Talent Acquisition

Talent Acquisition for Millennials

Finding candidates compatible with the company culture, job requirements, and business objectives are critical for long-term success. That’s why HR professionals must cultivate a seamless hiring process and understand where to find qualified job applicants.

Without talent acquisition (TA), that responsibility would be more challenging. TA practitioners have a well-rounded skill set and extensive experience necessary to comprehend the complexity of the workforce and recruitment.

They carry out the talent acquisition process: attracting, selecting, hiring, and onboarding the best candidates. TA also encompasses employee growth, retention, employer branding, and reinforcing the company culture.

These responsibilities require numerous strategies and practices to support the process. However, it isn’t enough to implement initiatives if TA professionals don’t tailor them to the target audience. 

Talent Acquisition & Generational Differences

Every detail makes a difference, including generational differences. For instance, if a company wants to hire employees for an entry-level position, they’ll likely seek younger candidates.

If they have no understanding of what makes that age group unique, Talent Acquisition strategies could fail. Because of that, TA practitioners must learn how to speak the language of their target audience to convey the right messages. 

Moreover, they should know their preferences, expectations, and challenges. That way, TA professionals can tailor their marketing campaigns, job ads, and visuals to issues that appeal to the profile of an ideal candidate. 

Otherwise, they could receive job applications that don’t match their requirements, slowing down the process and prolonging the time-to-hire. Yet, having various generations in the workforce makes this undertaking harder.

The safest way to reach the suitable age group without explicitly stating it in job ads is to understand the current moment and how it affects a particular generation. That way, TA professionals can get insights into what matters to their target audience and what they expect from employers. 

The Role of Talent Acquisition in Cultivating a Multigenerational Workforce

We live in an extraordinary period of history, with five sharply different generations in the workforce. The world of work consists of the Silent Generation (roughly 2 percent), Baby Boomers (25 percent), Generation X (33 percent), and Millennials and Generation Z (together represent 46 percent of full-time U.S. employees).

The oldest employees are in their 70s, while the youngest are still teenagers. That means that due to their life stages and primary concerns, each of these groups of workers appreciates different things and approaches. 

But despite not having similar expectations, values, and needs, they can achieve stellar results together. Every age group offers a specific skill set and interests that help build a more productive and innovative workplace. 

Thus, different circumstances and events shaped these generations, providing them with unique wisdom, insights, and viewpoints. For example, the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) faced numerous adversities in their lifetime, including the Great Depression, II World War, and the Korean War. 

This generation loves security, peace, and tradition. The Silents are also resilient and rarely show they need support

These characteristics affect what they appreciate in the workplace: conservative hierarchy, strong ethics, and loyalty. That’s a sharp contrast to what the two youngest generations want. 

Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Generation Z (born 1997-2012) seek recognition, efficient well-being programs, and better work-life balance. They grew up in a time of scandalous headlines, fake news, and polarizing viewpoints.

That made them skeptical and often cynical. But these age groups also experienced the 9/11, 2007-2008 Financial Meltdown, the rise of social media, and the pandemic. 

Because of that, they tend to be risk-averse and appreciate the job security and time for their personal lives. Millennials, in particular, struggle with burnout and mounting stress due to the hustle-culture and longer work hours in the past two years. 

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Generation X (born 1965-1980) also have their set of unique characteristics, with the former loving prestige and being ambitious, and the latter being self-sufficient. Thanks to that, these five generations can combine their skills and experiences and create well-rounded workplaces. 

TA professionals play a significant role in building a multigenerational workforce and creating an environment where multiple age groups collaborate efficiently. They must determine the platforms and places that different generations frequent and develop strategies that speak to them correctly.

That way, TA teams can establish a productive workplace where employees from different generations feed on each other’s unique experiences and skill sets.

Here are the principal benefits of a multigenerational workforce:

  • It drives innovation
  • It mitigates ageism
  • It promotes sharing of different abilities, perspectives, and practices
  • It helps develop a healthy talent pipeline
  • It provides mentoring opportunities
  • It boosts knowledge transfer
  • It improves diversity, inclusion, and equity

If you want to increase the representation of Millennial employees and make a multigenerational workforce, here’s everything you should know about this generation.

The Millennial Generation: What Makes Them Unique

Millennials have spent their coming of age years portrayed as an entitled, self-centered, and lazy generation. 

They are no longer the new kids on the block who like to disobey rules and spend a day at the beach during lockdowns. - Instead, this generation represents young professionals in their prime years, with substantial spending power

They’re the most highly-educated generational cohort, yet they’re the worst paid. Thus, Millennials are also overworkedburnout, and tired of the work-obsessed culture. 

Many of them grew up believing they could be anything due to growing up with ambitious and optimistic Baby Boomer parents. Yet, Millennials quickly learned that their college degrees and effort might not be enough to save them from an uncertain future. 

The older part of this cohort faced the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2008, while the younger ones now struggle to find jobs and purchase homes due to the pandemic. None of them had it easy, which might explain why they earned the unfortunate title of the unluckiest generation in U.S. history. 

On top of the gloomy external circumstances, Millennials still struggle with proving to the world their complexity goes beyond avocado toast memes and generational wars with their younger siblings, Generation Z. 

Instead, they’re feeling the most intense blow of the current rising prices due to their life stage. The youngest Millennial is 25, and the oldest is 42. 

That means that most of them now must make life-changing moves and decisions: buying their first houses, getting married, considering children, or completing higher education. Despite being thrilling, many of these events are taxing, especially if an individual isn’t financially stable.

It’s also much harder for Millennials to find a job than previous generations, and they struggle with student loan debts. It’s no wonder 45 percent are concerned money will prevent them from having the things they want in life.

Moreover, 46 percent of Millennials say finances control their lives. That could explain why they shifted from falling victims to the hustle culture to be among the founders of the antiwork movement

But it also shows that Millennials are eager to have job security, life stability, and a regular source of finances. However, they aren’t willing to stay in jobs with low employee engagement and will quit if employers fail to offer flexible schedules. 

Millennials care deeply about having time for themselves and their families. They won’t put their whole day in a job where they don’t feel appreciated or paid fairly. 

Hence, this generation wants employers to treat them with respect and offer work hours and arrangements that help them maintain a work-life balance. Yet, companies seem to be failing at this aspect because they’re the least engaged age group in the workforce.  

Besides being concerned with work hours, Millennials also care about social activism and prefer to work with organizations committed to promoting diversity, environmental protection, and progressive values. Because of that, they’re more likely to be loyal to an employer if their company has a high-trust culture

Although they care about salaries and work benefits, Millennials probably wouldn’t consider a job opening if an organization has contrasting qualities and objectives. For instance, 44 percent choose an employer according to their personal ethics. 

Another thing that could persuade Millennials into accepting a job offer is top-notch technology. These individuals are digital natives and spend a significant amount of time online. 

As a result, Millennials would be keener on working with a company if they used modern tech platforms, had a well-curated online presence, and kept up with the latest trends. They’ll also appreciate it if an employer leverages virtual tools to provide stellar learning & development programs.

Millennials want a well-rounded workplace experience that tackles multiple components. They expect employers to prioritize mental health and remove the stigma surrounding it.

Considering these needs and expectations, here’s what TA practitioners should avoid when targeting Millennial job seekers.

Things to Avoid When Attracting Millennial Talents

  • Profit-Oriented Approach – Millennials are a community-minded generation and won’t like it if an employer centers their marketing, culture, and job ads around profit and revenues. Avoid focusing on money and highlight the difference your company makes in society. But that isn’t to say you should keep the compensation a secret. These job seekers want to know the salary range and whether they could grow in a workplace.
  • Vague and Generic Job Descriptions – When you read your job descriptions, are you left with numerous questions? In that case, they require improvements because candidates shouldn’t be unsure about the job role, responsibilities, expectations, and employee benefits. However, Millennials also prefer unique and creative job ads that provide clear information and don’t bore them in the process. 
  • Lack of Modern Tech – Millennial job seekers won’t be amused if they’re hesitant to adopt new technology and keep up with trends. They could perceive it as a warning that a company is out-of-touch and would fail to provide the modern tools they need for work. Hence, if you still avoid top-notch HR technology and novel gadgets, it’s time to change that.
  • No Social Media Presence – Most Millennials have multiple social media handles and use them to connect with people, source information, and understand others better. A company without online platforms or up-to-date profiles might be a red flag for them.
  • Poor Branding – Millennials pay attention to details and would likely disapprove of poor web design, a generic approach, inconsistent branding, and being disconnected from the target audience. That means that you must have a coherent brand personality and compelling storytelling.
  • Lack of Personalization – Again, Millennials like it when you give a personal touch to everything and include their unique characteristics in your approach. Provide a personalized experience and tackle what matters to them in your job ads, marketing campaign, and communication.
  • Poor Candidate Experience – Let your Millennial candidates know the status of their job applications. They want regular information about the selection process and lose patience if the recruitment steps take too long. 
  • Stereotypes, Prejudices, and Bias – Remove from your job ads, career site, and social media handles anything that may imply you’re prone to prejudices and bias. Millennials are social activists and care deeply about inclusion. Consider the pronouns you use when approaching them, be committed to diversity, and clarify how you promote inclusion.
  • Bad Reputation – Hardly any job seeker is interested in working with companies with a bad reputation. So, if you have negative reviews or unsolved issues with past employees and stakeholders, address that before trying to attract Millennials.
  • Not Being Prepared – If Millennials perceive that you don’t understand what matters to them and makes their life difficult, they’ll have an impression you’re unprepared and uninformed. 
  • Irregular Communication – Ghosting candidates is a big no-no for Millennials. They demand respectful and continuous communication throughout the selection process and will lose patience if you need days to answer a mail or update them regarding their job application. 

Top 12 Talent Acquisition Strategies for Millennial Generation

1. Treat Them as Equals

Just like their younger counterparts, Millennials aren’t your typical job seekers. They want to work with employers who appreciate them for who they are and treat them respectfully. 

If you come across as high-and-mighty, you could discourage Millennials from considering your job ads. Let them know what they get from working with you and whether they can grow in your company instead of solely listing your expectations and requirements. 

2. Highlight Career Development Program and Opportunities

Career progression is a top priority when choosing a new job for 91 percent of Millennials professionals. Because of that, clarify the learning and development opportunities in the company and how you manage talent development.

Your millennial job seekers should know how to advance in the workplace and adopt new skills and knowledge. Highlight career growth programs in your job ads and career site as this element is a substantial competitive advantage when hiring this age group.

3. Commit to Diversity and Inclusion

Together with Generation Z, Millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation. They’re also progressive and stand for LGBTQ+ inclusion. 

Hence, if you want to attract this generation, commit to promoting DE&I and showing the results of your initiatives. Provide equal opportunities and treatment for everyone and participate in social causes important to the Millennial generation. 

4. Be Unique and Clarify Your Company Mission

Avoid generic marketing campaigns and job ads. Show what makes your company unique and clarify your UVP. 

Thus, make your mission, values, and objectives clear because you’ll attract like-minded individuals. However, it will also show Millennial job seekers that working with you contributes to a higher cause.

5. Establish an Attractive Company Culture

Millennials care about the company culture more than any previous generation. They don’t want to feel anxious and dread the office. 

That’s why you should cultivate an engaging work environment, be transparent about company practices, and show that you appreciate employees for more than just the work they do for you. 

6. Create Job Openings That Fill Them With a Sense of Purpose

Explain the social impact employees have in your company. Make it easy for Millennials to imagine how working with you would contribute to their community or a cause they care about deeply.

They should know there’s more to your job openings than salary and employee benefits. Hence, when Millennials read your job ads, they should feel motivated and inspired to apply.

7. Provide Unique Perks and Benefits

Think about Millennials’ needs and life stage and offer relevant perks and benefits. They care more about advantages that make their daily life easier. 

Consider flexible schedules, hybrid work, help with paying off the student loan, or generous health insurance. 

8. Frequent Places and Platforms They Love

Discover the physical and virtual places where Millennials like to gather and be there. For example, they’re the prevalent age group on Instagram.

That’s a good place for you to start meaningful conversations, post your job ads, and talk about the unique benefits of working with your company. 

9. Embrace Social Activism

Avoid standing up for things you don’t believe in, but commit to causes you’re passionate about and can support. Millennials will acknowledge that you don’t care only about profit but also about helping those in need.

10. Offer Flexible Schedules and Remote Work

Sixty-eight percent of Millennial job seekers say the option to work remotely would highly increase their interest in an employer. Thus, they’re going through challenging life stages, such as starting families and seeking better-paid jobs.

Therefore, providing a flexible schedule and consideration about their personal time is crucial for the Millennial generation.

11. Develop a Thorough Employee Well-Being Program

Provide a well-rounded well-being program and address the principal concerns of Millennial job seekers. Promote mental health awareness and consider implementing telemedicine services. 

12. Be Innovative and Leverage Technology

Identify top-notch technology compatible with your company size, objectives, and needs. Use it to streamline the processes, track job applications, and boost innovations.

Millennials are a progressive generation that cares about the impact they leave in their community. They’re dreamers and social activists. 

Hence, they prefer to work with companies that share the same values and are committed to causes that make a difference in the world. But Millennials also expect fair and respectful treatment from employers and refuse to be seen as subjects who get the work done only. 

Show that you care about similar concerns and do your part in improving the world. That way, you’ll increase your chances of reaching Millennial job seekers and hiring top talents.

However, it’s also significant to track incoming job applications and collect data from public profiles to get more insights into your target audience. Manatal’s ATS enables you to streamline the process and get smooth access to the information you need.

Discover how Manatal can support your Talent Acquisition strategies for Millennials. Start your 14-day Free Trial today (no credit card required) and leverage Manatal to supercharge your recruitment operations.

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