There has been much talk about the personality traits and capabilities of millennial workers over the past few years, mostly because these individuals are entering the workforce in droves. The U.S. Council of Economic Advisers defined millennials, also known as Generation Y, as the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s. The government agency also noted that this generation made up more than 30 percent of the population in 2013.
As more millennials graduate from college and begin searching for jobs, it is essential that employers understand how to successfully recruit and manage these new workers. However, new research has suggested that the generation may not be as homogenous as once thought and that a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding these workers will likely fall flat.
Millennial attitudes vary greatly
Consulting firm Universum Global and the Emerging Markets Institute of INSEAD recently conducted a study of more than 16,000 millennials around the world about their attitudes when it comes to work and career goals. The results showed that there are serious disparities between various regions and countries, especially when it came to professional priorities, work-life balance and preferred environments.
Another survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that millennials in the U.S. have a similarly diverse range of expectations from their employers. When asked what characteristics make a career attractive, 57 percent of respondents said competitive wages, but 70 percent noted they seek employers who share the same moral values. These diverse requirements by millennials can be confusing for hiring managers, as they may not know which values to emphasis when recruiting.
“Some people are overwhelmed by the differences among millennials and tend to oversimplify because it’s easier,” Jennifer Newbill, senior manager of global talent at Dell, explained to BBC News. “But it’s smart recruiting to allow for fine tuning your message.”
“To make better hires, employers need to find out what motivates qualified local candidates.”
Better recruiting strategies
So how are employers supposed to fine-tune their communications with millennial job seekers? It may very well come down to finding out what motivates qualified local candidates and leveraging that information. Hiring managers should be sure to emphasize both monetary offerings and more meaningful aspects of the company when recruiting. Generic job listings will likely bore millennials, so human resource departments should be sure to inject a sense of company culture and values into posts. It may be beneficial to include information on corporate social responsibility, advancement opportunities and training programs, as PwC found that these were all important to young job seekers.
Hiring managers should also consider the benefits of social recruiting, which has proven beneficial for large and small companies alike. A 2013 study from Jobvite showed that 49 percent of businesses experienced improved candidate quality when they leveraged social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook for recruiting purposes. Promoting job openings through social platforms allows HR to tap into the networks of current employees and to encourage referrals of qualified candidates.
Many companies may also benefit from investing in top-notch recruitment technology. Automated hiring platforms can relieve HR professionals of the stress of sifting through large quantities of applications and identifying the most qualified candidates. With the right hiring tools, employers can bring on the best millennials for the job, improve employee retention and hopefully experience revenue growth.
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