Say what you will about Millennials — that they’re entitled, that they’re lazy, that they’re rude, etc. etc. If you look at what’s going on in the labor market, it’s becoming harder and harder for companies to avoid hiring them. You can either adapt or fall behind.
If you find dealing with Millennial applicants frustrating, the feeling is definitely mutual. The fact is that the hiring strategies that worked in the past are not going to work for everyone. When employers ignore cultural differences, they’ll easily end up rubbing Millennials the wrong way. You might be making some big mistakes without even knowing it.
Now what are those mistakes? Let’s look at five mistakes you can make with Millennial applicants.
Mistake #1: Don’t maintain a functional website
Millennials are a tech-savvy generation. Many of them don’t remember a time without the Internet, grew up with a computer in their homes, and have owned a cell phone for most of their lives. Technologies that seem new to you are not so new to them.
One of the most important resources employers have for reaching applicants is their websites. For Millennials, a company without a website might as well not exist, and even then it’s not enough to just have a website. If it’s not easy to use, expect to have plenty of applicants look elsewhere. This counts for mobile sites as well, since a vast majority of Millennials own smartphones and use them in their job searches.
Mistake #2: Make the recruiting process long and tedious
You absolutely want to make the right hiring decision for your company. You want to know for sure that the person you hire is qualified, competent, and agreeable. However, there’s a limit to how careful you can be. Millennials absolutely hate long recruitment processes and find them stressful and draining.
You need to do everything possible to cut the fat from your process and include only what’s necessary. If your application form is too long (or if your job site is clunky), plenty of potential candidates won’t apply at all. If your interview process stretches too long, expect plenty of candidates to drop out for another offer. There’s really no advantage to making your recruitment process too long.
Mistake #3: Don’t address what Millennials want
A paycheck isn’t the only thing Millennials are looking for in a job. Money is certainly a priority, but an employer with little to offer beyond that is going to have trouble attracting and keeping younger employees.
What is your health plan?Do you offer flexible hours?
What about PTO? What opportunities for career development do you offer?
Benefits beyond pay will attract Millennial candidates and keep them loyal to the company.
Mistake #4: Don’t say anything about company culture
Your applicants know what you’re offering, but what about the people they’ll be working with? Millennials are very interested in workplace culture and are more likely to choose an employer that offers a collaborative work environment.
You should give applicants a chance to see the day-to-day life at your company and meet with your team. It’s also good to promote any volunteering and social events your company offers.
Mistake #5: Leave applicants in the dark
What do you do when a candidate isn’t the right fit? In the past you could just set the application aside and move on, but for Millennials that’s not acceptable. If you need to turn down an applicant, you should send a rejection notice as soon as possible. As counterintuitive as it seems, a rejection notice actually builds good will for your company. The alternative — never speaking to the applicant again — sends a message you’d rather avoid.
Now, if you’re in need of some extra guidance when it comes to recruiting and retaining millennials, boost your millennial recruiting strategies with this Ultimate Checklist to Successful Millennial Recruiting.