Enticing Elusive Millennials

By Karen (Hollinger) Huller, CPRW

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We can all agree that what worked yesterday is no longer effective in capturing tomorrow’s breed of corporate talent and leadership. The evolution of careering is accelerating as quickly as technology, and it will not stop. With an improving economy, the time to figure out how to compete as an employer of choice for new and recent grads was yesterday. So, if you are looking to position your company to compete for top talent in a more competitive talent market, look to these strategies.


1. Gamification - Make the application process a fun challenge that allows candidates to demonstrate their prowess. To engage them from the get-go, also consider gamifying training and on-boarding. Though the industry has not yet moved there, all things indicate that companies will eventually gamify their workflow and offer enjoyable incentives as well as lifestyle perks for high-level performance.  Infuse your culture with a fun sense of competition, or better yet, collaboration.


2. Demonstrate creativity using social media - I am sure most employers would agree that when you're hiring a marketing professional, how they portray themselves through social media demonstrates much better than words how creative and professional they will be presenting your organization. Similarly, creative professionals want to be enthusiastic about their employer’s brand. How you as an organization use social media says more than words can possibly say to a zestful professional about the creative culture of the organization. Being creative means being more than just present on social media, and even more than following emerging trends, a truly innovative and progressive organization will establish new trends. As a fast-growing organization, if you don't already have these talents in-house, outsource them. It is worth the investment in the talent that you will attract.


3. Invest in new technologies – Not only is it smart for your business to invest in newer technologies because everything is developed today to make your business run more efficiently, more securely, and be more scalable for growth, but it also shows your candidates that becoming your employee means that they will be able to expand their skill set, grow professionally, and increased their value in the market.


4. Opportunities for travel – You may not be a global organization, yet, but not only will you be attracting ambitious adventure-seeking additions to your human capital, but you will also be cultivating global perspective within your company that will increase your competitive edge. Every industry has a worldwide conference. If you don't have multilingual people on staff, recruiting them is that much easier when they have the opportunity to go and apply their language skills. Or, if you have no intention of worldwide expansion, you could just stick to  sending your workforce to industry conferences in English-speaking countries.


5. Paid training – Job seekers I’ve ever worked with almost always considered paid training to be a highly desirable perk for their next employer. However many companies fear that by investing in paid training, they are simply increasing the attractiveness of their talent for their competition, especially considering this new employment era in which staying with the job 3 to 5 years is considered longevity. The paradox of that should seem clear, however: by not offering paid training you are increasing the chances that they will be leaving sooner for a better opportunity, while at the same time decreasing the value that they can have to your organization while they are there.


6. Strong corporate leadership – Even though many technology-oriented start-ups have a younger breed of executive at the helm, millennials want to work for experts. They want to be mentored by people who have established a strong record of accomplishment in the industry and who have built a superior reputation as a thought leader. Do not underestimate how critical it is to bring in seasoned and experienced strategists, not only to ensure that the lessons of yesterday are applied today, but also so that the next generation of leadership have great examples to follow.


7. Make the mission your mission – A mission statement isn’t just a basic component of web copy; it’s the very reason your company exists and operates, and if you want it to thrive well into the coming decades, you will make it the focal point of your brand, advertising, marketing, and community outreach. Millennials will not be satisfied being a cog in a machine; they want to be part of something that leaves a legacy.


As the baby boomers exit, the millennials are the predominant demographic in the talent pool. They are not wooed by job security; in fact, they are rightfully skeptical that the enigma even exists. The only way to hedge your recruiting spend is to appeal to them as an employer and keep them engaged. Whether you implement one, a few or all of the above recommended strategies, use your organization’s social media outreach to promote them as part of your brand. Reach the millennials where they are already in abundance.


About the author:

Karen Huller, author of the upcoming book Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days, is founder of Epic Careering, an employment and career branding firm specializing in the optimizing power of social media, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a game development company that turns work into play. While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations and coaching also draw from experience in performance, broadcasting, marketing and sales. Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify new trends in hiring and personal marketing. Her clients recommend her for her compassion, candor and intuitive insight. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and is committed to being a coach who is always being coached to maximize results for her clients.

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