Millennial. The term used to refer to a demographic of people born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Fairly standard terminology today right?
Except when it comes to recruitment. When it comes to recruitment, millennial has become a mind-set – regardless of the year you were born, or the technology you grew up with.
The recruitment landscape is changing. It has been for the last few years, but this shift has really started to pick up pace. The biggest shift? Motivation. No longer do people want to work 8.30-5.30 Monday to Friday in a dingy Portakabin in the car park. They don’t want to wear a suit, and sit in a small cubicle you’ve tried to call an office. They don’t want to work overtime, weekends or for a big soulless corporate.
People need purpose; mastery and autonomy (yes Daniel Pink fans). We always have – but more intensely than ever it’s spilling over into the jobs market. Wanting to work for a business that aligns with a hobby or passion. Travel, animals or saving the world. Even if it means a smaller pay check.
Flexible working. Richard Branson initiated an unlimited holiday policy and provides the opportunity for super flexible working. The emphasis is placed on trusting his employees to act like adults, and focus on what needs to be done – as opposed to when it is done. Branson has the resources to monitor and enable such policies – however there is something that can be taken from this for every business. If you don’t trust your staff to complete the work you hired them to do – then you probably shouldn’t have hired them in the first place. Just because your employees are sat at their desks for twelve hours a day, it doesn’t automatically mean the quality (or quantity) of their work will improve. In fact – it doesn’t really mean anything.
Businesses that don’t start to recognise this millennial mind-set shift will start to get left behind in the hiring dust. It really is a tough market. Even sectors where good candidates were ‘ten a penny’ two – three years ago are starting to become scarce. It’s not enough these days to just post an advert and wait for candidates to come to you. You need to be pro-actively engaging, building talent pools, communicating and expanding your employer brand.
Can I leave you with this? Think about what you can ‘give’ to make your position as an employer more attractive? Flexible working? Early finish Friday? A day’s holiday on your Birthday? Or – as per one of my newest clients – a fully operational (and stocked) bar and pool table. I’d drink to that.