Are your recruiting practices outdated for a new generation of workers?

Between the increasing difficulty of finding the right talent, and the influx of new generations into the workforce, recruiters are faced with a dynamic new landscape to navigate. Because of this, many of the tried and true recruiting practices of yesteryear may now be outdated.

Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, but contrary to what you may understand, the oldest cohort of millennials are now in their late thirties and are beginning to transition into leadership roles. Following the millennials are Gen Z, who were born from 1997 onwards, and are now beginning to enter the workforce as well.

So, what do younger millennials and Gen Z want from their employers, and how can we adjust our recruiting practices to find and retain the brightest young talent?

Focus on your employer brand

Younger generations are far more likely to know about your organisation before recruitment begins than older employers. This understanding may develop well before they’ve ever considered working for you. As digital natives, they’re more likely to have either followed or engaged with your social media channels and/or any other digital content that exists online.

This means it’s essential to understand what the sum total of your digital presence communicates about your employer brand. What are the corporate values that you try to uphold, and what evidence have you provided of this in terms of real initiatives? Do you value your people and place them at the centre of your employer brand? Whether you want to be viewed as a market-leader, an innovator, or as community focused, it’s essential that there is consistency across your digital presence.

Be more immediate with your communication

Younger generations expect recruitment processes to move quickly, and they have very little patience for needless bureaucracy. This doesn’t mean you need to squeeze the entire recruitment process into one week, but you do need to be transparent about closing dates for applications, the timeline for interviews, and when a hiring decision will likely be made.

Expecting younger applicants to wait weeks while you make a decision post-interview is an easy way to lose them to a competitor. Even if you do hire them, a long delay with little communication will make them feel disconnected and undervalued before they’ve even begun their new role – and increases the chance they will be looking elsewhere sooner rather than later.

Match your onboarding experience to your employer brand

If you’ve sold your organisation as being innovative and forward-thinking, and your new recruits have no computer access on the first day, you are quickly creating dissonance in their mind between their expectations and what you can deliver. Likewise, if they are bombarded with seemingly disorganised manual paperwork on the first day or week, while HR teams and managers are offering very little advice on how to complete it, younger employees will quickly become disillusioned with their decision to join your business.

Like any element of user experience, digital technology now enables us to make many elements of the onboarding process as seamless and intuitive as possible. Focus on the elements that employees expect on the first day such as access to technology and the ability to begin making productive contributions, and remove as much of the burden of manual compliance tasks as possible.

Much of the above should now apply for every generation, as the expectations of younger generations will quickly permeate the entire workforce. But it’s important to understand that younger generations of workers value more than just a paycheck – they want to feel an affinity with the mission and values of the organisation they’re employed by, and they want to be recognised for making valuable contributions as soon as possible.

This article was written by Presence of IT’s Sarah Wojciechowski and was published on LinkedIn.