The youth of yesterday are the workforce of today: millennials. Ranging between 18 and 35 years of age, millennials represent the largest generation in the country, outnumbering even baby boomers by approximately 7.7 million, according to government estimates.
In fact, in less than 10 years, millennials are expected to account for 75% of the world's workforce and already represent 1 in 3 employees in the U.S., based on datafrom Bentley University.
Gloria Larson, Bentley University president, noted how with baby boomers entering retirement, millennials are the here and now.
"Millennials represent 1 in 3 workers."
"Millennials aren't just the workforce of the future - more and more, they're the workforce of today," Larson explained. "Millennials represent a shift in behavior and attitude, from their comfort with technology to their knowledge of current events, that presents a huge opportunity for our economy."
What's more, contrary to popular opinion, millennials show a healthy dose of fidelity to their employers, not necessarily interested in so-called "job hopping." The Bentley study found in a poll of 1,031 18- to 35-year-olds that 80% expected to work for four employers or fewer over the entirety of their careers.
Millennials are highly brand focused
For business owners, this raises the question of what recruitment strategies are best at drawing millennials? Intelligent brand messaging may serve as a good place to start, a recent study suggests.
More than 55% of worldwide job seekers think a company's brand or reputation is more important today than it was back in 2011, a new report from ManpowerGroup Solutions has found. Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials are the most brand-centric of all the generations, ranking brand among the top three drivers to take interest in a company, the others being job responsibilities and salary.
"Today's job seekers recognize they spend a significant amount of their lives at work," said Kate Donovan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions. "[A]s such, they want to ensure they align themselves with organizations that have great brands and a satisfying culture."
One of the ways business owners can improve their brand messaging in order to attract millennials, the report suggested, is by taking advantage of the employees they already have. Every workplace has staff members who embody leadership. This intangible quality should be harnessed to help market the company through job fairs or even by participating in interviews. Other strategies include sending out invitations - whether through mailers or social media - to universities, welcoming soon-to-be graduates to visit just to see what a typical day in the office is like.
Here are a few other effective ways that can help attract and retain millennials:
Take advantage of social networking
Millennials represent the single-largest generation of regular social media users. This may explain why employers' use of social media to screen current and potential employees has risen by 500% over the last 10 years, according to a poll done by CareerBuilder.
Refine the interview/hiring experience
Even in those cases where a hire or potential employee doesn't pan out, the experience that the jobseeker had in the process can play a pivotal role in future business generation, or lack thereof. A separate poll from CareerBuilder found that in instances where job candidates didn't have a good experience applying for a job, 60% were less likely to buy from that business as a consumer.
Be open to any and all questions during interview process
During the job interview, questions are generally unidirectional, but be sure to open the floor so candidates can pose queries of their own. A poll done by staffing services firm Accountemps found that nearly 85% of interviewees ask questions when interviewed, the most common ones being what their responsibilities would be if hired and what the job pays.
Promote employee benefits
Everyone wants to be paid well, but the other perks of a job are similarly desirable, especially when it comes to personal time off (PTO). Nearly 33% of professionals don't feel like they get enough vacation time, according to a separate survey also done by Accountemps. Also, you may want to reference why the company encourages staff to take full advantage of their PTO, as some may fear that by taking it, this could be viewed as lacking initiative.
Reference opportunities for growth
Dead-end jobs are anathema to retention and attraction. Unfortunately, hiring managers often don't do enough to allay this fear. An estimated 40% of employees say they never talk about their career outlook within a company with their bosses, a survey by Robert Half International found. Over 80% of workers, ideally, would like to discuss this between one to four times a year.
While you may not be able to implement all these measures to woo millennials, these should give you an idea of what sells to the largest, most diverse generation in recent memory.