7 Tips for Hiring Millennials

You’ve heard it before, millennials look for different criteria in an employer then previous generations. With that in mind here are our 7 tips for recruiting and hiring from this generation.

  1. Be Authentic

Millennials more than other generations, millennials want to find a workplace where they fit in. They crave authenticity and the ability to be themselves at work.

Along these lines, you should be honest about your strengths and weaknesses as a company. Don’t say you are a green company then accept a mountain of paper resumes at a career fair. Don’t say you are tech savvy and then force students to use a terrible online application system. You might scare away a few applicants by clearly defining who you are and you are not, but those are candidates who wouldn’t be a good fit anyways. Those who do apply will have a higher chance of converting and staying at your company long term.

  1. Respond quickly to new applications.

We get it. You have thousands of applications and limited time to respond to them. If your position is online, then its likely you have a ton of spammy applications from students who mass applied to multiple employers. it doesn’t matter. Students are tired of being ignored and if you aren’t following up with every student, your candidate experience is damaging your brand.

If you haven’t done so already invest in automation software (Looksharp is one of a few such options) that allows you to automatically filter candidates who don’t meet your basic requirements. With these same systems you can automatically send emails to students letting them know they didn’t qualify for your role, but thanking them for applying.

  1. Revamp your career fair collateral.

If you’re still bring bringing pamphlets about office life or text heavy one pagers to your career fairs you are not doing career fairs right.  This is the Instagram and Snapchat generation (over 77% of students use Snapchat every day!). Millennials are visual. Make sure your collateral is light, fun and visually pleasing. Our recommendation is to create small off-size cards to give to students. Make these cards on heavy paper weight and put links on them to a mobile friendly site that has videos and photos of your office.

  1. Host online events.

Have you ever hosted a Google Hangout or online info-session? There’s a reason why people like Barack Obama and brands like NASA love Google Hangouts–they are fun, informal, and millennials can easily tune into online content. Check out some similar events we hosted for Zappos and Nestle to get inspiration on how these work. The format is malleable and you can easily get hundreds of students to attend from universities around the country, all without having to put someone from your team onto a plane.

  1. Build a campus ambassador program.

Millennials are distrustful of traditional advertising. They rely heavily on independent research and word of mouth from their peers. For this reason, it is inexcusable if you are not taking advantage of one of your greatest hiring assets—former interns. You should have a clear plan on how to wrap up your internship program that includes:

  • A timeline and strategy for making offers to the interns you want to hire.
  • A timeline and strategy to invite top interns to become ambassadors and promote your brand on campus.
  • Explicit instructions for ambassadors on how to promote your brand; whether that includes giving out t-shirts, putting on informational events to their club or Greek house, or doing something else entirely.
  1. Be discoverable on Google.

We’ve been hammering this one for a while but it’s only getting more important. Google your company name + internships or entry-level jobs. Where do you show up? Whether it is your actual job site or relevant sites like Looksharp, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn, you want to make sure when students search for you online, that killer content shows up.

  1. Keep it real.

We are going to end this list where we began. Just as students want to hear an authentic employer voice, they also want you to keep it real on social media and during the conversations they have with you during the hiring process. Your recruiters should be able to speak honestly about what they like and don’t like about working at your company. This honesty will build a stronger connection with students and make them more likely to apply for jobs at your company. Likewise, if you have a college social media accounts, define a voice that is fun, authentic and not overly corporate. Keeping it real is key in 2016.

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.