How should companies be going about finding Millennials? Where are they, and how do you reach them?
They’re on campus, so campus recruiting is still a great way to reach Millennials. They’re increasingly on LinkedIn[Disclosure: Pollak is an official spokesperson for LinkedIn]. Students are realizing that LinkedIn is where they want to be. They’re looking at job listings through Twitter as well, so social media in general. And they’re going through their friends.
A referral from a friend is the highest form of praise for your company. Any kind of employee recruiting, really, where they get bonuses or referral fees for recruiting their friends is a really smart way to get Millennials.
How does the hiring process look for people in Generation Y compared to those who came before them?
There are two things that are really important.
All the Gen Ys who I’ve talked to say, “Just because I’m young, Just because I’m Gen Y, doesn’t mean that I want to be communicated with via email or via social media.” High touch still works with this generation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they want everything to be through text messaging or instant messaging.
They really do want to build those relationships and they understand how important that is, because work is very social to them. They want to see what the people who work at the company they might join are like, so high touch is really important.
The second thing is, given all of that, they like to be communicated with frequently. They want to know how they did on the interview and they want to know what the next step in the process is — and I don’t think that’s very different from other generations, but they’re used to constant communication, constant feedback.
They want to know that they have access to the recruiting team and information, to a point that’s much more extreme than previous generations. Let them know you received their application, let them know that they will hear back from you in a week, let them know when the interviews are, and what the next steps will be.
They really want to, in a way, have their hands held through the process. We all would like that, but I think Gen Ys would be turned off by a company that doesn’t offer that because they’ve been so used to that in their lives.
What hiring strategies just don’t work with Generation Y?
I get a lot of frustrated calls from Gen Ys when they feel they’re applying into a black hole, and that the process takes too long. They really prioritize speed, so the fact that hiring has traditionally taken weeks and weeks, if not months, is a big turnoff to Gen Ys.
They’re used to the world working at internet speed, so [taking too much]time is probably the biggest mistake that a company could make if it wants to attract Millennials.
What’s the single-most important thing to remember about hiring from Generation Y?
Remember how much Millennials want to express who they are through their work. Being able to be an individual, being able to do work that you love and that you’re passionate about, feeling that the company appreciates you as an individual and not just one of thousands of employees is something to keep in mind.
Is there anything else employers should know about Generation Y?