Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States, according to Pew Research Center. However, recruiting them is challenging because they are motivated by factors different from those valued by previous generations. Additionally, recruiters have their work cut out for them because competition for this talent is fierce. As always, quality talent remains in short supply.
Today’s generation values intangibles like flexibility at work as much as tangibles like compensation. Over half of them say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job, says a 2016 Gallup study .
How can you be the first to get their attention? Recruiting via texting can help. Millennials like this form of communication because it’s real-time and continuous. Most Millennials would choose a text only phone over a voice only phone, according to a recent survey.
Your client’s employer brand can help you attract more of the talent they’ve tasked you to recruit. Millennials want to work for companies that stand for something they can get behind and that has a culture that supports them in reaching their goals–whether personal or career.
Nearly all companies have recognized the importance of building an employer brand, but many don’t have the resources to maximize its exposure to the right talent. By sharing the collateral they do have, you’ll be strengthening your relationship with them as a partner and advisor, not just seen as a recruiter.
Involve hiring managers in developing your sourcing strategy for recruitment. Together, you can create a candidate persona and based on what they value, come up with an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)  to ensure that you source the talent with the best cultural and skills fit for their position.
With these pieces in place, you’ve got the tools you need to put your sourcing strategy in play. While email and social media are great tools, recruiting via text messaging can help you to attract and engage Millennials using a channel that gets their immediate attention, is unobtrusive, and preferred by this generation that’s never without their smartphones.
You can continue your conversation via text messaging during the hiring process to shorten time to hire by sharing videos of employees talking about a day in their lives, providing links to your client’s career site, and information about their sustainability or charity initiatives and other collateral that helps encourage candidates to favor your client over other employers that may be pursuing them.
Recruiting via texting is also an efficient way to schedule and confirm interviews, provide directions, interview tips, and other information candidates find valuable. Much of this can be automated to nurture candidates and keep them informed of where they stand in the hiring process–a key source of frustration voiced by many.
Top Talent, a recruiting firm, was spending too much time calling potential candidates and many of them were not picking up the phone. Staff time was wasted in calling candidates back repeatedly and leaving voicemails which could remain unanswered for days.
A client, Fast Movers, a consumer goods company, wanted to hire quality Millennial talent to staff a new office opening in six months, which happened to be a month after college graduation.
Top Talent knew that the way Fast Movers’ employer brand was presented would be key to attracting Millennial talent in the competitive market where the new office was located. The recruiters also knew that using traditional channels like email and phone calls wouldn’t deliver the results their client needed.
Top Talent involved Fast Movers’ hiring managers and human resources executives to create a candidate persona. They used exit interviews and research to identify what candidates wanted and where the gaps were in what Fast Movers was offering as an employer based on their desire to hire Millennial talent.
Top Talent visited campus job fairs within a 50 mile radius of the new office and encouraged students to opt in to receive information about the available positions available with Fast Movers, using a keyword. Students who replied with the keyword were automatically logged in the Top Talent CRM as leads. Then, Top Talent sent a text with a URL where students could complete their profiles. This helped them to identify potential personality, skill, and cultural fit to create a shortlist for assessments and interviews.
Also, rather than sharing standard job descriptions, they opted to show rather than tell, sending MMS videos where Fast Mover employees talked about company culture and a day-in-the-life of the role.
Candidates responded much faster to the texts and MMS messages than Top Talent had experienced in past recruiting efforts that relied on phone and email. This helped them set up interviews faster. They also provided interview coaching, to reassure the candidate and ensure the interview went off well. Sending reminder texts with directions helped to ensure that interview appointments were kept and that candidates stayed informed and engaged in the hiring process.
After a candidate’s interview at Fast Movers was over, the recruiters surveyed to collect feedback via text message from the candidate about the process. They also messaged what the next steps would be from Fast Mover’s side, and by when the candidate could expect to hear back from them.
Simultaneously, Top Talent followed up via text message with the hiring managers at Fast Movers, to ensure they replied quickly. In this way, Top Talent reduced its time-to-hire significantly by using a channel that their candidates preferred.
Top Talent continued to nurture quality candidates who did not choose to apply so that they would stay viable in their talent pool and be predisposed to apply when new positions–with Fast Movers or other clients–became available. They sent career tips through SMS periodically to help the new grads hone their interview skills and remain a valuable resource as these new graduates looked to launch their careers.
A little extra effort and thought about what matters to Millennials and how they prefer communicating can help get better results when recruiting them.
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