Looking Ahead: How to Attract the Next Generation of Talent

At our recent event, RecruitCon 2018, Susan Vitale, Chief Marketing Officer at iCIMS Inc., offer a series of best practices for recruiters at a well attended session. BLR’s RecruitCon 2018 was held recently in Nashville.

Source: Ridofranz / iStock / Getty

Candidate Experience Matters

First off, says Vitale, let’s be clear that the candidate experience is important beyond the narrow activity of hiring. Citing IBM’s 2017 study, The Far‐Reaching Impact of Candidate Experience, Vitale notes two examples of how a poor candidate experience hurts the company:

  • Millennials are the most likely generation to not do business with a company where they have had a poor experience as a job applicant.
  • More than half of those with a prior negative impression of the hiring organization said they would not apply again in the future.

On the flip side, great candidate experiences help the company. For example:

  • Candidates who are satisfied with their experience are twice as likely to become customers of the hiring organization compared to unsatisfied candidates (53% vs. 25%).
  • People who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.

Vitale also offered reasons why candidates withdraw from the recruiting process, discovered by the Talent Board’s 2018 NA Candidate Experience Report. The top three are:

  • Candidate’s time was disrespected during interviews; for example, candidate experienced long waits between interviews that all covered the same ground (46%).
  • Process took too long (26%).
  • Salary didn’t meet expectations (10%).

Candidates Expect Social and Mobile

Why should you incorporate social and mobile recruitment tactics to improve your candidate experience? Vitale notes that, strategically, 99% of Millennials are visiting a company on social media when job searching.

The top social media apps for job research are:

Make Sure Your Social Media Pages Have the Right Content

When searching for a job, workers visit company social media pages for several reasons. The top reasons are noted in the chart:


Source: iCIMS, The Modern Job Seeker, 2017

Millennials Expect to Be Able to Search on Mobile Devices

The iCIMS survey also found that 66% of working Americans, including 82% of Millennials, expect every company to have a mobile‐friendly career site and job application process. Furthermore, 83% of Millennials have searched for a new job while on the clock.

Google for Jobs

Vitale notes that Google for Jobs can help you connect with the right candidates. A 2015 CareerBuilder survey found that a whopping 73% of candidates start their job search in Google.

Texting for Recruitment

The way employers and candidates communicate has changed, Vitale says, and social and mobile‐friendly career sites are no longer enough. The Class of 2018 wants convenient communication options. Text messaging is becoming the preferred method to communicate with not only your friends, family, and colleagues, but also with your job candidates.

iCIMS’ The Class of 2018 Report found:

  • 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes of receiving it.
  • 41% of college seniors said they have missed a potential job opportunity because they weren’t able to connect with a recruiter or hiring manager due to a missed call or an e-mail going to spam.

Vitale referenced John Turner, HR Tech Analyst, Trilogy Health, who said that with the healthcare unemployment rate shrinking, Trilogy desperately needed to find a way to reach its mobile, deskless candidates who spent most of the day on their feet. He achieved a 48% candidate response rate with most responses coming in under 2 hours:

  • “By utilizing text messaging in our blasts, we got a much better response rate than we ever got with email. It was significantly easier to fill our open positions.”

Encourage Employee Referrals

Eighty-six percent of Millennials say they would expect to be happier at a job they were referred for than one they were not referred for, notes Vitale, citing iCIMS’ The Modern Job Seeker, 2017. She, again, quotes Trilogy’s Turner, who says:

  • Our number one source of hire is employee referrals.
  • 26% of my new hires come from employee referrals.
  • Referrals stay longer and best fit the company culture.

Trilogy offers employees who refer candidates additional income through bonus and award programs.

Millennials Want Training and Development

One factor that is important to Millennials is training and development opportunities on the job. They know they will need to keep up. Vitale offers the following stats:

  • 87% of Millennials aspire to be an executive or C‐level employee at some point in their careers.
  • Millennials with mentors are 2 times as likely to stay with a company more than 5 years.
  • 63% of Millennials believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed.
  • Meanwhile, 7% of company and HR leaders state that their companies have accelerated leadership programs for Millennials.

Sources: iCIMS, Women in the Workforce Report, 2017 | Deloitte, One Foot Out the Door |Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends, 2016

Vitale sums the situation up with a quote:

One of the best things employers can do to equip their workforces for the future is to invest in training and development programs. Younger generations are especially hungry for honest feedback and growth opportunities, and molding them for leadership positions is a retention technique that can greatly benefit your company culture, as well as your succession plans. —Joyce Russell, President at Adecco

Effective Onboarding Can Be a Launch Pad for Career Success

Onboarding is an important step in recruitment. Set new hires up for success and you will increase retention, Vitale says. Create individualized new hire tasks and provide access to resources to ensure new hires have a clear sense of how to excel in their positions.

Vitale’s Actionable Takeaway Tips

Vitale left her listeners with 4 final tips for recruiters:

  1. Make a business case for investing in training and development programs—63% of Millennials believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed.
  2. Moderate your social profiles—99% of Millennials are visiting a company’s social media when job searching.
  3. Prioritize your candidate experience—people who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.
  4. Boost employee referrals—one in five workers is unsatisfied with the company’s current employee referral program. Implement a formal referral reward program and make it easy for employees to share open positions.

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