How to Increase your Hiring Potential in the Millennial Market

By: Jennifer Clark, Content Strategist at ScanSource

Selling your home in a buyer’s market is something homeowners dread. The competitive offers at full price are replaced by the sinking feelings of less-than-asking price and ponying up cash for incentives you weren’t expecting.

This same level of uncertainty can also be true for employers looking to hire and retain top talent in a job-candidate’s market. At the time of this writing, the unemployment level is hovering around 4 percent. While this is excellent news from the once-frightening 10 percent days of 2009, this lower number poses a challenge for employers hoping to recruit the best and brightest.

As millennials have more unique demands than baby boomers, hiring them requires a much different approach than 30 years ago. To begin with, they want to work for businesses whose brand they recognize – think food and beverage, utilities, software, or apparel. While many technology brands, ironically, have enhanced their life in one way or another, this niche is a much harder sell to an unfamiliar audience.

College Visits
By taking a proactive approach to recruiting, employers can create excitement around their brand that leads to top-talent prospects, even in bleaker candidate pools. If your business falls in a hub for higher education, use the campus for recruiting efforts. Whether hosting a job fair, presenting at intern day, or just setting up a table in the student union, on-campus advertising drives brand awareness without spending a lot on marketing.

Further, establishing a rapport with University professors can potentially grant you an hour every semester in front of students and give them an overall company snapshot. At ScanSource, we try to host professional development opportunities within classroom workshops. This way, even if the student isn’t poised for work in technology solutions, they’ll still enjoy the resume workshop or career-finding path and think more favorably upon the ScanSource name. Finding a way to get your brand in front of them before they graduate will help when recruiting for internships or entry-level roles.

Speaking of internships, they’re one of the best ways to recruit top talent. Creating a well-established internship program that provides class credit, and/or payment, leaves you with an enhanced candidate pool of young professionals who are excited to come work for you and already familiar with your business.

Helping Hands
After you’ve conveyed your mission, vision, company values and sufficiently explained who you are and what you do to the masses, it’s time to ramp up social media and make sure your corporate and social responsibility practices are on full display. Millennials aren’t as worried about compensation as they are about working for a company that makes them feel good. They want to know they’re affecting the lives of someone else, so make sure your Facebook photos reflect any charitable work you do.

Very few college students aspire to sell point-of-sale equipment right out of school, but they’re inclined to look at employers who have a sustainability program or robust philanthropic efforts. If those opportunities aren’t apparent until after a new employee has been on-boarded, you’ve lost a potential prime candidate. Touting your charitable efforts in a non-boastful way is another recruiting tool to attract otherwise unknowns to your business.

Onboarding Efforts
You may have recruiting down, but if your onboarding program is not yet tried-and-true, here’s another area to focus your efforts in order to retain the talent you’ve worked so hard to hire. Younger workers want to know they’re more than a number. Where they were once the literal big man on campus, leaders of clubs, and members of top organizations, they might undergo a bit of a culture shock to be the youngest, or most entry level, and can become lost in the corporate shuffle.

Pair them up with a mentor, host a quarterly young professionals happy hour, or make sure they have a seasoned employee they can call on for help. Opening the door to show them they matter and aren’t just a number ensures their entry into corporate life runs more smoothly. Talk to them about growth opportunities in the future and help them build a network of colleagues both in and out of the office. You’ll want them to envision their place of employment as somewhere they can stay and grow. By outlining opportunities for the future, you’re carving a path for them to create a longstanding career.

While these are just a few ideas around how to recruit and retain top talent, the biggest takeaway is remembering young workers want to feel as equally valued as the veteran employees. Whether they’re still in college, interviewing for an internship, or starting their first day, it’s never too early to impress your core values upon them. Because once they learn those, you’ll have an employee that is invested from the very beginning.