Effectively Sourcing and Recruiting Millennial Hires Through Social Media

young workersWorkforce demographics are changing. Right now, there are an estimated 80 million young adults (ages 18 – 29), commonly referred to as millennials, who are joining the workforce.  In fact, according to a recent report by Kennan-Flagler Business School, by 2014, this talent pool will comprise 36 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of by 2014, and nearly half by 2020. The bottom line is, the millennial generation is here and the most successful organizations are quickly realizing that their talent acquisition strategies need to incorporate the latest trends in social media in order to effectively source, recruit, hire, and onboard this tech-savvy generation.

The old fashioned methods of finding jobs are uncommon among the millennial crowd. Millennials go straight to their social media accounts like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter to find their next dream job. Recent reports cite that nearly half of job seekers use social networking sites daily, making social media one of the most powerful – yet underutilized — talent acquisition tools available to recruiters today.

So, how can you leverage social technologies to stay ahead and develop a voice in social media among millennials?  There are a few steps you can take. First, to fully take advantage of the power of social media’s reach, talent acquisition teams are implementing new technologies that allow them to automate their company’s job posts, as frequently as they want, across 300+ available social media platforms. Much like job boards or career sites, these posts allow active candidates to search, view and apply for open positions, but without going to multiple destination sites first. Organizations are even taking it one step further and encouraging their employees to share job openings on their own social networks as well – a big step in expanding employee referral programs since recruiters often consider employee referrals the industry equivalent of “sourcing gold.”

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The next thing to keep in mind: If your company is going to try to cultivate a talent pool made up of this digital generation, keep it simple and be sure to close the communication loop. This generation responds best to straightforward and social-enabled job application processes.  Millennials want to be able to simply import their existing social profile data (via sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+), to side step clunky resume upload and manual field entry requirements. The more social-enabled the process is for Millennials, the more applicants your organization can speed into your system to vet for open positions. Aside from making the application process social, it is also important to make it mobile. Investors.com writer Patrick Seitz estimates that 71 percent of millennials have smartphones, which is the highest of any generation to date.  This mobile-friendly generation wants to be able to apply for a job anywhere at any time, so make the application process available on handheld devices and tablets and ensure you can allow for files to be shared via Dropbox, Google Docs, or other cloud-based providers.

Finally, it’s important to remember that while social media can significantly help any HR professional’s recruitment process, it also has the potential to hurt an employment brand. They want to engage with an organization prior to, during, and following the application process. Before they even consider joining an organization, Millennials typically want to learn about a company, its culture, and job openings via social media sites, blogs, YouTube videos, employee testimonials, etc. They are looking for a distinct employment experience, but the crucial thing to realize is, they won’t keep that experience to themselves. Thanks to social media, they can – and will — tell the world in a few clicks what they think of your organization and their interactions with your employment brand. If an organization provides an unsatisfying candidate experience, Millennials are more likely than those of other generations to share less-than-stellar reviews and comments online that could potentially dissuade future top talent from applying.

In the end, it all comes down to finding a balance to effectively source and recruit Millennials via social media. There is no one-size-fits all approach. Take a look at your company, determine your goals, and align your stakeholders to create a plan. Once you have a clear vision for your organization’s desired approach to attracting, recruiting, and retaining Millennial talent, there are several talent acquisition solutions in the market that can help automate most of your sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding processes. It can save your organization time, effort, and considerable expense. Be sure to look for solution sets that are responsive to the rapidly changing candidate landscape — technologies that leverage social media, offer mobile accessibility from any device, and even provide a way for your company to engage with passive candidates to build Millennial talent pools. It’s a brave new world out there, be sure that your solution set is poised to keep pace with it so your organization can stay ahead of the competition in the race for the best Millennial hires.

MORE: Millennial and Mature Workers’ Attitudes Align 

Susan Vitale

Susan Vitale
Susan is CMO at iCIMS.

Susan Vitale

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