5 Need-to-Know Facts About Millennial Candidates

“Gen X and Boomer hiring managers often emphasize things that entry-level hires don’t care about, and the best candidates have other offers.” - Anne Fisher (@anbfisher), Columnist & Management / Workplace Contributor for Forbes 

Millennials… They are still a bit of a paradox for HR pros and company leadership. Born shortly between the denim jacket phase of the 80s and Michael Jordan’s last championship title with the Chicago Bulls, they are ready for employment - and quite frankly, they are the next in line. While the label has some negativity embedded in it, there are facts HR pros need to know about Millennials.

Hiring managers can no longer resist attracting top talent simply because that talent is from a different generation, they’re now poised to be the largest generation in the workforce. How they see themselves, the world around them, and their professional paths all play a role in creating a strategic recruiting plan. So before you look at restructuring your recruiting methods, get to know your young professional counterparts first…

1.     Millennials believe they are friendly, open-minded, and intelligent. Out of 10 characteristics listed, Millennials surveyed in Millennial Myths vs. Reality: How to Engage and Hire Next Gen Talent said these were the top three character traits they identify most with. As open-mindedness and intelligence play a primary role in a Millennial candidate’s view of their potential role in the organization, key into their desire for personal and professional growth. Detail opportunities for advancement and workplace flexibility in the recruitment strategy without overlooking their more experienced Gen X or Boomer counterparts.

2.     Millennials appreciate the value of entrepreneurial motivation. Contrary to popular belief, the majority (61%) of the 20-somethings feel that hard work is the key to success. In fact, 55% of them want to start their own business one day. Even the headstrong and stubborn attributes commonly associated with the young professionals are misunderstood. As always, the entrepreneurial itch is accompanied by an underlying need for competition. 70% of Millennials like a healthy bout of competition in the workplace; use this to your advantage by creating fun, but very real competitions around goals no matter your department.

3.     They are socially aware and socially motivated. Millennials have a keen social tuning and are motivated by development of society as a whole. While generations before them may have asked about CSR initiatives, this generation demands it. Understanding this key fact will help hiring managers target their selling points to the development of the organization. The success of the organization both financially and (more importantly) socially can make-it or break-it when your job offer rivals that of the competitor. Millennial candidates want to know the social organizations your company collaborates with whether it’s Habitat for Humanity or local social wellness initiatives. List these volunteer opportunities to not only attract young professionals but also deepen their trust in the company.

4.     When Millennials trust their leadership, they feel most engaged at work. They want to know they can trust the organization and as the figurehead of the company, 74% say they want to be able to trust their leaders as well. Give candidates insight into the quality of any mentorship programs or company morale events (hint: if you don’t have these, now is a time to implement them). This gives Millennials the opportunity to get to know organizational leadership. Start with managers and don’t be afraid to foster a healthy culture of idealism in your company.

5.     They are not promoters of professional stagnation. Hiring managers need to be aware - perhaps above anything else - that Millennials need professional growth. Professional growth meaning nearly 53% of Millennials expect the chance for promotion. They understand that hard work and dedication are involved, but they also expect to be professionally rewarded for such efforts. If the position can’t offer that, they will find it elsewhere. During the recruitment process, delineate what is required for such upward advancements. This means the hiring manager needs to know what the base requirements for the position is and what the minimum responsibilities are in order to understand what is considered above-and-beyond work.

So when it comes down to it, what does an organization do with this information? The answer: HR pros and hiring managers engage and attract accordingly. This isn’t to say that the recruitment process should be riddled with lies and hopeful falsehoods, but rather highlight the benefits of the company as seen by the Millennial audience. Keep in mind that the generation generally sees themselves as rather intelligent and open to new ideas, so they aren’t afraid to ask questions. In order to hire and retain these young candidates however, it’s imperative that organizations give them opportunities for professional growth as they persistently crave for more knowledge and experience.

Bio: Raj Sheth

Raj Sheth is the CEO & co-founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, he founded two other web startups -- a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston. Learn more about Recruiterbox right now.

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