These are incredibly tough times for hiring. And it’s compounded if you’re business tends to hire millennials, who are notoriously prone to turnover.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could hold on to the good millennials you hire, and attract more great ones?
There are some changes you can make that can quickly help you hire more easily, keep your hires around longer, and do more with what you have.
Tweaks to the way you do performance reviews, how you engage employees, the tools you use, how and where you advertise jobs can generate quick wins for your millennial recruiting efforts – and for all your hiring really. We’ve got actionable tips below that you can implement today.
1. A meeting a day keeps turnover away.
Ok, maybe not a meeting every day. But millennials have shown that they clearly like face-to-face time with their managers. These don’t need to be long — more like brief check-ins. Millennials are 50 percent more likely to be engaged if they have frequent meetings with managers.
What does this mean exactly? Well, engaged employees are those that “go the extra mile” at their job. Engaged employees are 87 percent more likely to be retained, and companies in the top quarter of engagement are 22 percent more profitable.
Beyond meetings, you can improve engagement by:
- Focusing on building employee strengths, rather than correcting weaknesses.
- Giving recognition when employees go above and beyond at work.
- Giving meaning to their work by connecting it to a bigger picture.
2. Be prepared for your employee evaluations.
In one study, more than 59 percent of millennials said their managers were unprepared to give performance reviews. You think this might have an effect on their decision to stay with a company?
Luckily, there are a couple easy ways to fix this. You can take notes year round when anything that seems worthy of discussing during your next employee evaluation happens. Be sure to record positive events, not just negative ones.
You can also make the switch to performance management – so rather than meeting once per year to talk about performance, you’d have more regular meetings to guide employees. In this way you’re talking about recent events rather than trying to remember and sum up a whole year. This dovetails nicely with tip 1.
3. Use digital tools to help you succeed.
Most millennials grew up with the internet, using cellphones and other gadgets as tools for daily life.
These days there are a host of web applications designed to help people organize projects, stay on task, and communicate as a team. Here a few I recommend.
1. Slack – It’s hard to do justice to this application in words. It’s like group chat rooms for your team, but so much more. It’s great for day-to-day communication via text, and will cut your intra-company emails to nearly nothing. After using it for the last few years, it’s hard to imagine working without it. The basic service is totally free, and great. You can pay to add more features too.
2. Basecamp – This tool is great for organizing projects. It lets you take notes on them, set up tasks with deadlines, assign tasks, and get reports on what team members plan to do each week, and what they’ve accomplished each day.
3. Freedom – If working means being on a computer for you and your team, then distraction is going to be a problem. I don’t think most people want to waste part of their day clicking around on social media, but sometimes it just happens. Freedom is a great app that lets you choose websites and apps to block yourself visiting during certain hours. I, for example, have myself blocked from Facebook, Twitter and most news websites during working hours.
4. Change the focus of your job ads to get more applicants.
We’ve entered an era that heavily favors job seekers, and there aren’t any signs that it’s going to let up.
Unemployment is at a 10 year low, and unfilled job postings are at the highest they’ve ever been.
It’s likely that your ideal employee is already employed. When they do check out job boards, they’re not desperate for a job, they’re just looking to see if there’s something that’s worth the trouble of going through the application process and possibly leaving their current position.
So, when you write your job posting, consider it more like an advertisement for a potential customer. Tell them all the reasons why they’ll love your company and the job.
5. Get social and build your employer brand.
When your best potential hires already have jobs, you can bet that they’re spending less time hanging out on job boards.
So what can you do to reach them?
There’s another place where millennials, and the rest of us, are spending a lot of time still, and that’s social media.
With social media you can reach an audience of potential employees who may not be actively looking for a job, but would be willing to consider an interesting opportunity. Be sure to highlight exactly what makes your opportunity interesting, and use social ad targeting to reach a likely audience.
You can also use social media to build your employer brand. Basically, if employees already have an idea of who your company is and why you’re great to work for, they’ll be more likely to check out your open positions or visit your career page.
Also, if millennials haven’t heard of your company before seeing your job ad, one of the first things they’re likely to do is check you out on social media.
Encourage your employees to share their experiences with the company, and then use the company social profiles to curate the content they provide and show off your company culture to potential employees.
For most companies, especially smaller ones that don’t have a lot of buracracy, these are fast and easy changes to make that will reap a lot of benefits for hiring and retention with millennials.
If you’re strapped for time, try implementing just one of the tools from tip 3, and see if that buys you enough time to work on the others.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.