[IMGCAP(1)] Sometimes society and the media are quick to stereotype people - most recently with the Millennial generation as the "entitlement generation." I disagree with that. Finding top talent can be tough, but when you get good ones, they prove how powerful this generation can be.
What companies struggle with is their approach to this generation. These are a few ways to attract the best Millennial talent:
1. Highlight career growth: Millennials don't want to sit on the sidelines and be a cog in the machine. They want opportunity and they want to be challenged. They want to progress and grow in their field. They want fulfillment from their roles. They want to be recognized for their work.
Talk to Millennials about the number of promotions your company has had and the percentage of managers that were promoted from within. Set expectations early on; talk to Millennials about how success is measured at your company and what it takes to grow. Career growth along with compensation are the two of the biggest factors Millennials look for when they interview.
2. Focus on company culture: Create a dynamic environment. Make the office a place Millennials will actually want to come to every day. That doesn’t mean it’s time to move in ping pong tables and kegerators (although those can always help). Offer exposure to senior leaders. Have an open-door policy. Be willing to train and invest in employees.
Millennials typically like collaborative environments. They want their ideas to matter and be heard. They want good relationships with their coworkers. At the end of the day, Millennials don't want to punch in and punch out. They want to feel happy, challenged and enjoy the time they spend at work.
3. Talk about the company's future plans: Discuss company-wide initiatives. Share what the company's vision is for the next 5...10...20 years. Millennials want to see their potential employer has plans for the future.
Discuss your company’s growth year over year. I always tell candidates, if we grow…you grow. One doesn’t happen without the other. That way, expectations are set and candidates know hard work is expected and exceptional work is rewarded.
4. Have an online presence: Millennials want to interact with companies where they interact...online. Millennials look at Glassdoor. They look at Yelp. Although these sites may not paint the full picture, they’re what this generation is looking at.
Millennials get a feel for companies by the content they publish and by what other people are saying about them. If comments are negative, have a voice in the conversation. Show you’re actively working to make every person’s experience the best it can be.
Social media helps gauge culture. It gives everyone outside of the company an idea of what working there is really like. With the job market improving, companies have to work that much harder to attract and retain talent. A strong online presence can really help attract strong candidates.
5. Make it meaningful: Millennials look for companies' mission statements when they're choosing where to work. They want their career to be about more than just a paycheck. That doesn’t mean all companies have to be like Tom’s and Warby Parker and be tied to a servics, but offer opportunities to give back.
Whether it's paid time off to volunteer, a philanthropy committee or donating to organizations employees are passionate about…find ways to get involved in the community. This can also be a great way for your employees to bond and work together outside of the office. It helps strengthen the culture.
6. Follow up: Follow up with candidates, regardless of whether or not they were the right fit. Millennials love to share and spread experiences. With social media, those experiences can spread like wildfire. Make sure the experiences that spread are good ones.
Millennials like feedback, good or bad. If a candidate doesn't have the right skills or enough experience...tell them that. If their outfit wasn’t appropriate for an interview or they didn’t seem prepared…talk about ways to fix that. Don't just ignore them. When Millennials never hear back from a company, they’re left with a bad taste in their mouth.
Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago that specializes in Accounting and Finance. Gimbel is an expert on hiring and retention strategies, company culture, and organizational development.