The Huffington Post defines Generation Y, or those born between the late 1970s and the middle of the 1990s, as Millennials. Today, many of these young people are just entering the workforce, but their expectations are different from generations that have come before them. Millennials don’t mind working hard, but they want to pursue something that interests them, and they want to feel like they are making a difference. The following tips can help businesses find and attract high-quality Millennial employees.
Emphasize a Fun or Casual Workplace
One solid way to attract a potential Millennial employee is to emphasize the creativity or uniqueness of the office space. According to a recent study from CNN, Generation Y believes that having an engaging workspace is a top priority, but baby boomers put that towards the bottom of the list. Workplaces don’t have to be a messy hangout to be appealing, but creative touches or casual dress codes can go a long way in attracting high-quality hires.
Use Social Media To Advertise Jobs
Millennial employees are rarely going to read the classifieds in a newspaper to look for a job, but social media and other Internet-based resources are the best way for businesses to advertise employment positions. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are effective and visible ways to attract Generation Y.
Detail Clear Deliverables…
A lot has been said about the desire of Generation Y to have fluid careers, but it is also important to have clear deliverables in place during the interview and when the job begins. Millennial employees will appreciate that they can clearly identify success in terms of objective goals, something that was not an issue for older employees.
…But Make Room For Personal Creativity
Although the guidelines stated above are helpful for retaining younger employees, it is also important to emphasize the potential for self-fulfillment and personal creativity during the interview phase. Hcareers recommends asking candidates about how they feel they could best succeed in the company, which helps them feel personally fulfilled and helps the company utilize their strongest assets.
On the surface, attracting high-quality employees from Generation Y involves the same major factors as salary and potential for growth. However, there is also a heavy emphasis on personal fulfillment, creativity and positive reinforcement.
The Necessary Tools
It’s hard to believe that less than a generation ago, many executives accepted the belief that touching a keyboard was beneath their position – that such business tools were meant for clerical and administrative staff only. Today, dexterity with the keyboard is only the beginning of the skills that are necessary to be a productive employee in many jobs and careers.
The importance of technical expertise and computer literacy in a candidate depends, of course, on the specific position being considered. For IT staff, the individual will have to show work experience, proper training, and certifications. However, for line operations, here are few tips to access some of the basic skills you may be seeking in an applicant:
- Have them prepare a sample piece of work. For example, if the position is in market research, ask the potential candidate to create a simple spreadsheet similar to the work being done. Likewise, if it is a creative position, have the candidate produce a minor design project on a computer. Matching the sample work you request to the skills and technologies needed for the job may help decide which potential candidate is right for your company.
- As an alternative, ask what specific projects have been completed in those areas of work. Let the candidate describe the software/hardware used and how they approached the task. If they can provide samples or online examples, it shows that a candidate is prepared, and technologically capable.
- Explain the specific technical skills, software applications and technologies that are an integral part of the position being sought. Ask about the individual’s experience with those or similar products. Listen to whether they approach the issue with confidence or reservations.
- Get the interviewee to talk about their non-work involvement with technology. Do they only reluctantly use digital tools and resources or is it second nature to their lifestyle?
- Don’t confuse active participation in social media with technical expertise. Is it important for the job being discussed that the individual know what a “like” or “share” means to SEO issues?
It is an accepted fact that technology today is changing faster than most people and companies can track. Always interview candidates with the perspective that, in most cases, a person’s facility with technology and their ability to quickly adapt to new versions and tools is as important as competence with any given program or current hardware.
The use of a standard checklist during an interview is a handy tool often used by managers that are tasked with evaluating potential new hires. However, here are just five of the ways that a checklist can defeat the very purpose of the interviewing process:
1. You may discourage real talent. One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is the arrogance of thinking you’re the only one making a decision during the process. The best and most talented recruits always have other options. It’s easy to come across as dry and disinterested when using a checklist, without really listening or personalizing your questions to the candidate’s resume. To an astute candidate, this may indicate a less than desirable management environment compared to other opportunities.
2. Offensive questions may be asked. If you are using a checklist, it must be regularly updated to ensure compliance. There are frequent changes in the area of hiring and discriminatory inquiries, and any questions you ask must reflect these changes. For example, the documents used to verify eligibility to work in the U.S. for the Form I-9 were recently updated. Consequently, asking if a candidate has a certain form of identification may now be considered discriminatory and have compliance implications.
3. You may miss a unique skill or capability of the applicant. When seeking diversity and uniqueness, limiting your questions to those on a checklist may cause you to miss something fresh and valuable that a candidate offers. If the interviewee doesn’t volunteer some special aspect of their experience or qualifications, you may miss it by relying on your standard questions and checkpoints rather than personalizing your interview.
4. You can make it too easy. When interviewing candidates, your goal is to get to know the real individual. If the same questions are asked in a standard format of all recruits, sharp candidates could discover questions ahead of time, and help them to prepare an answer they think you want – instead of providing the real insights you are seeking.
5. You can miss important details. Simply relying on a checklist instead of your own judgment and instincts during an interview makes it easy to focus on standard questions and not follow-up on the details of an answer. Relating back to issue three, this creates the possibility of missing a valuable skill or experience that a candidate might possess due to the rigidity of a checklist.
Checklists can be helpful, but your judgment is the real critical factor in any effective interview.
When it comes to recruiting, having the right company culture is the key to drawing top tier talent. Even companies with high wages and great benefits can still experience high employee turnover if their company culture is lacking. Here are some tips on how to create a more attractive corporate culture:
Few people enjoy being micromanaged. Many businesses find that allowing employees to be creative and take ownership of their work leads to increased performance. Communication is the key to inspiring employee ownership within your organization. At the beginning of a project or company initiative, encourage managers to sit down with employees and discuss their vision for the project. Once they have a clear understanding of what the expectations are, allow them the freedom to accomplish it in their own way.
Creating a fun work environment is a great way to boost employee satisfaction. Company sponsored sporting events, family days and barbeques are great ways invest in morale-building activities. Another idea is to give your company break room an overhaul – consider adding a Ping-Pong table, pool table or designated nap area for your employees. Remember that the more your employees enjoy working for you, the more productive they will likely be.
Embrace Company Values
Employees enjoy being part of something larger than themselves. You can accomplish this by establishing and maintaining the priorities and values of your organization.
Do not let open enrollment and disciplinary meetings be the only interactions you have with employees. This is a quick way to lose some of your top talent. Take time to celebrate accomplishments of all sizes. For small accomplishments, take some space in the employee newsletter or on the interoffice board to congratulate employees for a job well done. Larger accomplishments may warrant a luncheon or a certificate. Regularly acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments is a good way to keep your employees striving towards their personal bests.
The way that your corporate culture is perceived has a huge impact on the type of talent that your organization will draw. These simple tips will allow you to create a company culture that draws and retains high-performing, happy employees.