Millennials are no longer the individuals people once feared taking over those coveted leadership roles. We are those leaders, or at least the next in line. We are educated, adaptive, and diverse, making us the most equipped leaders as the baby boomers retire from, and Generation Z’s enter, the workforce.
So, now more than ever, managing the ever-changing challenges of attracting and attaining millennial talent in such a competitive labor market is crucial. It’s a buyer’s market and long gone are the days of playing hard to get. Also, gone are the days of out-biding your competitors with higher salaries because dollar signs aren’t the only contributor to landing top talent. Indeed’s SVP of Marketing Paul D’Arcy even says, “Eighty percent of people say they would turn down a big salary if it meant working with people or in an environment they didn’t like” (Maurer, 2017, para 6). So, while having cold brew and kombucha on tap is awesome, let’s be honest, it really comes down to delivering the candidate with white-glove treatment through transparency and communication, candidate engagement, and a sense of purpose towards a strong mission and vision.
Implement these three strategies and you’ll be on your way to attracting and attaining top new talent and potentially the future leaders of your organization:
1. Offer Transparency
It should come as no surprise the constantly connected millennial generation values transparency and communication. As communication becomes increasingly important, so do the avenues in which we engage new talent as many prefer emails, phone calls, and even texts (it’s okay, you can cringe, but it’s true).
Overall, the idea is the same – keep the lines of communication open. Give the candidate a clear point of contact and explain, in detail, what can be expected during the interview process. The more information we have, the more we can prepare and feel empowered going into the interviews. So, certainly let us know: (a) whom we will interview with, (b) what the interview structure looks like, (c) how long the entire process takes, and (d) when to expect a final decision (Maurer, 2017).
While we’re on the subject of transparency, let’s remember a realistic job preview (RJP) is also incredibly important. We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly before it’s too late and you should too as RJPs are associated with lower levels of turnover and increased job satisfaction (Buckley, Fedor, Veres, Weise, & Carraher, 1998).
2. Create a Connection
Okay, we’ve now hooked millennials and the challenge to keeping them engaged throughout the interview process. You know you want them and you’ve raved to everyone about what an excellent addition they will make to the team… did you happen to tell the candidate? This critical step can be the difference between your potential rock star finishing the interview process or dropping off the face of the planet (at least as far as you know). It’s important you develop a personal connection with the candidate and compliment their skill set. Tell them you want them on your team and how they will make an impact. Be mindful and please implement these best practices with kindness. Much like the level of transparency given, kindness is a great indicator for what is to come.
3. Be the Obvious Choice
At this point, a lot of time and energy have been invested into finding a candidate you feel strongly about. They were able to sell you on why they are the best person for the job and you’ve agreed on that matter. Now, let’s make sure you sell them on why you’re the best employer for them because it would be a shame to lose them now!
Something to note, many candidates come into the final stages of the interview process with other employers knocking on their door, often receiving more than one offer. So how do you make sure your organization is the obvious choice for them? Sell it like you mean it. Some effective ways to sell your organization include giving candidates a tour, introducing them to leaders and their future teammates, and highlighting the paths for internal mobility (McSweeney, 2016). Additionally, millennials want to know your organization promotes collaboration with peers and visibility among leadership. Drive home what makes your organization unique and how you see them contributing to your strong mission and vision (Sackett, 2017).
Offering transparency, creating a connection, and being the obvious choice should be top of mind when engaging a candidate for the first time and as they make their way through your interview process. Remember, when weighing their decision to accept an offer, millennials are looking for an organization that delivered white-glove treatment and left them with the warm and fuzzy feelings. While many members of your organization may be involved throughout the interview process, the responsibility lies with the recruiting staff and hiring managers to really highlight these points and gain buy-in. So, challenge them to implement these three key strategies into their best practices and you’ll find attaining top talent should come easier.
Buckley, M. R., Fedor, D. B., Veres, J. G., Weise, D. S., & Carraher, S. M. (1998). Investigating newcomer expectations and job-related outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 452-461.
Maurer, R. (2017). How to build a candidate experience that connects. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/ hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/how-tobuild- candidate-experience-connects.aspx
McSweeney, M. (2016). How to: create an excellent candidate experience. Retrieved from https://www.socialtalent.com/blog/ recruitment/how-to-create-an-excellentcandidate- experience
Sackett, T. (2017). Viewpoint: how to sell top talent on joining your small company. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/ resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talentacquisition/ pages/tim-sackett-sell-toptalent- small-company.aspx
Cassandra is a recruiting professional, self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, and, surprise, a millennial! With 10+ years experience within sales, leadership, and recruiting, she offers an interesting perspective into the world of millennials in the workforce. As a recruiter, you’ll find her buried in resumes and interview guides, helping candidates navigate their next career move. Outside of the 9 to 5, you’ll find her frequenting the dog park with her four-legged son or enjoying brunch with the girls.