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How to win the hiring war for graduating millennials

Sharon Florentine | June 10, 2015
The class of 2015 is more than prepared for their new roles as STEM employees. The question is, are you ready to attract and retain them?

"Work is much more than just a job for millennials, so it's really important to have a dedicated, visible and authentic means by which to help them achieve success at work and to integrate that with success in their lives. You must include them in decision-making and strategy and help them understand their part in the greater whole of the businesses if you want to engage them and retain them," she says.

Incorporate technology

Part of that engagement and retention process involves using the right technology. While some of that effort should be towards simplifying and streamlining outdated processes and practices, there should also be initiatives toward integrating technology that's appropriate for this generation.

"Millennials are digital, social and visual natives. Their whole lives have been experienced at the intersection of consumer and enterprise technology, and they see it not just as a tool for getting things done, it's how their entire generation communicates, shares knowledge, collaborates and learns. So, why shouldn't it also be how they work?" Scott says.

Of course, this can be a major structural change for many businesses used to powering down at the end of the work day, but attracting and retaining the next generation of talent demand that organizations leverage technology at every phase of a worker's career; from recruiting and hiring to onboarding to daily workload to growth and learning initiatives.

Provide meaning and purpose

Millennials are a passionate, committed group, says Scott, and that doesn't apply just to their personal lives. Helping millennials understand how their role in an organization shapes the big picture and contributes to overall success can go a long way toward attracting and retaining talent, she says.

"These folks are so passionate - they're registered to vote in huge numbers. They've grown up doing community service and participating in causes and social betterment issues. They're devoted to making the world a better place. If you, as a business, can harness that drive and that power and passion, you're going to see fantastic outcomes," says Scott.

Try offering community service days, fundraisers or other social campaigns in your organization, Scott says. It will help differentiate you as an employer of choice if you can prove you're not only focused on the ins and outs of your business, but on the impact you have on the world at large. When millennials search for a higher purpose in their work that aligns philosophically with who they are as a person, and with their own mission and values, you want to them to think of your company, she says.

Improve salary

That's not to say that salary isn't important for attracting and retaining entry-level talent, says Scott. While millennials are searching for purpose and meaning in their work, they're also digitally savvy enough to understand what they are worth and their value in the marketplace.


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