It’s springtime and that means that tulips are blooming, birds are migrating north, and college graduates across the country are walking across stages in caps and downs. These highly trained grads have difficult choices to make when it comes to where to work. The most qualified and distinguished among them will likely have multiple options from potential employers.
If you’re hoping to add some millennial talent to your team, it’s important that you know how to best recruit millennials so that you can win the battle for these talented future employees. Here are a few things that will help your company come out ahead:
1. Create a Great Culture
Millennials recognize that they will be spending a significant amount of time at their workplace and so when they look at potential employers they are often also looking for a good cultural fit. This generally means a fun and inspiring place to work where people collaborate and respect each other. Millennials like to be able to get to know their coworkers and build strong relationships with them.
When recruiting millennials, it’s important to tout opportunities to have fun at work or to make work fun. Companies like Zappos.com have managed to do this quite well with initiatives that allow people to decorate their workplaces and a focus on happiness at work. Millennials also enjoy feeling like they are part of a cause or a purpose so integrating the corporate social responsibility and community work that your company does with employees’ experiences can also help attract and retain millennials.
2. Be Flexible
A recent study of millennials by PWC showed that one of the things that millennials value most is work/life balance and flexibility. Many millennials watched their parents working overtime and long hours and don’t want to spend their youth doing the same. Touting your company’s work/life balance can be a great recruitment strategy. You should also consider making it possible for employees to work from home or have flexible work hours. This will provide a key recruitment advantage when it comes to millennials.
Some companies go as far as offering unlimited vacation days – which generally mean that as long as an employee gets their work done they’re able to take off as many dates as they would like. While it sounds like a policy that would lead to abuse, companies that have instituted it have found that employees are generally reasonable with how much vacation they take.
3. Rethink Your Employee Benefits
Many millennials graduating this year will have a significant amount of student loan debt. The average student loan debt millennials with a Bachelor’s degree hold is around $35,000. That’s a lot of money and, unsurprisingly, it’s causing millennials a significant amount of stress.
Your company can help ease their concern about that debt by helping them pay back their loans. Many businesses are now starting to offer student loan repayment assistance programs as benefits to their employees for this exact reason. Not only do these programs make your business more attractive to millennial job seekers, but they could potentially help create employee loyalty which would lead to less turnover.
Some companies add this benefit as an extra perk on top of the benefits package that they already offer. But other companies give employees the option to choose between student loan repayment assistance programs, 401(k), and pension contributions. This strategy has a benefit of having little extra cost to the employer but a significant recruitment payoff since millennials are far more concerned about their student loans then they are their retirement when they are new graduates.
4. Opportunities To Move Up
You might want to fill a very specific position when hiring your millennial employee but many millennials are thinking about how quickly they can move up the ladder when they make employment decisions. If your company has mentorship opportunities, recognition opportunities, educational or professional development opportunities, or a stream in which employees are groomed for greater responsibility and promotions then it’s important to tell this to millennial recruit. Millennials are very excited about the opportunity to continue learning and a potentially move forward in their career. If you give them an opportunity to do so at your company, they will stay there for many years.
Hopefully, you will take some of these suggestions into account as the war for talent heats up for college graduates across the country. Good luck!