As more students graduate from post-secondary institutions each year, HR recruitment mechanisms are severely clogged with millennial job applications. There are a many challenges that companies face when attracting millennials, and they have created a gap between them and their prospective employees.
Massive Millennial Candidate Pool
There are just too many millennial applicants to choose from. According to Statistics Canada, between 1992 and 2007, the number of female graduates from university increased from 95,202 to 146,721 and the number of male graduates increased from 73,671 to 94,830. According to Universities Canada, there were 1.7 million students enrolled in Canadian universities in 2015-2016. All of these millennials will soon be fighting for a place in the workforce.
While the number of students graduating from university remains higher than previous decades, there is not necessarily proportional opportunity available. According to a survey referenced by The Atlantic, 81% of respondents aged 30+ (and respondents aged 25-29, but no longer consider themselves to be ‘starting out’) believe it is harder now for young people to find a well-paying, stable job than previous generations.
So what we have are more students competing for fewer job opportunities. This makes it extremely hard for companies to recruit the best millennials because for the few positions that become available that millennials are qualified for, there are too many candidates to sift through and connect with effectively.
Too Many Communication Methods
Actually connecting with students once you find a compatible candidate is also very difficult. There are too many methods of communication now that make it easy to miss the mark when researching candidates. And since, according to Inc., nearly 2 in 3 employees say their employer does not--or does not know how to--use social media to promote job openings, the process of researching what sites to use and how to use them effectively to find millennials is a task in and of itself.
The Problem With Reactive Recruitment
The frequent practice of reactive recruitment makes it difficult to thoroughly determine the compatibility of candidates. Almost 90% of companies use a staffing service for recruitment to save time and money when hiring candidates. There are a few issues with this that create a problem when finding brand-compatible millennials:
· When you wait to build relationships until you desperately need someone to fill a role, the process to find someone is rushed, meaning the candidate chosen is usually the most convenient at the time to satisfy the short-term need of a client, not necessarily someone who can help the company long-term.
· In sending a general posting for a job online, a company actually limits its options for good candidates because the job posting has been made available to everyone rather than those most suited for the job. By over-exposing opportunities, there is the danger of attracting candidates who just want a job to support their lifestyles and who possibly do not have an aligned set of values to the company, a desire to learn the business or a desire to help the company grow.
Between the amount of students entering the workforce, and the number of communications methods to master to connect with them and find the best ones, companies are more challenged than ever when finding compatible entry-level employees, which is why waiting to recruit until the need is right on top of you to do so is so dangerous. In hiring someone to only meet a short-term client need, it adds to the cost of having to replace candidates. With the number of challenges that exist for companies in the millennial recruitment process, there is great opportunity for companies to differentiate and build lasting relationships with their target demographic in unique ways in comparison to their competition.
Lukas Pesa is a researcher of millennial and corporate trends as they pertain to generational relations in the workforce. A business researcher and commentator, Lukas has a background in communications as well as branding. Lukas enjoys being able to consult with companies and groups on how to create more effective communication strategies to create better productivity.