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What Millennials Want and How Staffing Must Adapt to Recruit Them

It seems like everyone with staffing demands is trying to solve the “millennial puzzle.” Like any generation, you can’t put 100% of a group into a single bucket, but what you can do is step back and take a look at your staffing strategy. Has it changed in the past year? Two years?

Because half of the workforce will be millennials in just a few short years, ask yourself, “How can my company form a real and ongoing connection with millennial candidates?”

The heart of the matter

Staffing firms, in particular, are going to have to work harder to reach them. Dangling advancement or management opportunities won’t work with this group. Just 17% of American millennials rank aspiring to leadership roles as a top career priority. This figure includes: managing others (4%), getting to the top of an organization (4%) and owning my own company (9%).

"Being the boss is a low priority"

Infographic: Manpower

So what DO millennials want?

A recent study on Millennial Careers by ManpowerGroup shows that millennials understand the need for continuous professional skill development to remain employable. Ninety-six percent want lifelong learning and four out of five say the opportunity to learn a new skill is a top factor when considering a new job.The bottom line: Millennials are redefining job security as career security.

Closing the skills gap.

Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, millennials are focused on learning the technical and personal skills to ensure long-term career security, according to the same study by ManpowerGroup. Millennials prioritize pay and purpose. Asked about their career goals, 28% say making a positive contribution is a priority, followed closely by earning a lot of money (26%) and working with great people (19%). They are looking for work they believe in and learning the skills to build a “career for me.”

Adapting your staffing strategy.

Strategies like mobile and social recruiting are crucial for reaching millennial candidates, as well as matching the best ones to your open positions. Social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat are imperative, as company culture is high on the list of career goals for millennials. They want to work for companies that align with their beliefs, and companies that offer training and development.

Since you’re hiring staff and placing them, you can’t rely on what your candidates will take away from seeing how your internal processes work, but you can show them what kind of support your firm can offer them. Highlight the company events that bring your staffers together (and if you’re not doing the occasional happy hour or “lunch and learn,” now’s a good time to start).

Depending on the placement, consider offering annual memberships to online training like Skillshare or Udemy, and reward employees with bonuses for completing them.

It’s all good marketing.

Set expectations with your clients so they know they’re not just getting the best candidate for now, but one that will be the best in a year or more. Use your social channels to highlight the achievements of staff you’ve placed, share their accomplishments, and (with minimal effort) you’ve just marketed your firm as top in placement AND getting ahead of the skills gap. You find the best, you place them, you keep the lines of communication open to find out what they need to be successful in their placement.

Bonus: Social media will allow you to make quick and easy connections with candidates and current staffers. Want to know what a millennial wants or needs? Ask them via Snapchat!