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The Secrets to Successfully Recruiting Millennials

By Charles Shanley, SPHR, CFS, Executive Vice President, Recruitment Services

And just as they bring a fresh new approach to the office environment, many Millennials have a very different perspective on how to look for a job than their predecessors who were hired by financial institutions over the last half century. This poses an interesting challenge for search directors who are accustomed to more traditional tactics to find the best candidates.

Technology opens the door to connections

Given their affinity for social media, Millennials don’t bother with typical job search practices – such as posting their resume on job boards. Instead, they use social media sites – like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others to create and reinforce their network. Today, a reported 75 percent of U.S. employers utilize social media for recruiting job candidates. If your institution isn’t among this group, you are missing out on an opportunity to find access to the talent you are seeking from this age group.

Additionally, Millennials are using technology to learn about your institution well before they meet for a face-to-face interview. Likewise, you should do your homework and find out as much as possible about your candidates. Visit their LinkedIn profile to learn more about their work experience and what interests them professionally and personally. It’s also important to make sure your  financial institution’s online presence represents your organization well, because this is where many young professionals get their first impression of a potential employer. If you don’t have an online presence, or the one you have is outdated, you may lose your top candidates to a more socially connected institution.

Turn the interview into a conversation

According to industry studies, Millennials aren’t impressed with the traditional “getting to know you” interview process. With the information they have learned about an organization in advance of the first meeting, they are ready to have a discussion on how their skills can benefit the financial institution and vice versa.

Also, realize that Millennial candidates have grown up in a much less formal environment. Don’t pass up a chance to hire your next star employee because he or she is less formal than candidates in the past.

Follow-up is essential to successful recruitment

The days of delaying follow-up with candidates are over. This generation is used to prompt communication and quick replies - they won’t wait around for an employer who takes too long to make a hiring decision. If you decide not to proceed with a candidate, let them know promptly. A message posted to social media about a bad interview experience can spread quickly, shining a less than positive light on your bank or credit union.

You don’t have to look far for referrals

If you already have Millennials working in your organization, ask them to refer friends and colleagues from their previous work experience. This age group is keen on collaboration and most would like nothing better than to have a contemporary on-board with whom to share perspectives and ideas. Plus, they know your culture, which will help in attracting someone else who will fit in nicely. 

Setting the stage for successful recruiting and retention

When recruiting Millennial candidates, remember; they typically don’t stay on the market long. If you find the talent and personal qualities you are seeking, act quickly to make an offer. Also, keep in mind this age group doesn’t stay in a job very long if they aren’t satisfied -- make sure you accurately represent your work environment, job responsibilities, perks and opportunities for advancement.

Finally, a specialized search director can ensure the proper recruiting process is in place to attract Millennials to your bank, identify the best candidates, and find the talent you need to succeed.  

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