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Recruiting Millennials and New Grads: 21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation

Recruiting Millennials and New Grads

21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation

Millennials are expected to be 75% of the global workforce by the year 2020. Is your company doing everything it can to appeal to and recruit this burgeoning workforce group?
Download the Findly white paper, “Recruiting Millennials and New Grads, 21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation.” We discuss these topics and more:

- How has early introduction to technology impacted Millennials’ expectations of the recruiting process?

- What are the true motivating factors when Millennials assess work opportunities?

- What activities and strategies should your company be employing in order to appeal to and connect with young workers?

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Recruiting Millennials and New Grads: 21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation

  1. 1. Findly White Paper Recruiting Millennials and New Grads 21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation
  2. 2. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | www.findly.com2 From the increasing popularity of cellphones in the early 2000s to the near ubiquity of smartphones today, technology has changed how we live, interact, and operate, both in our personal lives and our careers. This is especially noticeable when we observe the habits of different generations, each having been exposed to the different phases of the technology revolution at different phases of their lives. Much has been reported about the habits of Millennials, individuals born between 1980 and 2004, who were exposed to computers and cellphones from an early point in their lives. Stories have emerged about how this unique group of individuals differs from their predecessors, including differences in how they communicate and behave in the workplace. To understand how to recruit Millennials and new graduates, first we need to understand how this group has grown up and how experiences involving technology, society, and the changing economy impact professional activities and motivations.
  3. 3. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | 3 About Millennials A recent US Census makes it clear why understanding the size, scope, and preferences of Millennials is important. Those born between 1980 and 2004 make up the largest generation presently. With the oldest of this group now reaching their mid 30s, they are now becoming the critical consumers and business leaders that businesses must target and engage. The younger members of this generation are now either starting to attend or currently attending college, thus beginning to prepare themselves for a job market unlike that of their parents and previous generations. Millennials grew up alongside the rapid evolution of technology. Consider these major technology milestones: Though this is only a partial list of the many technological innovations that have surfaced in the past two decades, the general trend is the increasing accessibility and customization of information. The vast amount of information was organized by search engines in the 1990s, curated for consumption in the early 2000s and then delivered directly to users via handheld or wearable devices a decade later. Even from within this cohort, technology is seen as a major differentiator and defining factor. When Pew Research (2009) asked members of each generation, “What makes your generation unique?”, the most popular response from Millennials was “technology use” (24%). Interestingly, the most popular response from Baby Boomers was “work ethic” (17%).1 The concepts of technology expertise and work ethic often come up in stories of workplace frustrations between Boomers and Millennials. Millennials and Technology Generation Z born btwn 2005-present Millennials 1980-2004 Generation X 1965-1980 Baby Boomers 1946-1964 Silent Generation 1928-1945 Source: US Census, 2010 40,438,669 107,449,443 61,660,996 76,484,374 30,095,357 Excite launches first web search engine tools in 1993 Yahoo launches its web portal in 1994 Google launches in 1998 iTunes store launches in 2001 LinkedIn launches in 2003 Facebook launches at Harvard University in 2004 First generation iPhone launches in 2007 Fitbit launches its first wearable fitness device, the Fitbit classic, in 2008 Web Web Web Online Platform Online Platform Online Platform Hardware Hardware
  4. 4. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | www.findly.com4 Millennials in the Workforce Given the size of this generation as well as the upcoming exodus of Baby Boomers from the job market, there is a strong focus on recruiting and nurturing new grads and Millennials to become the leaders of tomorrow. A 2012 survey jointly released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and AARP shows that US employers are increasing investments in training programs to narrow expected skills gaps left when Baby Boomers retire.2 The point is succinctly summarized in a SHRM article: “corporate America must reinvest in its workforce and come up with creative ways to retain that massive amount of knowledge that will walk out the door as millions of Baby Boomers retire.” In fact, Millennials are expected to be 75% of the global workforce by 2020.3 Additionally, companies plan to increase hiring of new graduates. A recent Careerbuilder survey showed that 65 percent of employers say that they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2015, compared to 57 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007.4 For various business reasons, there is a great need to recruit and hire high quality Millennial workers and create the necessary programs to develop these individuals for tomorrow’s business needs. What Habits Drive Millennials and Young Workers in Their Job Search Having grown up surrounded by computers, cellphones and social media, Millennials are often described as “digital natives” and their behaviors, activities, and expectations are a result of this early digital exposure. • Network dependent. With social media and other instant communications applications always accessible, Millennials are most influenced by friends, personal contacts, and word-of-mouth when making major decisions. In their job search, they care about company reputation and will seek out information from their network to get a full perspective of the opportunity. • Digital first, and in some cases, digital only. Online is not only the first source of information for Millennials; for some, it is the only resource they have ever had to utilize to find the information they require. In their job search, Millennials rely heavily on online resources, with the corporate career site being the most important. What Makes Your Generation Unique? Millennials Generation X Boomers Technology use (24%) Technology use (12%) Work ethic (17%) Music/pop culture (11%) Work ethic (11%) Respectful (14%) Liberal/tolerant (7%) Conservative/traditional (7%) Values/morals (8%) Source: Pew Research (2009)
  5. 5. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | 5 • Time/attention constrained. Millennials spend the greatest amount of time online (35 hours per week) and on their cellphones (14.5 hours per week) compared to other generations.5 They also switch their attention between media platforms at a higher rate (27 times per hour compared to the 17 times per hour for previous generations).6 To grab their attention, websites including career sites should use clear and simple navigation, and have just the right amount of real and authentic information. • Content hungry. With information always available and often right at their fingertips, Millennials expect to have a wealth of data and insights with which to make important decisions. They will check a company’s career site, social media presence, YouTube, and review sites, and they will use search engines to find compelling stories about the company’s culture. Technology as well as the economy in which Millennials came of age has also impacted how they see their lives related to work. What Millennials and Young Workers Care and Think About Related to Work • Higher turnover / lower loyalty compared to predecessors. A 2015 Jobvite survey reported that Millennials are twice as likely as 30-somethings to leave a job after 3 years. More than one-third (36%) of Millennials expect to change jobs every one to three years.7 PWC calls this phenomenon “loyalty-lite,” stating that enduring previous downturns has significantly impacted the loyalty that Millennials feel towards their employers.8 • A desire to make a difference. A Bentley University survey showed that 84 percent of Millennial respondents said that “knowing I am helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important to me than professional recognition.”9 Having witnessed corporate failures and recessions, 94 percent of college-educated respondents agree that their generation is questioning the assumptions of the business world and asking themselves, “What is the best use of my heart and mind?”10 • Company culture matters. Whereas previous generations are focused on job stability and compensation as major priorities, Millennials prioritize company culture as a huge motivator for selecting and staying at an employer. A Hodes study showed that around half of Millennials say that “Work environment/culture” is an attribute that makes an employer attractive (41%) and impacts their decision to stay at an employer (47%).11 • But make no mistake of it—money and stability matter too. While Millennials are known for valuing authenticity and purpose in their professional endeavors, they also care about compensation and job security. A 2015 study by EdAssist shows that financial security is Millennials’ #1 concern, with 71 percent saying that they would prefer a retirement savings plan over other financial perks. A Hodes study mirrors this finding, with Millennials and Baby Boomers both overwhelmingly saying that compensation and job security are the #1 and #2 attributes that make an employer attractive.12 Continues next page
  6. 6. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | www.findly.com6 • Opportunity for growth is an important factor. Millennials want to see an opportunity for personal and professional development when assessing employers. A PWC report entitled, “Millennials at Work,” showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents stated that “the opportunity for personal development” most influenced the decision to accept their current job—even more than the organization’s reputation (36%) or even the role itself (24%).13 Another report stated that 52 percent said opportunities for career progression made an employer attractive.14 Knowing that Millennials hold different values and expectations as it relates to assessing work opportunities, employers should adapt how they communicate with Millennials in order to put their best foot forward when trying to appeal to and recruit this group. Tips for Recruiting Millennials and Young Workers Content. As previously noted, Millennials are content hungry and will want as much authentic information about employers as they can secure. Make sure the right information is available to Millennials via the right channels so that they are armed with the information that they desire in making professional decisions. • Career website. Sixty-three percent (63%) of business students (US) use an employer’s website to learn more about a company, making it the most important information resource.15 For the most part, employers understand and are on board with this idea; almost three-quarters of employers (71%) state that their career site is an online/interactive way to engage with potential candidates who have not yet applied.16 Understand what compels Millennials— including the opportunity for development and professional progress, company culture, and an authentic look into how the company operates and what it cares about—and be sure that you share your company’s unique perspective on these and other topics. • Email. A 2015 study by Principal Financial Group found that despite the popularity of social media and real-time communication media such as chat and SMS, Millennials overwhelmingly prefer to communicate with companies via email. For 4 in 10 Millennials, email is the preferred method For more information on optimizing your recruitment email marketing strategies, please download the Findly tipsheet or watch our webinar on this topic. See resource links at the end of this document. Top-Ranked Employer Attributes That Make an Employer Attractive Millennials Boomers Compensation (68%) Compensation (68%) Job security (44%) Job security (40%) Work environment/ culture (41%) Benefits (40%) Source: Bernard Hodes Group (2012), The Growing Value of Employer Brands
  7. 7. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | 7 of contact for outbound communications.17 Beyond just an application confirmation, email offers your company an opportunity to express its unique traits, give updates, and offer the information that Millennials require to feel good about their professional choices. Email, unfortunately, remains an underutilized form of candidate engagement with 91 percent of employers admitting that they make no additional contact beyond the automated acknowledgment of application receipt.18 In-person engagement. Onsite events, including career fairs and on-campus recruiting, remain a popular way for companies to connect with interested candidates. Companies should use best- in-class technology and have a strong game plan in order to maximize ROI of these recruiting activities. • Events, including on-campus recruiting. Sixty percent (60%) of business students indicate that they learn about employers at career fairs and 45 percent say that they do so at employer presentations on campus.19 According to the Talent Board’s 2014 CandE Awards report, employers use in-person events to develop relationships directly with candidates including internship fairs (46%) and career fairs (27%). These in-person events are often themed and therefore allow companies the opportunity to connect with military, university, diversity, and industry candidates.20 • Mobile technology. Advances in portable technology, including mobile phones and tablet computers, extend the opportunity to interact and collect vital information from candidates you encounter at events. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of job seekers feel that the ability to leave their contact information with an employer and apply later is extremely or very important.21 Yet, this remains an area where employers are missing out on connecting with great candidates—the Findly Customer Success Story #1 One of Findly’s customers, a well-known, global hospitality company, reported that Findly’s automated candidate engagement was one of the highest performing external sources of hires (second only to a niche job site). Within two months, these company branded emails were the source of 171 of the company’s hires—nearly the same number of hires referred by four job boards and job resource sites combined (173 total for all four sources). Findly Customer Success Story #2 One of Findly’s customers, an energy products manufacturer, determined that attending a student- centered STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Conference would be the best way to interface with high quality, hard-to-hire engineering candidates. Over the course of one day onsite at the conference, they captured over 300 candidate profiles into their recruiting CRM. Better yet, they were able to source and shortlist candidates in real-time, interviewing over 50 candidates on the spot. Findly emails CareerBuilder US Monster US 171 64 41 39 29
  8. 8. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | www.findly.com8 approximately 90 percent of job seekers who may express interest in your company but who do not apply. More than half (57%) of companies admit that they do not use a tool to capture candidates who do not apply and 21 percent are not sure if they do or do not.22 When you have just moments to interact with candidates at events, make sure you have the means to quickly capture essential information, such as an email address, so that you can continue to interact with candidates over time. This increases your capture rate and will enable higher ROI for your event marketing investments. Technology and candidate experience. Millennials have grown up alongside technology and research has shown they have the highest of expectations when it comes to digital experiences. Compared to other generations, they have higher expectations of seamlessness in job search activities, with one- third (33%) stating that the ability to apply for a job using a mobile phone is important.23 And 6 in 10 job seekers have started but failed to complete an online application due to how long or complex it was.24 The candidate experience, from beginning a search to a click of the “Submit” button to the continuous engagement that enables you to keep in contact with your talent community, should be simple and easy, and it should be an extension of your employer brand and your employment value proposition. Finally, while this paper focused on the Millennial generation—digital natives who have grown up alongside technology—many of the habits and expectations that we have shared extend to other job seekers who may be equally tech savvy. As such, the tips and recommendations we have provided should be a part of your company’s strategy for engaging any/all job seekers via effective engagement, compelling content, and cutting-edge recruitment technologies. About Findly Findly’s talent acquisition solutions are innovative in concept, differentiated in execution, and proven in the value experienced by customers. The unique combination of award-winning recruitment marketing, candidate relationship management (CRM) cloud-based technology, employer branding strategy and deliverables, and assessment testing enable Findly’s customers to address the challenge of finding and hiring the right talent with a single partner, easily and cost effectively. The company’s technology business is headquartered in San Francisco and its employer branding services agency, Findly Hodes, is located in New York. Findly is privately owned by Symphony Technology Group (STG), a private equity firm in Palo Alto. Findly services over 2,000 global clients today. Learn more at or contact us at 1.800.603.0680 or
  9. 9. Recruiting Millennials and New Grads | 9 Additional Resources With a focus on helping employers provide the best of candidate experiences, Findly has created a number of resources to help you understand talent acquisition best practices and provide valuable tips. Here are some topics we have covered: The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Recruiting Digital Job Seekers 5 Tips for Successful Recruitment Email Marketing Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: The Consumerization of Recruiting Technology 1. Millennials: Portrait of Generation Next, 12. Pew Research Center, February 2010. 2. Minton-Eversole, Theresa. “Concerns Grow over Workforce Retirements and Skills Gaps.”, April 9, 2012. 3. “By the Year 2020, Almost Half of the Workforce Will Be Made Up of These People,” up-of-these-people-5 4. “Companies Planning to Hire More Recent College Graduates This Year and Pay Them Better, According to Careerbuilder Survey,”, April 23, 2015. 5. “Millennials Spend More Time With Digital Than Traditional Media, But…,”, July 1, 2014. 6. “By the Year 2020, Almost Half of the Workforce Will Be Made Up of These People” 7. Job Seeker Nation Study. Jobvite, 2015. 8. Millennials at Work, Reshaping the Workplace, 4. PWC, 2012. 9. Millennials in the Workplace, 4. Bentley University, 2012. 10. Millennials in the Workplace, 2. 11. The Growing Value of Employer Brands. Bernard Hodes Group, 2012. 12. Adams, Susan, “What Millennials Want At Work.”, April 7, 2015. 13. Millennials at Work, 11. 14. “By the Year 2020, Almost Half of the Workforce Will Be Made Up of These People” 15. Building a Global Employer Brand, Insights from the World’s Most Attractive Employer Survey 2014, 20. Universum, 2014. 16. Candidate Experience 2014, 10. Talent Board, 2015. 17. Millennial Research Study 2015, 50. Principal Financial Group, 2015. 18. Candidate Experience 2014, 27. 19. Building a Global Employer Brand, 20. 20. Candidate Experience 2014, 11. 21. How Candidate Experience is Transforming HR Technology, 58. Careerbuilder, 2014. 22. How Candidate Experience is Transforming HR Technology, 34. 23. 2015 Job Seeker Nation Study, Inside the Mind of the Modern Job Seeker, 8. Jobvite, 2015. 24. How Candidate Experience is Transforming HR Technology, 56. Watch recorded webinars: Download tipsheets and guides:
  10. 10. Findly, 114 Sansome Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA. ©2015 Findly. All rights reserved.