We’ve all heard the stories and seen the stats: The Millennials are coming. Actually, they’re already here. And while Millennials may seem like an enigma, they’re really not. There are things you can do to effectively recruit and keep Millennials, and more importantly, there are things you shouldn’t. Below are 5 things to avoid as you fight for top Millennial talent. As you recruit them, do not:
1. Be somebody you’re not. “Keeping it real” really is very important to Millennials. In fact, if they get even a sniff of phoniness or deceit, you may lose them. The good news is that you don’t have to put on an elaborate show when they come in for interviews or talk with your recruiters. Just be yourself.
2. Leave anything out. Do you have an unusual work schedule? Is there a quirk in your compensation plan unique to your company? If so, make sure to address it in the interview process. You don’t have to expose all your company’s warts, but you absolutely must be candid. If a Millennial employee feels that you intentionally deceived them in any way, they can easily lose trust in you. And we all know how Millennials feel about switching companies. Speaking of which …
3. Assume they’ll want to leave. Yes, Millennials are nomads of sorts when it comes to employment. Only 13 percent of Millennials think workers should stay with an employer at least five years before looking for a new job (compared to 41 percent of Baby Boomers). But that doesn’t mean they constantly want a new gig. Consider this: the three biggest motivators for Millennials to accept jobs are compensation packages, professional development, and opportunities for advancement. Does that sound so different from older employees? It’s safe to say that if Millennials value opportunities for advancement, they do want to stay. They just don’t think that they have to.
4. Forget your employees. Employee referrals are clearly the single best way to recruit talent. Their referrals are more likely to be cultural fits, and they far more likely want to stay at the company with their friends. This is especially true of Millennials. They are constantly looking online, either through social networks or job review sites. As you include your employees in the recruiting process, you’ll be much more likely to recruit their friends and (ever-growing) networks. You’ll save money, get top talent, and ensure retention.
5. Settle. Millennials consider company culture and “fit” far more than any previous generation of workers. It is imperative to them that they feel at home with their company. Money is important to Millennials, but it isn’t a guarantee of anything. In fact, 64 percent of Millennials would rather make $40K a year at a job they love than $100K a year at a job they think is boring. Don’t try to force it when your company and a Millennial recruit aren’t a great fit. You could offer bountiful compensation, amazing perks, or anything else they want, but if you settle for somebody who doesn’t fit your culture it will not work out. Most likely they will leave, or worse, they’ll stay and give you lackluster work.