3 strategies to recruit tech-savvy Millennials

Posted by Murshed Chowdhury on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 @ 11:06 AM

By: Ben Weiss


We are currently in a most interesting space in the technology staffing industry. Years ago, older industry veterans were positioned for the best roles being offered in the tech sector as there were few ways for younger professionals to compete with their experience.

However, today this paradigm has been turned on its ear. Because Millennials or “Generation Y” - defined as individuals born between 1980 and 1999 - grew up immersed in some of the most pressing technological and communications portals currently trending in the business world, their skills are often the most sought after in the technology job market.

Compare it to the difference between learning a foreign language during one’s formidable years versus as an adult. Many of those just starting the trajectory of their career grew up in the thick of the tech boom while older professionals are trying to adapt and catch up while training themselves in new operational methods.

Consequently, as the profile for ideal candidates has changed, so to recruitment tactics must change as well.

Luckily, our friends over at Dice.com just put out an awesome resource entitled “14 ‘Must-Adopt’ Recruiting Techniques for Hiring Millennials,” which features commentary from recruitment experts on how to connect with this crucial market segment.

And while I would strongly recommend reading the full report yourself, here are a few macro trends that I noticed after perusing its contents...

I. Make yourself look sexy on the internet (for more info check out tips 1, 8 and 14)

Millennials[2]If you haven’t figured out that Millennials are flocking to the internet and social media forums in droves, then I must respectfully ask if you have been living under a rock. Understanding this, it is critical for companies looking to acquire top Millennial talent to create and regularly update their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and website, as these are likely the portals that will make the first and most lasting impression on prospective job candidates.

Once the social media game has gotten started, it is then crucial to make sure that every associated online portal looks super fresh. Even if a business is doing multi-million dollars in sales annually, it might not be enough of a selling point to this demographic if the firm looks like a scrub online.

II. Maintain connection after the first touch (for more info check out tips 5, 6 and 7)

With smartphones tethered to Millennials at the hip, communication today is perceived to be instantaneous, and even the most momentary lag in response is oftentimes translated as a lack of interest.

Considering such, it is extremely important to stay in frequent correspondence with Millennial talent, as these professionals are used to getting all the answers they want right away. Therefore, even a momentary lull in the chain of communication may indicate to the candidate that the employer is disinterested.

Moreover, this axiom extends to those candidates that were not chosen for a particular position as well. The Dice feature references how Gerry Crispin, co-founder of staffing strategy firm CareerXroads Colloquium, applied for jobs at 100 of the top companies to work for in the country, but only 32 percent followed up to inform him the position had been filled by someone else.

Hiring managers need to remember that even if the candidate isn’t exactly what a hiring manager needs right now, he or she may have utility down the road. But, if the hiring manager just starts ignoring his or her emails and calls, the candidate won’t hesitate to share their negative experience with the world and will likely be quick to dismiss future opportunities with that company.

III. Understand what motivates Millennials (for more info check out tips 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13)

Today, more than ever, the individuals penetrating the job market are interested in flexibility, and will often refuse to lock themselves into a less-than-ideal career path, even if it provides steady income.

As such, in order to lock down top talent, hiring managers would greatly benefit from developing a talent acquisition strategy that compels candidates beyond the immediate excitement of a paycheck.

“We found one of our best while he was still in university,” said Justin Sherratt, CEO of Gawoop Inc., makers of applicant screening software Sortbox in the Dice feature. “Part of our offer to him was that we would help him network and move on if/when he outgrew us (advancement). We made it clear that our company helps people get jobs (social good). And we also made sure that we were working with cutting edge systems and software (training). These three combined far outweighed salary and perks at that time.”

A strategy such as this could not be more important as hiring managers are dealing with the adderall generation, in which individuals will jump ship and move on to the next project when they feel understimulated.

By the same token, hiring managers can offer flexible working options that allow projects to be completed outside traditional nine-to-five office hours and show candidates a profile of the company’s cool corporate culture (how’s that for alliteration?) by shooting a “day in the life of the office” video.

The bottom line is that companies need to be creative and open minded in order to create an atmosphere that Millennials can jump into understanding they can have mobility and tackle new challenges. While money is always a factor, hiring managers need to understand that it is only part of the equation and that evolving with the general principles described above will best position companies to not only acquire, but retain the most tech-savvy Millennials on the market.

Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to serving the workforce needs of our clients as well as taking our candidate’s careers to the next level.

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