25 Jan, 2017

Demystifying millennials – What attracts the younger generation?

25 Jan, 2017

Millennial: The name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004. The Millennial generation follows Generation X in order of demographic cohorts. This generation is often associated with technology and social media. It's also known as Generation Y.

The same way certain fashions go in and out of style based on current trends – recruitment tactics are heavily influenced by the current job market. What professionals are in the most demand? How can we respond to their needs? What attracts this kind of talent?

For years now, one demographic has been a major focus for recruiters and businesses alike: Millennials. The attention is understandable when you consider that by 2020 millennials will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

By 2020 millennials will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce.

What do millennials want from their employers?

The mounting interest in millennials as a demographic has spurned ample research into what makes them tick. PwC's report Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace painted some pretty clear pictures of what motivates millennials, what defines them and what they look for in their job prospects.

First, it's useful to understand some general things about this professional group. For starters, they have a distinct distaste for rigid organisational structures. They value flexibility in the workplace and freedom to work in their own ways. They put a high value on career advancement and expect these opportunities to be readily available. And they hold organisations with strong levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in high esteem.

So what does this mean for businesses looking to attract more millennial prospects? There are a few key takeaways.

1. Showcase your flexible workplace policies – Many companies offer versatile work policies. Whether this means allowing employees to work from home occasionally or offering four day weeks as an option – businesses with these options should make them known to prospects.

2. Articulate your dedication to professional development – Studies have shown that millennials value development opportunities over financial reward. In fact, the Huffington Post found that the average millennial is willing to take a USD$7,000 pay cut for a job with a company that offers career development opportunities.

3. Build a socially responsible brand – Social values are important to millennials and they take this into consideration when choosing an employer. According to PwC, 56 per cent of millennials would consider leaving a company that did not have the CSR values they considered most important.

Recruiting for millennials

So what do these insights mean for recruiters? And what else is necessary knowledge to effectively attract millennials to you, as a recruiter?

Leverage these trends in placements – This information is critical for recruiters to understand. In order to place a millennial candidate in the best company and position, these general preferences are important to note. Younger workers will have a tendency to prefer companies with the traits mentioned in the section above.

BUT don't neglect individual needs – Online HR publication Personnel Today also noted that recruiters should put a considerable focus on creating meaningful dialogues with every candidate. While there are some generalisations that can be made about every demographic, this doesn't mean there is a one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment strategies when it comes to millennials. While many of the preferences listed above do ring true, millennials value recruiters that dig deeper to find out what unique qualities they are specifically looking for in a company.

Part of attracting millennials to your recruitment agency involves strategic marketing.

Market yourself effectively – Part of attracting millennials to your recruitment agency involves strategic marketing. With instant access to information, most young professionals will research recruiters and potential employers alike – meaning they are not just looking at you but all your direct competitors. In order to convince millennials to choose your team, you need to have the right kind of content in place. Make sure your website is mobile friendly, try to generate collateral around why you are the best in your field, offer up a 'meet the team' page to connect with your audience on a more personal level. All of these marketing tools can help attract millennial talent to you.