The business case for harnessing Gen Y's energy, talent and yes,
By 2014, Millennials (ages 18-35) will make up 36% of the
workforce (75% by 2025). To those who buy into the common
perceptions of millennials -- they're entitled, self-absorbed,
lacking commitment/loyalty -- this must be highly unsettling.
Particularly from the perspective of senior management looking to
build an invested, focused, competitive workforce.
But take a quick mental survey of your company -- the 35 year
old who was the top regional salesperson the last
quarter...the 30 year old marketing associate who helped come up
with last quarter's successful campaign...the 26 year old
programmer who spent the weekend developing a more
customer-friendly web interface...Anecdotal, sure, but right in
front of you millennials are assuming leadership positions, they
are being groomed to assume leadership positions, and they are
increasingly becoming the backbone of your organization.
All of which begs the question: how accurate are these common
(mis)conceptions? Or, put another way: how accurate are the
conclusions we've drawn from broadly shared outward
characteristics? Yes, there are common behaviors (increased use of
digital technologies, reliance on social media) and broadly shared
wants and expectations (a social and enjoyable work environment,
flexible hours, creative input). But are millennials entitled
to the point they are comparatively unwilling to work beneath their
skill and educational level...or is it merely a matter of them
wanting more recognition for working beneath their skill and
education level? If they are self-centered and lacking commitment,
why are 91% of millennials registered to vote, why do 68%
participate in community service and why do 53% consider themselves
Business leaders need to think more about how to exploit the
millennial generation's natural talent for social connectedness,
technology, ambition, and creativity. This paper addresses how you
can successfully engage millennials, identify the top performers,
improve retention and job satisfaction, and improve your ability to
How to Engage Millennials
According to a study from UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School and the
YEC, Millennials are highly ambitious, with a majority placing
an importance on jobs with chances for career progression, personal
growth, as well as freedom and flexibility. Millennials prioritize
value and meaning in their work over money -- if their jobs are
aligned with their passion, they will go the extra mile.
A lot has been said and written lately about this being the most
entrepreneurial generation ever. Instead of patiently waiting for
their turn or resigning to things being done to them, Gen Y takes
action and matters in their own hands. They tend to feel supported
by parental back-up and the safety of their social tribe,
encouraging them to voice their opinion and drive outcomes.
Some view this as an attitude of "entitlement," but when you dig
further; you find that to Millennials, an entrepreneur is more a
mindset associated with being a self-starter, risk-taker,
visionary. "Millennials see themselves as building
entrepreneurial careers whether they work for someone else or
freelance - they don't necessarily have to start their own
businesses. In fact, more than half (58 percent) already classify
themselves as entrepreneurs." (Millennials Are Rewriting the Rules of Work and
Entrepreneurship, Employment Trends, Rieva Lesonsky)
Once you see beyond the stereotypes, and realize the energy and
passion Millennials can bring to drive your business forward, the
next step is to consider a system that enables you to identify top
Millennials, and, as importantly engage them -- or, to put it in
terms a millennial would respond to, "excite them."
From: The Millennial
Generation: Pro-Social and Empowered to Change the World, by AMP
Agency; Cone Inc.
A Model for Engagement and Talent
The following provides a cross section of quotes taken from The
Savvy Intern blog where millennial job seekers were asked to weigh
in on their pet peeves concerning the job search process. It pairs
their comments with key components of a "best practices" engagement
and talent acquisition model.
• "Inefficient recruitment
systems I am REQUIRED to fill out to apply. If I have to fill them
out, you have to keep them up to date."
In order to engage Millennials, the engagement must be fluid,
dynamic and truly interactive. Most of today's "solutions" are
formulaic, requiring applicants to fill in forms and submit
resumes. HRMC Acclaim engages each Millennial candidate in a
meaningful, relevant, one-on-one interaction -- all in real-time,
conducted from a smart phone, tablet or desktop...affording
Millennials the "device freedom" they crave.
All applicants initially respond to a set of standardized core
questions to screen for basic requirements. The flow of questioning
can then change according to the way the applicant answers the
questions; highly sophisticated branching provides an engaging and
efficient experience for every candidate. As a result, each
applicant also receives a unique interview experience customized on
the fly to best suit his/her individual skill set, interests,
behaviors, and background. This promotes a natural user experience
-- one that is far more flexible and interactive than the standard
• "My biggest frustration with recruiters is when they
don't do their homework on recruits. It starts with a
non-personalized message and ends up in either the job being a bad
fit or the recruit not being qualified for the position. Either
way, it leads to false hope and wasted time for both parties simply
because the recruiter was too lazy to spend a little more time on
Acclaim gives hiring managers the ability to load a realistic
job preview video that articulates the scope,
challenges and opportunities of the position. This gives candidates
a far more accurate sense of the responsibilities and skills
required to determine up front whether it's a good fit and worth
• "My pet peeve is when jobs do not tell you when the
job closes or post the salary. The unknown can be torture when the
process is long."
Transparency and timely communication is essential not just to
win the trust of Gen Y candidates, but for all candidates.
Job seekers have long been disenchanted with the job board process,
as receiving no response to online submissions is a highly
unsatisfying experience. In addition to providing short-term
closure by notifying candidates that they have completed the
process, it's critical to keep them engaged for the long term.
Acclaim enables you to deliver content-specific correspondence
scheduled for distribution via e-mail to specific candidate pools
based on a range of time and/or event-based triggers-whether it's a
message from the hiring manager, general company news, or an
invitation to schedule an in-person interview. This high-touch
approach is especially critical in cases where you are identifying
top talent but do not have any current openings.
• "My pet peeve, and, I think, even recruiters would
agree, is that the length of the recruitment process can be taxing.
Sometimes great candidates are lost to other employers as a result
of this process."
The hiring process normally spans 6 to 8 weeks, is
typically mired in time-consuming "paperwork" and is characterized
by stops and starts that not only drain resources, but can also
delay getting people on the job quickly. The "paperwork" and
telephone tag required to interview, hire, and process candidates
covers everything from the initial application to skills
assessments to scheduling. As the above states, candidates opt out
due to the inconvenience and length of the process. Acclaim allows
candidates to jump right into the system-without even needing a
resume-and, entirely at their convenience, to demonstrate their
suitability for the position. Acclaim couches a realistic job
preview, the prescreen, interview, assessment, and scheduling
activities within a single engagement -- usually about 15 minutes
all told -- while giving the applicant the option of
disengaging and later reengaging at the point (s)he left off.
• "I want to make sure a future employer takes the time
to answer all of my questions, and most importantly, gives me the
feeling that I am a strong asset to the company and my work is
going to be appreciated!"
As stated, fluid communications at each key stage of the process
is crucial, from setting realistic expectations at the outset, to
communicating the level of interest post-interview, to keeping the
candidate "warm" when there are no immediate openings. But another
key aspect in communicating that the candidate will be appreciated
-- clearly a key concern among Millennials -- is providing a sense
of the company culture. Taking this a step further, it's important
to ask questions that allow the candidate to determine whether
he/she will comfortably fit the company culture -- which conveys a
sense of the value an organization puts on an employee's
contribution, the opportunities an employee has to express him or
herself, and the ways in which the candidate is recognized,
rewarded and advanced.
Toward this end, a key component in Acclaim is a behavioral
assessment tool that address attitudes, competencies, and skills,
revealing both whether a candidate can do the job and how well that
person will perform within a particular environment or
organizational culture. These assessments go a long way in allaying
concerns whether the organization will value an employee's work and
contribution. Additionally, Acclaim's interactive voice response
technology (IVR) affords all candidates the ability to "speak their
mind" and express their "opinions" in an open-ended way -- an
ability that is sure to strike a chord with top Gen Y candidates.
If a candidate's cumulative online score places them on your short
list, their phone rings and jumps them into a more in-depth
automated phone interview -- where all responses are recorded for
easy review by the hiring manager.
Flexible, Yet Rigorous Candidate Selection Correlates to
When Glassdoor.com announced their fourth annual Employee's
Choice Awards for Best Places to Work -- a critical consideration
for top candidates, and Millennials in particular -- it was
striking how many of the companies listed are known for the rigor
in their employee selection process (i.e., Google, Apple,
Salesforce.com). As the Glassdoor survey indicates, there's a
clear connection between a rigorous selection process and employee
satisfaction. The trick is in balancing rigor with a positive
candidate experience. Also, consider that the recruiting
system or process is the first point of contact a prospective
employee has with an organization. Top candidates evaluate
prospective employers as much as employers evaluate them. It
follows that top talent is more likely to be attracted to those
companies that incorporate forward-thinking and innovative
technology in their hiring process, one that balances a positive
candidate experience with rigorous assessment.
Hiring organizations with the most refined selection tools give
organizations more than the ability to hire the best of the best --
it allows them to build a culture of achievement and success.
One of the defining characteristics of Gen Y is their affinity
for social communications, which is most obviously reflected in
their sharing of personal experiences via Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, etc. This natural tendency can also extend to your
company and its brand. Most companies these days want to be viewed
as a "great place to work." This can mean any number of things: a
vibrant, fun culture, generous benefits, encouraging innovation and
an entrepreneurial spirit, freely giving recognition to initiative
and achievement, etc. Millennials can be your greatest brand
evangelists and networkers -- indeed, Gen Y has been referred to as
natural human connectors.
Additionally, they can provide your organization with critical
marketing insights. "Companies spend a lot of money researching and
marketing to your age group," says Shara Senderoff, co-founder and
CEO of online internship resource Intern Sushi.
For Millennials in particular, how you hire is, to a large
extent, who you are. A flexible, yet rigorous evaluation that
promotes a positive user experience can go a long way in
creating/sustaining your desired company brand.
The consensus on Millennials is that they're entitled and from a
company's standpoint, unprepared. We trust that this paper
punctured some of the myths and stereotypes of Millennials, and
showed how they can be a huge asset driving your company
forward. Gen Y is much more productive than they are given
credit for -- they know how to use technology efficiently, they are
invested in work when it aligns with their passions, committed when
their contributions and ideas are encouraged and recognized, they
are inherently effective "networkers" communicating your brand --
making them natural recruiters for top talent. There are many good
reasons to hire Gen Y.
Acclaim is naturally suited for engaging and assessing the
preparedness and fit of candidates of all ages, but as this paper
demonstrates, it is ideally suited for Millennials.
Leveraging its flexibility and power, organizations can more
effectively and reliably identify top talent...and tap the
limitless reserves of Gen Y energy, technical skill, collaborative
tendencies and "entrepreneurial" zeal to drive your business
About HRMC, Inc.
Human Resource Management Center, Inc. (HRMC) is a pioneering
candidate acquisition solutions provider. Our flagship solution,
HRMC AcclaimSM, engages candidates in automated, single-session
interviews that pre-qualify and rank-order applicants using
assessment tools based on validated job analyses. The system then
measures the success of the selection to improve retention and
further refine the selection process. Whether accessed over the Web
or the phone-or a combination-users are led through an interactive
experience that approximates true human interaction, resulting in
"stickier," more effective interviews and employee surveys, as well
as more satisfying candidate experiences. Acclaim can be deployed
as a complete, standalone talent acquisition solution or extend the
functionality of an installed applicant tracking system (ATS). HRMC
is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and is privately held. For more
information, visit the company's Web site at or Info@HRMC.com