By 2020, 40% of the workforce will be millennials and how well you, as an organization communicates with them can become your competitive advantage. Whether you’re in an HR role such as Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Learning and Development or Internal Communications, employer branding needs to be top of mind as you develop your communication plan and messages.

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Start by understanding the opportunity and challenge. Millennials may be the most high-performing generation we’ve ever seen in the workplace. They are quick to embrace new trends and technology, have a great ability to multitask and are comfortable working in teams. That’s all good news. The bad news is that they’re often called “job-snackers” because of their craving for new experiences and penchant for changing jobs every 2-3 years.

How Employer Branding fits in.

Millennials have always been socially connected and are strongly influenced by their peers. They also engage more deeply and socially with brands that they identify with. Employer branding is all about emo-marketing; creating an emotional connection with your audience that inspires them to take action. So start with thinking about your messages in an emotive way rather than as a directive.

Is there important information that employees need to know about what’s changing with their benefit plans? Do they need clarity around goal setting or developmental planning? Are you looking for them to respond to your career opportunities? Begin by thinking about “the why” and frame every message with why should they should care; what is the action that you want your audience to take and why is that important to them? Make that front and center.

Shorter is Better and Pictures Are Best.

While 140 characters may be too short, it’s still true that a picture is worth at least 1,000 words. Attention spans are getting shorter and we are becoming bombarded with more messages than ever before. Think about a hierarchy of branded content, or to put it visually – if you were reading this on your mobile device, what are the important things you need to know and what is the priority?

We recommend a combined push and pull message strategy – push bits of information in front of someone to make them aware of its existence, and then provide an optional link (pull) where they can go to find out more details.

Tell the Story

A final note about Millennials and emotional employer branding. This is a generation that responds to personal stories and anecdotes. They also appreciate humor. Always try to put a face to your internal communications. Show examples from the workplace, and recognize successful champions of your program, initiative or methodology. While it’s not always possible to find the funny side of employee communications, you might consider design elements such as infographics, or emojis.

By personalizing your communications and making each recipient feel like you are engaging with them, they will have a more positive experience with you the sender and the messages they receive.