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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?

Salary shouldn't be the only factor, but it should be a part of your overall recruitment strategy. Even entry-level talent knows what they should be making, and what similar jobs are paying.

"Don't fall into the trap of thinking, 'Well, this low offer's still great because this candidate was working at a coffee shop making minimum wage' -- yes, you're probably a step up from that, but if you want talent to stay long-term, it's worth boosting your entry-level salaries now instead of when salary pressure really comes to bear as the market improves," says Jason Berkowitz, vice president of client services for recruitment process outsourcing firm Seven Step RPO.

Offer education and training

One of the most important ways to attract and retain talent is through continuous learning, education and training, says Scott. For millennials, especially, their aspirations are built around inspiration - they need to see the larger outcomes of their work and to be able to plan out a long-term growth and development strategy.

"I hear this from my colleagues all the time - they want ongoing, informal and continuous feedback that will help them grow in their job and help them learn," says Scott. "They want to go beyond the once- or twice-a-year performance reviews and have ongoing conversations about where they are and where they're going. They also want structured training and learning opportunities," she says, and that's a great investment for your business to make.

"If I had a business and the choice was to allocate a couple thousand extra dollars a year into employees' salary or toward their training, I'd go with training every single time. There's always going be a competitor out there who can pay more, but your employees aren't going to leave you for that competitor if you're investing in them. You get repaid by increasing their qualifications, their skills and their loyalty," says Berkowitz.

Millennials want what everyone else does, says Scott: interesting, challenging, meaningful work at a fair salary with the chance to grow and learn. If you're not giving that to your talent, you're going to miss out.


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