Ask Matt: How can I reach out to and recruit the Millennials?

  • Updated: October 22, 2012 - 10:12 AM

Dear Matt: I'm a recruiter struggling to hire and retain Millennials / Generation Y employees. Those we do hire seem impatient and want perks beyond a good salary. What are other employers doing to reach this group of job seekers?

Matt says: Social media and technology have certainly changed the way we search for jobs, and they are also changing the way employers recruit for those jobs. Employers have shifted away from using big job boards to promoting the career pages on their company's website and using social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to reach out to job seekers of all levels. Recruiters are interviewing candidates over Skype -- and some are now even text messaging candidates.

This is especially true when trying to recruit Millennials/Generation Y job seekers -- those born between 1976 and 2001. Millennials are known to be tech savvy, impatient for progress and seeking rewards beyond a paycheck. That's why many forward-thinking companies are integrating social and mobile media platforms directly into their sourcing and recruiting processes.

Recruiters seeking the most qualified candidates need to re-strategize their hiring efforts to reach the Millennials, who tend to use social media and mobile technology almost exclusively to communicate.

"As a result, human resources processes have changed to address the social and mobile trends taking hold within the candidate landscape," says Susan Vitale, CMO of iCIMS (icims.com), a leading provider of talent acquisition software solutions for growing businesses. "More and more HR professionals are stepping away from traditional sourcing and recruiting methods, like job board posting, and turning to social media outlets and search engine optimization for additional exposure for their open positions."

As a job seeker you need to understand these changes and how they affect your search. One of the ways employers now like to engage with top talent is to post jobs on social media sites and allow candidates to apply for positions using their social profiles, said Vitale.

By creating websites about an organization's employment brand, mission and culture, candidates who are not yet ready to apply can learn more about the organization and submit their information to start an ongoing dialogue with the company. In essence, these new technologies enable employers to create their own social talent pools.

The reality is, it's easier than ever before to connect with employers. Take advantage of these new opportunities. The more you reach out, the better your chance of getting noticed -- and hired.

Matt Krumrie is a freelance writer specializing in career advice. Send your questions to askmatt@startribune.com.
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