Millennials have a poor reputation for being job hoppers, but a slew of recent studies suggests this is just a myth. UK-based think tank Resolution Foundation discovered that only 1 in 25 people born in the 1980s have switched employment before reaching their 30th birthday. Additionally, Generation X, those born in the previous decade, is more than twice as likely to change jobs.
It’s not that millennials are prone to quitting jobs early in the game. It’s that they are missing out on the double-digit pay raises that prior generations have enjoyed — leaving them experiencing poor overall pay growth.
“Young people are prioritizing job security and opting to stick with their employers rather than leave, due to shifts in the labor market,” Laura Gardiner, the senior policy analyst for Resolution Foundation, said.
Millennials want what all other generations of workers want
It’s not that milennials are disloyal or difficult; they are seeking career opportunities that grant rewards both personally and financially. But they may be finding few opportunities to experience either one in a career, therefore they keep looking for a better opportunity. They may be taking their cues from Gen X in that they are not going to settle for anything less.
These factors may be influencing the beliefs that recruitment pros have about millennials and why there is so much focus on attracting, engaging and retaining them. With this in mind, what’s the secret to success for attracting and retaining a loyal base of millennials?
Attracting millennial candidates with context and relevancy
It’s really a two-prong approach, said Brett McCoy, the Senior Manager of Employer Brand and Media Strategy for Alexander Mann Solutions.
McCoy shared with HR Dive his ideas on the core principles of ‘context’ and ‘relevancy’ when it comes to candidate attraction. It sounds complicated, but it’s based on time-tested basics. When candidates can easily see themselves in the context of a particular job or organization, they are more likely to see their skills and work style as relevant to the company’s objectives.
In other words, it’s an aligning of candidate needs and company goals.
“As employers, we need to know two things: Who we want to attract, and how to attract them," McCoy said. "Education is a strong component of this effort.”
Building an authentic and appealing recruitment brand
McCoy also tells employers to, “stop spending money on job boards — the company brand should be enough.” Traditional job boards fill a specific purpose, but they are beginning to be usurped by mobile capabilities and social media.
He explains that instead of waiting too long to hire people, companies need to think far in advance, akin to consumer marketing models. Developing smart brand marketing around jobs and career paths can help reel in the best of the best candidates, without the need for heavy advertising.
“It’s better to leverage content marketing and build relationships with content marketers and publications that appeal to candidates,” McCoy said.
A warning to keep in mind: Make sure the brand is authentic so that candidates are not scratching their heads later on wondering why things are different once they get hired.
Here is where relevancy comes into play.
"Candidates want to have a relationship with the company during the recruitment phase. They want to be talked to, kept in touch with, and relate to the value proposition being presented to them,” McCoy said. Essentially: All people deserve to be treated with the same courtesy.
To keep matters in context and relevancy, while working to attract candidates, McCoy said that recruiters need to remember the basics:
We are here to help people get jobs.
People want jobs.
“If employers are doing a good job of fulfilling promises, great candidates will come," he said. Retention is important, too, because when people are happy, they will share their story. This relieves companies from having to do so much paid advertising.
"Don’t be afraid to share the inside of the organization,” McCoy said.