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Recruiting from the Viewpoint of the Millennial

You probably know about the current employment disconnect companies and recent college graduates are experiencing.  Data found in your staffing and recruiting software probably even helps to demonstrate this disconnect firsthand.  While just about every workplace demographic is suffering, the Millennial generation in particular is experiencing a high degree of hardship.

What does the gap actually look like?  Examine the following statistics (found in this article), compiled by Experience, Inc. In a study analyzing hiring trends for the class of 2012, it found:

  • 91% of employers would like students to have one or two internship experiences under their belt by the time they graduate, but 50% have failed to hire an intern in the past six months
  • 87% of companies believe internships should be at least three months in duration, while most internships last two months
  • 42% of employers are turned off by student unpreparedness during interviews
  • 26% of businesses say they do not like students’ ‘bad attitudes’

As a staffer or recruiter, how can you help alleviate this disconnect – and in so doing – better serve both candidates and the companies you represent?  By taking the time to better understand the Millennial Perspective.

During the recruiting process, you may often find yourself wondering what it is that makes different generations of employees tick.  It’s easy to simply blame the new generation of worker and push them aside.  But, Millennials are the current generation of employee, and somehow, you are going to have to find a way to hire the best candidates and integrate them into your workplace.

The  recruiting software you use may not be able to reveal some of the following thoughts and attitudes many Millennials have:

  • Millennials do want to be praised regarding the quality of their work.  What may appear to be a “bad attitude” toward work may really be a frustrated employee who doesn’t know which direction to go.  Yes, Millennials were raised in a generation where everything they did was viewed as wonderful, but the average individual wants positive feedback so he or she knows they are on the right track, not necessarily because they need their ego polished.
  • Most Millennials do want to work hard.  While employers see candidates unwilling to go the extra mile or who feel entitled to great salaries and benefits without the requisite work, the truth is many Millennial candidates were willing to work unpaid internships during college and accept low hourly rates in order to make it to the next step in their careers.  It may be that the frequency of candidates willing to be brasher about their workplace expectations is greater than in the past, but it’s certainly not representative of every worker in Gen Y.

These two counterpoints are ones staffing and recruiting software may not be able to pick up on – they require individual judgment.  Sure, there are some candidates out there with poor attitudes, but those candidates are found in every generation.

When recruiting this generation, keep an open mind and try to see things from their perspective – you may find yourself surprised when you do.

To learn more about how recruiting and staffing software from Bond US can help your agency achieve its recruiting goals, regardless of what generation candidates you are bringing on, request a demo.

Moxie Maven Alexia Vernon On What Your Staffing Agency Needs To Know About Onboarding Millennials With Recruiting Software

Recruiting software user – Alexia Vernon If you work for a recruiting or staffing agency, you have an opinion on Millennial – or Generation Y – candidates.  For seasoned recruiters or staffing professionals, these candidates – born between the early 80s and early 90s – can bring a frustratingly unbalanced mix of confidence and sense of entitlement.  And, of course, all the resulting headaches.

But is this a completely fair assessment of Generation Y recruiting? Or can staffers and recruiters relieve their headaches by taking time to better understand how the ‘wants’ of Generation Y sync with the ‘needs’ of clients? For help, I turned to consultant and author Alexia Vernon.

Called a “Moxie Maven” by the White House, since winning the Miss Junior America competition in college, Alexia Vernon has been working with companies, campuses, and community organizations to help develop successful, sustainable, and socially impactful employees and leaders. She has shared her advice with myriad media such as CNN, NBC, CBS MoneyWatch, FOX Business News, the Wall Street Journal, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and Forbes.com.

She is also the author of Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career, and most recently, 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance.

Below, Alexia shares what your recruiting or staffing agency needs to know when onboarding Millennial workers:

Some have referred to Generation Y as the entitlement generation. Do you feel that the fault behind this admittedly broad definition rests more with Millennials themselves, or with traditional employers being hesitant to change their views?

Alexia Vernon: While I like to think of Generation Y (Gen Y) or Millennials as “creative, collaborative, and tech- savvy” rather than “disrespectful, whiny, and entitled,!” I believe that Gen Y’s’ bad rap stems equally from the fact that EVERY generation is a little rough around the edges when entering the workplace AND that Gen Y, overall, has been a very coddled generation.

Scheduled play dates. Trophies for everything short of breathing. Oprah playing on our TV’s when we got home from school. Why Gen Y behaves as it does though, honestly, is not so important (unless you’re a demographer or run a Gen Y consulting business like me!). What matters is that employers understand how to meet us where we are when we come in the door and co-create solutions to take us where we need to be in order to capitalize on our lauded potential.

It’s been said that money is not necessarily a primary motivator for Generation Y. It has also been said that Generation Y employees will stay at their first job for only about two years. How can employers retain the most skilled Millennial employees, when traditional motivators are not what these employees are after?

AV: You are correct. Across studies, the #1 reason that Millennials consistently leave a job is because they no longer feel like they are learning and growing in their roles. And this is great news. Companies should not get in their own way of retaining top talent by moaning over the fact they don’t have the capacity to offer Millennials a raise or a promotion. Rather, employers have a real opportunity to put time and energy into ensuring that Millennials have opportunities to stretch. Whether that means participating in a formal learning and development program, sitting on a committee, spearheading a new project, or simply engaging in a mentoring relationship – it’s important that companies put their high-potential Millennials in these situations to keep them engaged and growing professionally and personally.

In your book, 90 Days, 90 Ways, you share strategies for employers to successfully onboard Generation Y workers. What advice would you offer to recruiters or staffing agencies that find themselves a few steps in front of the onboarding process, striving to effectively place the most skilled Millennial candidates with appropriate employers?

AV: Look for a strong cultural fit. While a candidate might look like a good fit for a company on paper – for the relationship to be a long-term, mutually beneficial one, it’s important that an employee fits in at a deeper level. Make sure you know how your talent communicates, creates, learns, handles conflict, plays, and so forth so that you are effectively playing matchmaker.

Based on your experience, what would you consider to be the most significant hurdle for any Millennial entering the workforce today?

AV: Unfortunately, I’ve been giving the same answer for the last four years. — the economy. When you have less educational and professional experience than Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and even older Millennials who were laid off, became under employed, and/or are in the throes of reinventing themselves, you really need to be clear about how you are uniquely poised to deliver the value a company desires in order to stand out in the application process.

Similar to the question above, what would you consider to be the most significant challenge that employers or staffing agencies should be aware of, prior to hiring or placing a Millennial worker, and how can this challenge be overcome?

AV: Companies that are employing Millennial talent should be aware that, as a generation, Millennials have had fewer opportunities to hone face-to-face communication skills than any previous generation in our nation’s history. While Millennials love to work collaboratively, build relationships, and so forth, they typically have a lot of room for growth in their interpersonal communication. The good news is that high-impact communication is a skill. As long as companies are aware that their young employees need formal and informal opportunities to practice their 30-second introductions, negotiation, feedback, banter, and presentation skills, they can efficiently and effectively get their young employees producing the results they seek.

You can learn more about Alexia at AlexiaVernon.com, follow her on Twitter @AlexiaVernon, or connect on Facebook and LinkedIn.

To learn more about how recruiting software and staffing software from Bond US can help your agency achieve its onboarding goals, regardless of what generation candidates you are bringing on, request a demo.

How Recruiting Software Can Help You Evolve To Generation Y Recruiting

Some may find it strange that the personality of a group can impact the attitudes and practices of an entire industry – but when discussing generation Y and recruiting, that is exactly what is happening.  By 2025, this 30-and-under crowd will make up half of the world’s population – and account for 75% of the workforce.

As a recruiter, you need to both be aware of how this group will force your practices to evolve – but also – be aware of how the tools you have at your disposal that can ease this evolution.

And if you’ll forgive a bit of helpful Friday bias, I’ve listed below a few ways that a tool like recruiting software can be this tool:

  1. Ensuring You Remain as Technologically Savvy & Connected As Your Candidate
    Gen Y’s have grown up completely immersed and connected by technology and social media.  For better or worse, the right candidate may be counting on this ability to be found by the right employer or recruiter, rather than vice versa.But as my colleague Phil McCutchen writes, when searching for candidates in social media, “you need help separating the chafe (all the junk out there on the Internet) from the wheat (all the good candidate and employee information you need for recruiting.)”

    With the right recruiting software, you can do everything from record candidates’ online profiles on LinkedIn (ie finding the right candidates) or automate job postings through RSS feeds or social media sites – an effective, if slightly old fashioned method for this group.

  2. Record New & Unfamiliar Idiosyncrasies
    What candidate isn’t interested in more money?  Potentially, many Gen Y candidates.  Per the latest Cisco Connected World Report, Gen Y’s will often count social media freedom, device flexibility and work mobility in much higher regard than salary. They will also oftentimes flock to employers that offer such alternatives as compressed work schedules, teleworking and generous leave packages.As a recruiter, the first steps in effectively servicing both employers and Y candidates is to find the connections between the employer that is offering and the candidate that is wanting.  The only potentially new wrinkle to this idea is the variety of non-traditional wants you may hear from candidates.  The right recruiting software is the one constant you can count on to help keep it all straight.
  1. Keep A Steady Candidate Funnel
    According to a Gen Y and Facebook study by Millennial Branding, the average Gen Y employee will spend just two years at his or her first position and will job hop multiple times in their career.This does not mean you stop recruiting Gen Y.  It simply means that you always have a backup in mind, especially for your bigger clients.  By using software to match up your current clients with your current list of candidates, you can ensure you are always ready to fill a hole left by a Gen Y candidate that is following their own natural progression.  And the best part is, the new candidate you provide will probably have an even more evolved skill set than the first employee you placed – ensuring your candidate pool continues to be the one your clients prefer to pull from.

How have your recruiting processes evolved to keep up with Gen Y?  Or what challenges have you faced when trying to evolve with this candidate?  I encourage you to share, via a comment below.