many screening questions are losing majority of applicants before completion. Streamlining the applicant experience by removing those endless drop-down menus and instead using automation options, such as auto-populating key data into the application from sources like LinkedIn accounts, may be the deciding factor between your company and a competitor. Streamlining the process of qualifying applicants with prescreening or knockout questions eliminates unqualified applicants from consideration for an open job.

Truly make it mobile.

Considered to be my generation’s best friend, technology is a great way to communicate with millennials. In addition to speed, millennials are also looking for convenience in their job-seeking process. Since we are always on our mobile devices, creating a mobile-friendly application process makes applying for your company simple. Millennials love flexibility: whether it means when we work or where we work, we value a process or environment that accommodates our routine. Being able to apply for a job while getting a haircut may not seem like a significant consideration, but for us millennials, it actually is because what you’re conveying to us is “we care about your experience by offering this freedom.”

Word-of-mouth is king.

We live in a generation where a Yelp review from a stranger could be the deciding factor in whether or not you buy a product. Everything is discussed, blogged, criticized, recommended, or rated on a 5-star scale so we can avoid more time-consuming learning methods like trial and error. Word of mouth is one of our most relied-upon sources, meaning that a candidate’s perception of you could be formed before they even considering working for you. Being on social media is the first step in attracting millennials. However, with the expectation that your recruiting process will be shared, reviewed, and discussed, delivering a positive candidate experience becomes even more important to attracting millennial talent. In my opinion, millennials make marketing and advertising easier these days because of our incessant tendency to communicate, report, review, and update all over social media. However, it can also be your downfall if you’ve delivered a poor candidate experience or are not proactive about the impression of your brand name.

Communicate the good and the not so great.

Open communication with your millennial candidates is critical and it doesn’t take much. Something as simple as confirming their application was received automatically puts you on their radar. This process doesn’t have to mean extra stress for you. Automated notifications or even email templates are quick and easy options for an employer, yet are still a form of communication that is appreciated by applicants. Talk openly about both good and not so great news — I even appreciated receiving rejection letters because it allowed me to stay organized, keep track of my options, and look for new prospects. It also made a positive impression on me regarding the companies that took the time to send them. Although I wasn’t a fit for the job, they still let me know they valued my interest. An email response, significant or not, simply made them different than the others. We are a communicative, collaborative generation, and by accounting for these trends in your recruiting process you instantly appear as a better fit for millennials than other companies.

Don’t stop once you’ve got us.

You’ve drawn us in with a simplified recruiting process, so what can we expect next? We were blessed with the luxury of an auto-populated application, transparent and timely communication, and flexibility to apply on the go. But then we’re met with a pile of paperwork to fill out on day one? Please, no. To prevent your millennial team members from “job-hopping,” you should think about how you’re bridging your candidate experience with your onboarding experience so it’s smooth, seamless and focused on setting the new hire up for success.

If you're curious about where your onboarding approach ranks, try this quiz!