The class of 2016 has just graduated and is now available for hire. Let the games begin. Companies are trying to outdo one another with crazy perks like kegs in the office and catered meals fit for a king. Don’t even get me started on the slides that are a common feature in newly renovated office spaces. I’m all for having fun at work, but whatever happened to having fun after work?
This whole concept of providing perks isn’t really all that new. The only difference in the past and today is that these perks are on steroids. In my day, we had beer busts and ice cream socials. Companies offered dry cleaning and oil changes on-site and on occasion, pizza was brought in for the troops. We thought these extra benefits were kind of cool. That was until we realized that there was no such thing as a free lunch. We were expected to work long hours (without additional pay) and be available to work weekends without much notice. As we matured, we realized that we wanted something our employers weren’t giving us. We wanted control of our lives.
Today’s young workers are the product of my generation and I’d like to think we’ve taught our children well. We are challenging our kids to think about what they really want out of life. Based on today’s headlines, you might be surprised that for most, it’s not an extension of the playground they grew up on. They want a full life. With that in mind, here’s how to land your slice of the millennial talent pie.
Purpose, not pizza. Imagine going to work every day and the only thing you are looking forward to is the free pizza that will be delivered to the breakroom? For many, this is their truth. They’ve bought into the allure of working for a cool startup that feeds their stomach, when in fact they would have been more fulfilled had they taken a position with an organization that fed their soul.
When recruiting focus on purpose. By that I mean, why the world is a better place because of the product or service your company offers. Sure, everyone isn’t going to connect with your purpose. That’s actually the good news, because these people wouldn’t have worked out anyways.
Call those who rejected you. Reach out to everyone who turned down an offer from you within the last several years. Why? Because for many, enough time has gone by and they are now wondering why the heck they chose the job they’re in. A call from you would be very welcoming.
If they say they are happy where they are, then ask them the following questions. “Who do you know that might welcome a call from me?” No doubt they’ll have a list of friends who are questioning why they are still with their employers. It’s certainly worth a shot.
Stay connected. When I was starting out in my career, recruiters would hang out at Happy Hours, where the young people would congregate. Today’s Happy Hour is taking place 24/7 and is online. You need to be hanging out on sites such as Instagram and Facebook. There you can post pictures from your workplace and engage in conversations with those you are seeking to hire. Looking for a more mature millennial? Then move the conversation over to LinkedIn.
Be authentic. Millennials value authenticity. It’s okay not to be the coolest company on the block, as there are plenty of young people who think cool is overrated. Be yourself and you’ll find that the people who are attracted to you are the ones you are most enthralled with.
As you look to hire millennials, keep in mind that those from the Class of 2016 are not your only option. There are a lot of talented people out there from other classes, that are willing and able to do the jobs you are seeking to fill.
Sign up to receive my complimentary newsletter, The TalentMaximizer®, which is jammed packed with tips on how to attract top talent that will stick around.