Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

Unique Ways Companies are Approaching Millennials in the Recruitment Process

With the increase of employees belonging to the millennial generation, it has become imperative to reach this market in unique and creative ways. Intimately knowing their characteristics, sets the platform for ‘marketing’ of vacancies – and this, in itself, proves to be a challenge to even the largest corporations.

But certainly not an impossible task. Talent recruiters struggle to reach the most sought after candidates due to these individuals not necessarily seeking employment, particularly in a structured company.

Large companies are realising the need for millennials in their ‘system’ since current statistics show that 31% of all employees will qualify for retirement in 2017 (case study in 2014 by US Government Accountability Office) and therefore hiring millennials will be “refilling the pipeline with top talent,” says Dan Black, the Americas Recruiting Leader for EY (formerly Ernst & Young and first started with the company over 22 years ago).

Raised on technology, this generation does not accept many legacy concepts of recruiting and work. To be effective, recruiters are going to need to engage Gen Y candidates in new ways. – Marley Dominguez, CEO of Haystack Job Search

New ways imply creative and ‘out of the box’ tactics that are sure to ‘lure’ prospective employees – not only to apply for the vacancies, but to maximise their experience throughout the application process, right through to their employment and furthermore, retaining these talented individuals.

How to deal with millennials for recruitment and employment

  • Multi-task: Keep them busy enough to prevent distractions.
  • Be tech savvy: Stay updated with your technology and social media platforms.
  • Instant gratification: Praise and public recognition will motivate them.
  • Flexible work hours: They need to be aware of your company’s’ work-life balance policies and how their time in the office will fulfill your daily needs.
  • Offer purpose and meaning: Show that your organisation cares for important causes, donates money and supports charities.
  • Team players: Allow many opportunities for group projects, engagement and collaboration
  • Authenticity: Be honest about negatives regarding the vacancy and once hired, satisfy their need for instant gratification as mentioned previously.
  • Offer growth opportunities: Be sure to have a game plan to show how they could move up the ‘pecking order’, also, where they could move to within the company to find a more fulfilling role.

Companies that successfully recruited and hired millennials

  1. Yandex (Russian IT company): A developer found a helpful link to a Russian search engine via an error console (Java Script)
  2. FLICKR (owned by Yahoo!): Added links to open positions in the code page.
  3. VOLKSWAGEN (German Automobile Mogul): Stuck advertisements seeking mechanical talent underneath cars requiring repairs and sent them in for servicing.
  4. GOOGLE: As an older method, used an enormous billboard presenting a maths puzzle. On   finding that solution (the address of the website where yet another task waited) and finding the final answer, the individual was invited to join the Google team. A more recent approach saw Google stepping up to the proverbial ‘high tech’ plate. Read more about it here.
  5. EY (formerly Ernst & Young): Launched an entire website devoted to prospective employees in order for them to see and hear about the company before applying – this site has a section devoted entirely to “Picture Yourself” in this role.
  6. Twitter, another mighty corporation and novel recruitment campaign is ongoing and is called, “Join the Flock”. A very clever and ‘out of the box’ concept using the little blue bird icon to ‘Tweet’ regarding upcoming vacancies. And so the list continues.
  7. Ogilvy & Mather: This agency had such an unique recruitment approach. They launched a competition in ‘search for the world’s greatest salesman’. With their dedicated YouTube channel and further social media efforts. The top candidates were asked to pitch at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and the winner received a 3-month paid fellowship with Ogilvy & Mather.
  8.  Red 5 Studios had to showcase themselves in order to compete with other software companies. They impressed prospective employees by sending them personalized iPods with a personal message from their CEO discussing their work and inviting them to apply.

Talent acquisition has become a seller’s market. For employers, it’s all about maximizing the candidate experience through the job application process. – Laura Kerekes, chief knowledge officer of ThinkHR.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.