The U.S. job market has been slow to recover from the Great Recession, leading many hiring managers to believe it’s a buyer’s market for talent — but the truth is more complicated. According to a recent study from research and advisory firm CEB, although many recent college graduates are struggling to find jobs, the most talented and promising new graduates are getting a disproportionate share of the job offers — and the average millennial job candidate gets 12.5% more job offers than job seekers from older generations.
This means that while the job market is tight, competition for the top millennial candidates is still high. Often, hiring managers are missing out on this sought-after demographic because of a generational disconnect with what younger employees want from employers.
The millennial generation is looking for different things in a workplace than previous generations, both in style and substance. Understanding the needs of top young talent starts with the hiring process.
Here are a few insights into hiring millennials:
Understand how millennials want to grow
Even if you’re hiring for entry-level jobs, today’s college graduates are more likely to care about their future growth potential. They want to learn about where they can go in the future within the company, or what kind of transferable skills they can learn on the job that would be helpful later in their career.
Work-life balance and job security matter less to millennials than to older generations, according to the CEB study quoted in Fortune. Millennials are very willing to work hard, make sacrifices for the company and deal with uncertainty, as long as they see potential rewards for themselves.
Be creative with job interviews
The traditional job interview is limited in its appeal to millennials. Instead of sitting in a conference room asking a list of prepared questions, look to build trust with job candidates by having an informal meeting at a coffee shop, introducing them to some of the most interesting and innovative people at the company, or allowing job shadowing so they can learn more about how it feels to work at the company. Pique their interest and help them visualize a future at your business, and you’ll be more likely to hire them.
Get traditional referrals
Millennials are known for being avid consumers of social media, but according to the CEB study, only 29% of them believe the information about employers that they see on social media. Instead, millennials are more likely to trust the recommendations and opinions of family and friends. Traditional recruitment referral programs still have a lot of value for hiring today’s top talent.
Hiring top millennial talent doesn’t have to be time-consuming — but it does require some creativity and a willingness to adapt for a new generation of workers.
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