How to Connect With Millennials In Your Employer Branding Strategy
Just about everyone wants to connect with Millennials today. Products. Politicians. The Pope. And when you consider that Millennials are now the largest component of the American workforce, it’s no surprise that employers are seeking new ways to connect with this demographic.
But advertising jobs for 18 to 34 year olds, and recruiting quality hires from that talent pool, is a very different process today. Millennials want a sense of purpose from their jobs, and unique perks to go with it. And they have an entirely different approach to job searching, using mobile phones and social media platforms at the expense of desktops and job boards.
By some estimates, Millennials will make up 50% of the US labor force by 2020, even 75% by 2025. So employers who want to attract the best and brightest young workers need to take their preferences into account. In this post we’ll explore employer branding strategies that incorporate Millennial workers, and the latest employment preferences among this demographic.
Why Employers Need Millennials
Despite surging numbers of job openings and falling unemployment, employers are struggling to fill positions with qualified candidates. This skills gap extends from entry level positions up to more experienced roles, and encompasses many industries. As Millennials continue to dominate the labor force, employers will rely on them more and more to fill these gaps.
Attracting the best candidates among Millennials becomes especially important when you consider the overall preparedness of this generation of workers. In a recent survey by Deloitte, Millennial workers described their soft skills, such as professionalism and flexibility, as being much stronger than their technical skills and general business knowledge.
It simply isn’t enough to fill the company ranks with young workers–recruiters need to find Millennials with the right mix of skills. As competition for qualified labor intensifies, employers will need more proactive recruitment practices that resonate with the growing cohort of Millennial workers, and separate skilled candidates from their less qualified peers.
Millennials and Your Employer Brand
So how can employers reach out to Millennials, attracting the best of the bunch? A compelling employer brand is essential. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of businesses don’t even have a formal employer branding strategy in place, let alone one that appeals to Millennials. In order to demonstrate a company’s attractiveness to potential candidates, talent acquisition leaders must develop an employment brand and advertise it across all recruitment channels.
Besides communicating the benefits of working for your company, an employer branding strategy can appeal to Millennials specifically in many ways. We already know that Millennials place a strong emphasis on employee well-being, growth, and development. They’re attracted to powerful mission statements and off-beat corporate cultures. So an employment brand that showcases some of these qualities will already be better positioned to recruit talented Millennials.
The first annual Millennials: Understanding a Misunderstood Generation, a survey of over 16,000 18 to 30 year olds across 43 countries, highlights many important points for recruiters to consider as they tailor their employer brand for Millennials:
- 40% of Millennials want to be a manager or leader at work.
- One third of respondents worldwide want an opportunity to influence their organization.
- 57% of global Millennials describe work-life balance as enough leisure time for their private life.
- At least 40% of respondents in North America, Western Europe, and Africa want managers who empower their employees.
- The top three work-related fears among Millennials are a lack of development opportunities, inability to realize career goals, and a job that doesn’t match their personality.
Where does this leave us? Should HR leaders initiate complete overhauls of their corporate cultures, implementing deep-sea fishing trips and unlimited vacation time? Obviously every employer brand will be different, but the importance of a powerful (and accurate) brand that appeals to skilled workers cannot be overstated.
To attract Millennial workers with your employer brand, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind. Clearly state the skills and attributes you’re looking for. Be transparent about your corporate structure and opportunities for growth. Don’t ignore regional, even individual differences and preferences. Use your existing employees as brand ambassadors. Talk to Millennials, rather than talking down.
And perhaps most importantly, use today’s technology and social platforms to your advantage. By engaging directly with Millennial workers in ways they understand, recruiters can advertise the benefits of their employer brand to skilled young workers across the globe.