What does it take to attract young talent?

November 30, 2016 16:10
Millennials typically prefer to work for companies that recognize them as unique individuals rather than replaceable pawns. Photo: theselfemployed.com

We've all heard the news – millennials are taking over the workplace. Articles are published daily on how they tick; workplaces are shape-shifting into collaborative communities (armed with well-stocked pantries and sleeping pods) in a bid to outdo each other. Clearly, companies are pulling all the stops to gain this seemingly fickle demographics' stamp of approval.

However, as a group slated to represent nearly 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030, HR practitioners still find millennials a tough nut to crack – particularly when it comes to recruitment strategies catered specifically for them. According to global professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley, businesses in Hong Kong still have a long way to go when it comes to retaining the next generation of professionals. Which brings to mind the million dollar question: what does it take for millennials to say 'yes' to the job?

Emphasize on corporate culture

The rapid shift in power from employer to candidate has created an urgent need for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors from as early as the recruitment process. Gone are the days where the promise of financial stability guarantees a sure-fire way to attract employees. For millennials, the one defining factor that would draw attention is the emphasis on corporate culture. In particular, a corporate culture that advocates freedom of speech, social consciousness and purposeful growth.

Millennials, characterized as progressive, collaborative and achievement-oriented individuals, are looking for more than a pay check from their jobs. They are looking for companies to recognize them as unique individuals rather than replaceable pawns.

More often than not, a company's corporate culture reflects volumes about the employer brand. Should the company portray a rigid and overly dogmatic culture, it is most likely that potential hires would have a poor perception of the employer as well.

Thankfully, more companies are placing emphasis on promoting corporate culture. In fact, according to HireRight's 2016 APAC Employment Screening Benchmark report, 41 percent of companies in the region have been investing more resources in ensuring that corporate culture is prioritized.

Be social

What really sets millennials apart from other generations is their affinity with technology. As digital natives, they have grown and flourished through using the ubiquitous mobile and the Internet. Needless to say, the digital platform would be where companies will be able to catch these millennials in their natural element. Thus, to recruit millennials, it is important to have a strong presence on social media platforms.

However, it is not enough to simply be present on these platforms. Millennials favor companies that are able to conduct a meaningful dialogue with them, build relationships, and offer a hiring and employee experience that focuses not only on their capabilities. It is important to also focus at their personal needs and aspirations, of which builds career growth.

Everything seamless and automated

For years now, topics on millennials having a shorter attention span have been perpetuating forums and the media sphere. Even advertisers and marketers are scratching their heads, wondering how they could fit information into bite-sized bits that are quick to absorb and digest.

Similarly, speed and efficiency are key factors to consider in the recruitment experience. Imagine having to fill in an 8-page long physical job application form, print double copies of all your educational transcripts, and wait 3-7 working days for your job application to be processed. Not only do long recruitment processes cause much inconvenience for the candidate (and the HR department, for that matter), it might even cause drop-outs midway due to the long process. Why make the process needlessly lengthy and painful for everyone?

To effectively capture their attention, it is essential that everything has to be fluid and seamless – this could include having one integrated platform that is easily accessible for both candidates and employers. By making the most out of technology during the hiring process (and the background screening process thereafter), overall cost of recruitment can be optimized while offering a better candidate experience. When the recruitment process can easily be shortened into a 5-minute long, intuitive process, you know that you have achieved the ultimate HR hack for attracting the target demographic.

Ultimately, millennials are not the unfathomable and unreasonable candidates that they are made up to be. All it takes is being able to bridge the gap between millennial employees and your organization by focusing on corporate culture, being social and speeding up the recruitment process. With this, you might be well on your way to getting the resounding 'yes' from potential millennial candidates on your next recruitment run!

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Managing Director, HireRight Asia Pacific