As you know by now, I’m a millennial. My not-so-unique perspective has helped me to realize that my peers and I are straying further and further away from phone calls. The conundrum for me is that making and taking phone calls is a central part of my job as a recruiter. How will this shift in behavior impact the future of recruiting as my superiors have known it?
We millennials prefer quick and efficient methods of just about everything. We’d rather watch a quick one-minute video than read a full page of text. Some members of the preceding generations may view that as lazy, but I’d say we just don’t want to waste our time.
Millennials Are Completely Changing the Way We Recruit
Get ready to add to your recruiting “touchpoint” checklist. It’s no secret that millennials have a totally different way of connecting with one another than the generations before them had. Technology has evolved, and most people now rely on the Internet — including social networks — to find friends, jobs, and pretty much everything else.
So, what does this mean for the world of recruiting? There’s a plethora of new channels through which to find that next job (if you’re a candidate) and that next candidate (if you’re a recruiter).
And Now, for the Phrase You’ve All Been Dreading: ‘Social Media Is King’
Research from Staff.com shows that 14.4 million people in the U.S. have used social media to search for a job and 29 percent of job seekers use it as their primary tool for job searching.
Jobvite’s “2014 Social Recruiting Survey” points out that more than 93 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media to support their recruiting efforts. Social networks are no doubt great tools for connecting with other professionals and prospective candidates. In fact, 73 percent of recruiters have hired candidates through social media. (That’s also how I got my first job as a recruiter!)
Millennials have grown up using social networks and technology. Savvy recruiters who understand how to connect with this age group in the places where they’re already hanging out will definitely have the advantage.
How to deal With Recruiting Millennials: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself
It’s true what they say about ‘different strokes for different folks.’ I’ve learned that your strategy needs to be different for each age group and type of candidate. If you’re looking for developers, then LinkedIn is not exactly their playground. You must learn where each type of candidate spends their free time online, and there is where you should attempt to make contact.
Sure, you’ll still find the more seasoned candidates on job boards, but for your entry-level candidates (a.k.a., millennials), you’re going to have to get creative. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Have I found this candidate’s personal social media profile, website, and/or blog?
- Did I look to see if the candidate has participated in or contributed to industry-related platforms like GitHub?
- Am I connecting with the candidate through social networks and private groups aimed specifically at people with the skill sets I need?
Now, If Only You Could Get a Response …
Millennial candidates may snub your emails and ignore your calls, but as soon as you text them, they magically reply. It’s just the most convenient way for them to communicate. If you aren’t totally comfortable texting, then start with the traditional means (email, etc.) and invite them to text you in response.
Make sure your job descriptions are appealing to millennials, too. Keep them short and simple. No one is going to read your two-page job description about the qualities they absolutely have to possess. Sell millennials on the opportunity by telling them why the position is awesome! As a millennial, I know I ignore long, boring descriptions — so why would any of my candidates read them?
Keep these three pro tips in mind when communicating with millennials:
- Keep communication short and simple; send a quick video to get their attention if you can. You’re establishing a connection first, remember? Don’t ever copy your long job description into the body of an email!
- Text your millennial candidates, along with your calls and emails. They’ll most likely respond to you very quickly via text.
- Keep your job descriptions short and interesting. Prioritize the aspects that will make millennials want to join the team.
And there you have it! Millennials are changing the rules of the recruiting game, but if you know how to meet them on their terms, you’ll have no trouble recruiting this talented generation.