Hiring millennials takes finesse, a re-imagined benefits package, and a work environment where they feel welcomed and valuable to the success of the company. Taking these three elements into account for your inbound recruiting efforts will help your team stand out above other firms who are also vying to attract top talent.
1. Flexible Work Environment
Provide a flexible work environment. This generation (and those to follow) doesn’t look to separate work and personal life, but rather they want a cohesive balance of the two. Offering a place where people can work full time while raising a family is a huge benefit because it alleviates a lot of stress when there are dentist appointments, picking up kids from school, ballet recitals, soccer games and all kinds of family time.
A flexible work environment means many things. Your company can offer a four-day work week with four, 10-hour days as opposed to the standard eight hours per day and five days per week, or telecommuting opportunities wherein employees can work at home during a portion of the work week. Connected technology and cloud-based computing make telecommuting an attractive choice for more and more companies because it saves on overhead. Meanwhile, telecommuters save money on gas when they don’t have to drive to the office. Some companies offer unlimited vacations, extended parental leave and even leave to take care of your pets.
To help build an employer brand that celebrates flexibility, leverage inbound recruiting tactics like posting content about how employees live their dreams both personally and professionally. Show how Stacy in sales works 40 hours per week, watches her daughter’s school performance and picks up her son from high school soccer practice. Meanwhile, she takes a paid vacation during the summer while forging plenty of memories with her happy family. Hiring millennials means fulfilling personal goals and professional goals simultaneously.
2. Skills Gap and Professional Development
Students are becoming more and more aware of the fact that a degree does not automatically guarantee employment upon graduation. Companies that invest in on-the-job training programs for recent college grads tend to resonate more with millennials as this shows empathy towards their shift into life after graduation. Be proud of the fact that your team offers training periods during the onboarding experience. Customer service reps may go through eight weeks of training as a probationary period before becoming full-fledged employees with a complete benefits package. Paid training should nurture new hires so they feel comfortable enough to ease into their new positions on day one of their actual employment.
Mentorships create a more personable, one-on-one experience for incoming hires. Mentors can show people what they learned in the early stages of their careers. Mentors can inspire people to become leaders in their fields, put college grads in touch with people in their network and help incoming employees reach their full potential.
Be sure to include some messaging about your professional development programs within your inbound recruiting strategy. Perhaps post a portion (not all) of what a typical day of training looks like. Post a simple quiz or two that shows what the company expects new hires to know. In terms of mentoring, post blogs or videos relating how a company executive mentors a new hire. The executive can write the blog, or even record some informal mentoring sessions. Remember, mentoring isn’t necessarily a formal process whereas onboarding and training typically would be. Millennials look for training and mentoring opportunities because they want to soar beyond the confines of their entry-level position.
3. Trails to Advancement
From day one, hiring managers should discuss promotions, advancements, and raises. No one wants to join a firm that lacks opportunities to make more money, get a fancier job title or see a path to advancing their careers. Some companies may fear that if they foster advancement opportunities when hiring millennials, the younger workers may not stay for very long and use their career development to find jobs at other employers. However, when you specifically outline what people need to do in terms of advancement and then follow through with that promise, millennials develop a sense of loyalty. If your company has the same benefits package, perks, and compensation as another firm, your people stay loyal and stay with you.
Letting millennials know about advancement is easy when it comes to inbound recruiting. Have Jim in accounting write a blog about how he started as an entry-level clerk, took some classes, worked for a year and then earned a promotion to a manager. Six months later, Jim became a mid-level manager before overseeing a department of 30 after just five years. Another simple way to indicate paths for advancement is to show steps up the corporate ladder with a chart. A chart lists the position, a possible starting salary for the first year and then what happens after Year One, Year Five, Year 10 all the way up to Year 20.
Hiring millennials means catering to millennials. College grads and top talent may overlook your company because they simply don’t know what your firm does for them. Although potential hires probably ask about the things most important to them, it pays to have a few simple additions to your inbound recruiting strategy. The more you cater to younger workers and college grads, the better position you put your firm in when drawing top talent to your organization.