Tips to attract the next generation of skilled workers

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With about 180,000 students set to graduate university this summer, and many young pros looking to hop on to their next job, businesses may wonder how they should position themselves to get in front of this audience.

In less than 10 years, the Generation Y individuals and Millennials – who are born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s – will make up 75 per cent of the workforce, according to a Millennial Survey by Deloitte. It is no wonder that business owners are looking to understand what makes them different from previous generations.

When previous generations sought stability and long-term employment, Gen Y have little loyalty towards their current employers and don’t hesitate to hop from job to job. However, Millennials tend to choose organisations that share their personal values, it’s an opportunity for businesses to make those values shine bright and create a great work environment.

Gen Y want life integration with work, flexibility, and a sense of purpose that extends beyond profit. Social media is also an integral part of their life. They want mentors rather than ‘bosses’. Through these needs, they keep hiring managers on their toes and challenge them to evolve and improve constantly.

The challenge is a double one for business owners: how do you get your brand in front of this workforce, and then, how do you transition them from being aware of you, to applying for the job?

Leverage the channels they’re on

You want to connect with the best candidates early. As a business, the best way to do this is to move your advertising away from a general, noticeboard-only approach, to a much more targeted and multi-channelled approach. In order to do this, you need to understand where your audience is active.

For example, if you’re looking for the next generation of active transport and logistics workers, chances are they won’t be reading the classified section of their local paper. Statistically, they’re more likely to be spending a large chunk of their week consuming content and communicating on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and viewing popular entertainment websites via mobile.

You need to create a coordinated message that is put in front of these people in multiple, relevant locations so they have opportunity to consume the message and act.

You may not have thought about this before, but Facebook adverts enable you to target a very specific crowd of people for a very reasonable price. These ads have been used a lot for selling products and services, but it is now becoming one of the up-and-coming platforms for recruitment that helps you reach out to passive job seekers and top talent who may not be proactively looking at job boards.

Understand your employer brand, and the candidate experience

In today’s market, people are so inundated with choice; this means quick judgements need to be made. As an employer in a job seekers’ market your image is everything, and this is especially true for the new wave of skilled workers, among whom are the highest consumers of digital content.

These job seekers want to be able to research a business prior to applying or being interviewed. They want to understand your brand personality, and if they fit into that equation. It goes without saying that remuneration, job packages are of key importance to job seekers, but tying this in with a slick employer brand adds a lot of value and positions you well against your competitors.

Have a look at your online assets: How recent is your website? Should you build a careers’ page that will display why you’re a good place to work for? Do you have a Facebook page that showcases your brand personality? Do you have Twitter and Instagram accounts? Not only will these tools be helpful with clients, it’s also a great way to show potential applicants what they’re in for.

Recruiting has been done the same way for the last 20 years, but in those years the people that are being recruited have changed so much. Millennials are interacting and engaging with brands and potential employers in a very different way.

This generation has been inundated with information overload, meaning that it has the luxury to respond to the messages that they believe are personalised and authentic. It’s an opportunity for you to look at what messages you are conveying to the workforce and how you can update it to please today’s next generation of skilled workers.

Sharon Davies is the founder and managing director of Talent Propeller, a recruitment solutions provider operating across Australia and New Zealand.

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