February 6th, 2020 | Ken Schnee, General Manager - Technology, Media, Entertainment, and Hospitality

Top 5 tips to Hire and Recruit Millennials in the Tech Industry

Hoodies, ripped jeans, sneakers, millennials with headphones typing at a rapid pace; this is the stereotype of the technology industry. Millennials, the generation born between the 1980s and mid 2000s, are dominating the tech space. According to Market Watch, seven of the 18 largest tech companies have a median employee age of 30 or younger. Moreover, millennials are the largest demographic in the labor force. Large tech companies are seeing millennials in high level positions. With this influx of younger workers across the technology industry, companies need to manage and recruit their talent to attract the millennial workforce. Addressing the issues of recruiting within this demographic will impact the future success of tech companies as much as the ability to stay competitive.

The following five tips can help attract and retain millennials in the tech industry:

When companies recruit millennials to the tech industry, details matter in creating a relevant workplace.

1. Flexibility and a Work Life Balance

The debate on work/life balance has gained considerable traction in the technology industry. When seeking jobs, millennials often look for companies that offer flexible work schedules. Employees no longer consider the 9 to 5 workday a norm. Increasingly, employees want to work when and where they are most productive – even if that means working during what are typically off-hours.

Current technology has made it possible to work anywhere. Employees can sync their personal cell phones to their work computers, video chat into meetings, and create presentations from their own home. In the age of technology, millennials want jobs that provide workplace flexibility. Millennials are looking for flexible schedules to achieve a work/life balance, live anywhere, see family and friends, and pursue hobbies. In fact, according to SocialTalent, 69% of Millennials believe regular office attendance is unnecessary. Additionally, according to a Bentley University study, 77% of millennials believe that a flexible work schedule would make them more productive. Managers can work with their employees to build a more flexible work schedule – whether that is working from home once a week, or once a month. If remote work isn’t an option, managers can consider allowing employees to start the workday early or end the workday late.

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2. Opportunities for Growth, Promotion, and Skills Development

Unlike their parents, the younger workforce has less qualms about moving jobs. According to a 2018 study by Silver Swan Recruitment, millennials will have 15-20 jobs over their lifetime. This statistic is staggering compared to the job loyalty of the baby boomers, the generation defined as people born between 1946 and 1964. Retaining strong, hardworking employees gives companies a competitive advantage, especially with the cost of hiring a bad employee increasing.

So how does one retain great young talent? Millennials want to visualize a career at a company, instead of a job. They want to feel valued and appreciated for their work. Thus, managers should create an environment where employees know that growth is achievable. Managers should discuss a clear path for growth opportunities with employees. An open dialogue with management can prevent employees from seeking other jobs and keep them more engaged at work.

Companies can create learning platforms to teach employees new skills and trainings. These platforms will motivate employees to strive for internal promotions. According to a Gallup Survey, “millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce, ” as indicated by the fact that 55% of millennials reported that they were not engaged at work. Companies can build mentorship programs, learning platforms, and leadership programs into the workday. These systems set up employees with the skills for success. When an employee wants to learn a new skill, they can watch a webinar series or attend a class. Employees can apply these new skills to their current job, or learn new skills needed for a promotion. Mentorship and leadership programs can nurture employees and provide them with guidance.

3. Create a Community of Teamwork and Collaboration

Millennials are no longer interested in the traditional corporate office. In fact, 90% of millennials  say that they expect their workplace to be social and fun. A non-traditional workplace is more than tasty snacks and ping-pong tables. Younger employees value working on a collaborative team where they can learn and interact with one another. They want to be able to build working relationships with their managers and other teammates.

Managers can inspire this type of environment by encouraging team partnerships. They can set up lunch-and-learn as well as 1:1 sessions, where employees can learn about other areas of the company. Employees will understand, and appreciate, different company roles and learn how or when to pull different teams into projects. Cross collaboration can spark creativity and foster deeper working relationships.

Outside of working on projects, leadership can organize company-wide “networking” events. Co-workers will be able to meet and get to know fellow employees in a non-work setting. Group activities like fitness classes, cooking classes, and happy hours are unique ways to inspire employee interactions. Once employees know each other on a personal level, they will be more likely to work creatively and productively together.

Companies can also facilitate volunteer opportunities. Employees, especially millennials, look for workplaces that meet their social responsibility as much as the bottom line. According to a recent Linkedin global survey, 74% of candidates want a job where they feel like their work matters. Millennials are choosing to work for companies that have a strong purpose in social change and value volunteering. By encouraging volunteer days, employees will experience first-hand how to live their company’s mission. Employees can also learn and engage with others – building lasting relationships.

4. Attract Millennials Through Social Media

It’s no secret that millennials are plugged into a host of social media platforms. From Instagram, to Linkedin, in addition to personal views, they are also following companies on social platforms. In fact, according to a survey by Glassdoor, 86% of Glassdoor’s younger users, in the first 10 years of their career, use social media in their job search. Moreover, 74% of Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to a job if the employer manages its brand by regularly updating online profiles. Successful companies are already leveraging these platforms to engage and attract the attention of the millennial talent pool. Increasingly, the HR department in companies are using Instagram to target new hires and provide job postings. Additionally, candidates are likely to research their new company before accepting an offer. Potential employees are more likely to take the job if they see a strong social presence with thoughtful content, and good company reviews.

Businesses can also post thought leadership blogs and articles, and other relevant content on these platforms. A great way to learn about the company culture and its values is to experience it. Candidates can get a taste of office culture through Instagram posts that focus on company culture, community service events, and employee celebrations. Reading these pieces, potential applicants will feel a connection to the company. Relevant and interesting content will attract the “right-fit” candidates to apply by establishing an emotional connection.

Social media isn’t solely for candidates to learn about companies. Companies can gain insight into social media behavior on to learn about their candidates or even existing employees.  Although not all information can be used in a hiring decision, conducting compliant social media background check alerts companies to potential red flags. Organizations can identify whether candidates exhibit racist, sexist, or other intolerant or disruptive language or behaviors. It can demonstrate that your organization prioritizes safety and is committed to creating a great environment at the workplace when you screen for anti-social, violent, and illegal behaviors.

5. Maintain a Positive Candidate Experience

Companies should focus on engaging with candidates in a positive way, starting from the first interaction with potential hires. Candidates are excited about the new opportunities, when companies understand and share this sentiment, they create the correct first impression. This shared experience can begin by optimizing the recruiting, background screening, and onboarding process. When candidates receive a job offer, they extensively research the company. The digital age supplies candidates with endless information. According the Glassdoor, candidates will read six reviews on the company before forming an opinion. Surprisingly, 95% of job seekers surveyed said that an employer’s reputation impacts their decision. Maintaining a positive candidate experience throughout all aspects of the hiring process can create a great early impression of the company among potential hires.

After a job offer is made, companies should strive for an easy transition into the job. Background checks are often time consuming and tedious. Having an accurate, timely, easy and positive background screening and identity experience will encourage millennials and all potential hires to feel excited about coming to work. Maintaining a positive candidate experience will positively impact new hires and will also keep the company interviewing and recruiting reviews positive. These positive reviews can then attract more strong candidates in the future.

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Sterling is a leading provider of background and identity solutions with over 40 years of pan-industry expertise. We have specialists in the technology industry keen to answer any questions. To learn more about out how Social Media Screening can transform your workplace, please click here.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.