Friday, June 20, 2008

Millennial Madness: Tips for Effectively Attracting & Recruiting Gen Y

Article Title: Millennial Madness: Tips for Effectively Attracting & Recruiting Gen Y
Author Byline: Author of "Millennials Incorporated" & Generation Relations Expert
Author Website:

As you read this, Millennials (Gen Y) are being actively recruited prior to, and upon, college graduation. Many are already busy navigating the waters of their first professional job since being hired a year or so ago. But why is this new generation the new darlings of the workforce? And how can you successfully attract and recruit this sought after group of young talent? Keep reading!

Let me start by saying that companies, of all sizes, are spending record-breaking amounts of money on recruiting the Millennials. Companies like Deloitte, Toyota, IBM and other brands you know are taking this very seriously, so this isn’t just me saying they are a big deal to the future of our professional workforce; companies all over the U.S. and abroad are starting to see it, too.

But why has this new generation of young professionals turned into such a hot commodity? One key factor is the looming reality of the Boomer Brain Drain that companies across the country are going to feel over the next 5-15 years (starting now as the oldest Boomers hit retirement age). Here’s one simple statistic from the Office of Employment Projections that will quickly put this into perspective: The average large company in the U.S. will lose 30-40% of its workforce due to retirement over the next 5-10 years. Ouch.

But wait! There’s more. According to the Employment Policy Foundation, based on the current population growth trend that is occurring in the U.S., we could be facing a labor shortage of educated and skilled workers of over 35 million people in the next 3 decades! This is a big deal and critical to our country’s ability to maintain our current level of productivity and competitiveness worldwide.

And we have as many GenXers on the planet as there are going to be, so the replacements for this massive Boomer exodus are the Millennials. That is why M.B.A. students are being offered amazing employment packages, starting salaries are being jacked-up higher than ever, and impressive signing bonuses are being offered. Many of the top young college grads are being pursued and courted like top college draft picks entering the NBA. Basically, recruiting and retaining them has turned into a big, competitive business.

Now that you have a general idea of why companies are clamoring to hire them, I thought it would be a good idea to share 5 key attraction and recruitment tips that your organization may want to consider.

Effective Attraction & Recruitment Tips:

1. Go Where They Are: Running ads on Craig’s List or aren’t enough. This generation has grown-up experiencing life online and congregate on places like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube and Second Life. You should consider having a company presence in these communities to attract Millennials to your brand and make them aware of you. You can interview/videotape employees about how great it is to work at your company and post it on YouTube. Deloitte has done an amazing job posting fun videos on YouTube to attract Millennial talent, so check out their posts for ideas. Make them funny and/or interesting and you’ll get viewers. And it’s basically free and easy to do!

2. Preach Work-Life Balance: This generation is showing up totally aware of work-life balance. They value time with family and friends, and they value their time doing things they enjoy. Boomers and Gen X employees typically didn’t ask for flextime until they had been in the workforce for 15+ years. Millennials are showing up and requesting it from Day One. And, the smart companies are offering it.

3. Invite the Folks: As a whole, this generation considers their parents part of their social circle. They admire their parents, they like their parents, and they respect their opinion. Perhaps you’ve heard the new term “Helicopter Parents”. It means that even when their kids go off to college (or work!) they don’t stop hovering over them and guiding them (a lot!). Believe it or not, recruiters are now finding themselves taking a top candidate to lunch for a schmooze fest and he/she brings their parents. Recruiters are realizing that convincing the parents it’s the best job for their daughter, Sally, is as important as convincing Sally. Well-known companies are even creating “Parent Days” where job candidates can bring their parents to tour the company’s work environment, meet their potential managers, etc.

4. Preach Mentoring: These young adults want to know you will provide them with plenty of guidance and mentoring! If you don’t have a mentor program in-place, create one and emphasize it during the interview process. I recently conducted a seminar with a well-known company about recruiting and retaining Millennials, and they had been suffering from a high turnover of Millennials. When I spoke to the Millennials who had left, all of them mentioned the company hadn’t provided enough mentoring and training programs.

5. Emphasize They Will Get Plenty of Face Time With Managers: A recent survey of Millennial professionals, conducted by Robert Half International and Yahoo! Hot Jobs, found that 60% of Millennials want to hear from their managers at least once a day. This generation will not do well with just one weekly “check in” session with their managers. They want feedback daily and an opportunity to communicate with their manager(s) for input on their projects.

So are the rumors you’ve heard about them being high maintenance true? Yes. But, they will also be high performing. Our country (and world!) has just begun to feel their impact as they reach their mid-20s. And, as with generations in the past, this generation will create new definitions for: Work environments, success, leadership, communication, management, entrepreneurship, corporate culture, and professional relationships. The successful companies will adjust (and are!) their corporate cultures and recruitment and retention strategies to appeal to this unique generation.

For more free tips on recruiting, managing and retaining Millennial Talent, and for info on improving generation relations in the workforce, be sure to visit:

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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