How do you attract a talent that grew up in the age of limitless technology and growing cynicism and when everything, from technology to information to message is something to be consumed, evaluated and consumed? Millennials are anything but the new disruptive population now. The generation is on track to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. That means millennial culture is morphing into a mainstay culture. Generations coming up behind will have their own cultural touch-points, but they’re all on the other side of that tech-as-air dividing line.
Setting up a strategic plan for your workforce, aiming for the long view, means pipelining younger workers into your company as well as seeking out seasoned talent. It also means repeatedly testing the waters. Has the jobs market gotten softer? No. Has any one event started a ripple effect? It happens, as we’ve seen — and I have one word for you: Tronc (see below). Does your company have enough feelers out into the world to know? Good question. We know the talent is there, but it’s a job seeker’s market. To skimp on any method used for reaching them is to risk losing big.
Everything points to three critical elements: mobile, social, and an authentic employer brand. These three elements must be in place to get talent’s attention, and their love.
Bet you knew I’d to put this first. A recent survey by Pew Research Center found that:
• 28% of Americans have used the smartphone to search for a job.
• Half of that group have filled out a job application on a smartphone.
• But: 53% of job seekers ages 18 – 29 have used their smartphones to find one.
Offer a mobile portal that is responsive, fast, and functional — it can’t not do certain functions, it really should function on a par with desktop or you’ll look like you’ve still got one foot in the dinosaur age (well, you do).
It should also be sticky, and able to generate intelligent and mine-able data on behaviors. Big Data is already connected, so harness it and start building meaningful metrics asap. We know that in tech, innovation happens faster than we can say “oh, we got this.”
Aside from being best practice from the talent side, social also slots neatly into the “if you don’t use it your competitor does” category. SHRM researchers found that in 2015:
• 84% of employers used social media to recruit job candidates, and another 9% stated that they intended to use it.
• The top reason 82% of companies cite for using social media for recruitment is to recruit passive job candidates.
Give that this playing field involves passive as well as active candidates, and there’s a perception (rightly or wrongly) that many talent works with a one foot out the door, that last stat is a bit nervous-making. It means that often, if not always, there’s someone not only gunning for someone else’s talent, but reaching them.
So there’s really no alternative, until your ambition is to somehow be part of that 7% who is functioning outside of social. Not much of a draw, right? And as far as enabling candidates to actually link through to an actual application process via social media, that’s vital as well.
Authentic Employer Brand
Instead of bullet points, here’s a story — since, as we know, branding involves the story. This morning’s coffee-snorter is a branding fiasco involving Tribune Publishing, the legacy news company. This morning it trotted out its brand new brand name: Tronc, and the world pounced. Here’s a near-170-year-old chestnut of intelligent reporting, respositioning itself for a new identity under its new captains. They want to convey that their company has muscular online presence, tech bells and whistles, is even thrusting towards artificial intelligence.
If you don’t believe me, head to Twitter. Tronc, meant to signify the mobile, social, tech reality that is now, is also therefore insanely easy to make fun of. But underlying all this jubilant snark is something darker: a very uneasy WTF. What’s authentic about this brand, ironically, is that it’s just as tone-deaf as its owners. And imagine its employees — newspaper people, aligned with the mission, and message, of a newspaper. The company has been in turmoil for months. But this will not help. Talk about inspiring disengagement. I guarantee you there are a whole new slew of job seekers out this morning, diving into their smartphones.
Are you ready?
This article was written by Meghan M. Biro from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.