Recruiting Millennials

It’s a challenge that many industries face. From what I’ve been told, it sounds like the same is true of construction.

This being the case, it‘s a challenge that many are aware of. Yet it’s one that few seem to have answers for… Or at least the “right” answers for.

I say this because some claim that the best way to recruit millennials comes down to creating a fun environment. An environment with ping pong tables, free food, nap pods, etc.

Now maybe they’re correct.

Maybe these perks do attract a certain type of millennial. But I’m willing to bet it’s not the type of millennial most want working at their company.

Think about it…

If a company recruits millennials by focusing on this tactic, they’ll likely end up with an employee that values comfort over a challenge. An employee that values immediate and materialistic satisfaction over everything else.

Of course, this is an assumption. It won’t be true of every millennial that’s attracted to a company because of these perks.

However, I’ve seen this be the case far more times than not. The reason being that this type of recruitment tactic tends to attract what many have defined as the stereotypical millennial… Lazy, entitled, selfish and the list goes on.

So, what’s the solution? What’s the key to attracting the “right” type of millennial into your organization?

Before we get into it there are a few things you need to know about me.

First, I’m a millennial. Second, I’m not the smartest nor am I the most talented millennial.

Yet I’ve been fortunate to have had the privilege of leading hundreds of peers. I’ve delivered keynotes and workshops around the country to business leaders that focus on recruiting, developing and retaining millennials. In addition, my company provides millennials with professional development programs and peer advisory groups to ensure that they excel early in their careers.

I share this to provide credibility. For what I’m about to share is not theory. It’s tried and true practical advice that has proven to deliver results. It’s also simple. Yet it has proven to be highly effective.

So, let’s get into it.

The key to recruiting high performing millennials comes down to addressing three desires throughout the recruitment process.

These desires are: Clarity, Growth and Contribution.

By understanding and then creating ways to leverage these desires, a company can take one of the greatest challenges they face and turn it into an opportunity.

That being said, the first and most important desire of high performing millennials is Clarity.

More specifically, millennials want to know:

  • The vision. The shared purpose of the company. How it impacts the greater good.
  • Their roles and responsibilities. How their efforts make a positive impact on the clients, industry and community they’ll be serving.
  • The values and standards. The clearer they are on what the company stands for, the clearer they’ll become on how they’ll be able to grow.

This leads us to the second desire of high performing millennials, Growth.

To understand the importance of Growth, it might be worthwhile to think about the times in your career where you felt most fulfilled.

By doing so you might find that there was some form of development / advancement taking place. In other words, Growth.

High performing millennials are no different. They crave opportunities to grow and develop.

So, focus on this throughout the recruitment process. Speak to how they’ll be supported and led. The opportunities they’ll have to participate in mentorship and training programs.

Of course, we’re just scratching the surface here. But this should provide an initial direction.

The third desire is Contribution.

Put simply, high performing millennials want to feel like they’re making a positive impact.

This comes down to a fundamental human need that most (if not all) want to experience…

Feeling significant. Important.

The good news is when Clarity and Growth are successfully addressed, the immediate result is Contribution.

As Clarity provides millennials with the vision and purpose. Helping them see how they’ll be able to contribute. Then there’s Growth. When millennials know that they’ll be supported and led, they gain the confidence in knowing that they’ll excel within the company. All of which leads them to experiencing even greater levels of Contribution throughout the recruitment process.

So, those are the three desires of high performing millennials: Clarity, Growth and Contribution.

Now clearly this is a high-level overview. We didn’t even get in to the tactical strategies that must be implemented for these desires.

However, understanding the desires comes first.

For when a company knows what’s most important to high performing millennials, they can take what many see as a challenge and turn it into an opportunity. An opportunity which is ultimately achieved by addressing the millennials desires throughout the recruitment process.

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