How can employers recruit the “right” millennial for their company?

I have a friend. We’ll call him Jeremy. He’s responsible for new hires at his company and is noticing that the overwhelming majority of his millennial employees are leaving within one year. This is causing him problems. His bosses think he isn’t doing a good job of vetting the candidates, while he is cursing these millennials as “entitled” and “lazy.” Achieve was wrapping up a very successful recruitment campaign, and Jeremy reached out to see if I had any tips for how he could improve his initiatives.

The first thing I told him was also the most important. There is no “one way” to recruit and retain millennials. Most companies, including his, assume that salary is the most important factor considered when looking for a job. If you take this approach with millennials, you will fail more often than not. The entire hiring process needs to be evaluated if your company is going to cut down on millennial turnover. It begins with an effective recruitment campaign.

A recruitment campaign is only as successful as its strategy and research. The analysis you do at the beginning of every project is going to be critical to its success. A lot of people want the results without doing the heavy lifting, which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weights,” said Ronnie Coleman, eight-time Mr. Olympia.

At Achieve, we recently had a position we needed to fill immediately. Using our company’s millennial research, we created a recruitment campaign that identified the type of candidate we were looking for, where we could find them and how we were going to present Achievee as a company they wanted to work for. Our research shows that millennials, particularly those whose skills are in high demand, are most concerned with company culture and work-life balance – in addition to a competitive salary.

Knowing this, our marketing team created content that illustrated how our culture makes us different. We recruited team members to help and worked with them on culture-themed blog posts that illustrated our company’s personality. In one month, 157 unique visitors visited our Careers page after reading our first culture post, and 68 unique readers in just two weeks visited our Careers page after reading our second culture post.

Creating this content supplemented our offline outreach. We identified events that potential candidates would attend and made sure one of our team members was there to make a warm introduction. But you don’t need to make a company sales pitch at events – candidates will do their own research if they’re interested. That’s where the culture content comes in handy! Ask them what they are looking for in their career and where they see themselves in three years. This will allow you to determine if this person is a fit for your office culture and shows them that if they come work with you, they are going to a place that is invested in their success.

After we launched our recruiting initiative, we made a point to track any references made to our culture during interviews. The candidates that made it through our hiring process all cited our culture as one of the major reasons they wanted to join our team. A balanced approach was crucial to the initiative’s success because we provided resources, written by our own team members, which reinforced the messages we were promoting offline.

Getting millennials interested in your company is the first step. However, do not rush the hiring process! Just because you have a millennial interested in your company doesn’t mean they will be a fit for your culture. If they aren’t a fit, you will likely face the same problems Jeremy faced. Don’t be afraid to have employees from that prospect’s department participate in the hiring process. This will make your current employees feel valued because they will have an investment in their next team member. It also allows your staff to get a feel for the candidate and whether or not they will be a fit.

Have patience, but don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working. Our team held weekly recruitment meetings so we could update each other on what was working, what wasn’t and how we could improve. These were not blame sessions; they were open forums where all of the departments involved could make suggestions on how we could be more effective.

Still struggling to engage millennials? Take a look at our research reports and let us know how we can help you improve your company’s millennial engagement.