With 36 percent of the workforce comprised of millennials, recruiters must understand what millennials want and need in order to fill more positions. The first thing recruiters should know is that today’s youngest job candidates expect clear and consistent communication when it comes to their application status. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reports that millennials expect timely, meaningful, and relevant communication in all areas of their lives.
So if you want millennial candidates to have a good experience with your recruiting process, ensure that you’re communicating openly and clearly. Even if you think you already communicate effectively with your job candidates, there’s always room for improvement. To make sure that you’re adequately and honestly communicating with all applicants, implement these tips:
Show Appreciation for Applications
If applicants are left staring at a blank page after they hit “submit” on your online application, you’ve left applicants to believe that their application just disappeared into a blackhole. Instead, send them to a “thank you” landing page after they apply or send a confirmation email, and clearly explain the next steps of your recruiting process.
For instance, stating: “If we think you’re a good fit for the position, we’ll email you within 48 hours to set up a phone interview” offers candidates a timeline and establishes clear expectations.
If you receive a high volume of applicants and you probably won’t get back to them for a few weeks, explain this to the applicant as well so that you are being honest from the very start.
Clearly Define the Interview Details
When you decide to pursue a candidate, setting up interviews via email is often the best option. By putting all of the interview information in writing, you can ensure that you clearly communicated all of the details to the candidate.
Even if you’re going to start with a phone screening first, emailing the candidate beforehand to schedule the call will reveal that you respect and value their time. Millennials will appreciate an email much more than an unexpected call that turns out to be an on-the-spot interview, especially if it’s been a long time since they applied.
If you make this email more personal and meaningful by honestly explaining why you’re interested in the candidate, they will be more likely to positively respond.
Send Interview Reminders
When candidates have interviews scheduled for multiple jobs, mixing up dates and times can be all too easy. So especially if you scheduled an interview that’s more than a week away, millennials will really appreciate interview reminders. In the reminder, genuinely explain why you are excited to meet with them in order to remain transparent throughout the process.
Occasionally, things come up and recruiters need to reschedule interviews with candidates. If this happens, avoid giving candidates false or vague reasons. Instead, just honestly explain why you need to reschedule and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Millennials will appreciate that you’re being truthful and apologetic, and will be more willing to reschedule.
Always Answer the “What now?” Question
Have you ever left an interview wondering what’s going to happen next? Unfortunately, that uneasy feeling is all too common. To communicate more effectively, make sure to end every interview with an honest and concise answer to the “What now?” question.
Your answer could be something along the lines of, “We are interviewing more applicants this week, so we will email you no later than next Friday to let you know whether we’re going to bring you in for a second interview.”
If you already know that another candidate is more qualified, be willing to say something like, “We’d love you to bring you in for a second interview, but another candidate has 2 more years of work experience. Can you share why regardless of the difference in experience, you’re the best candidate?”. This way, you are being honest with the candidate and giving them a chance to overcome your concern.
Send The Rejection Letter
Although turning down a candidate is never enjoyable, millennials would rather hear the truth than nothing at all. It’s unfair to keep an active job seeker wondering if they will get an offer after their investment of time in your company. Instead of avoiding or dragging out the situation, send the rejection letter as soon as possible.
Honestly explain why you chose to go with another candidate in the letter so that the applicant understands what they are lacking. But remember--you don’t need to burn any bridges! Let the job seeker know that if another job opens up that’s a good fit for them, you will reach out. Millennials will appreciate that you’re leaving the door open, and you will appreciate becoming part of your growing talent community.
Encourage Them To Accept
Finally, you’ve decided who you want to hire! Before presenting the offer, allow the candidate to ask any final questions they might have and answer them directly and honestly. Once you do present the offer, be sure to go over the details to ensure that the candidate fully understands what’s included.
Also, make the offer more meaningful by telling the candidate why you selected them! Genuinely explaining why you believe they’re the perfect fit will show that you understand their value and strengths. The more transparent you are about your offer and decision, the more likely the millennial will want to join your team. For more tips on increasing you acceptance rates, read How to Ensure Your Best Applicants Accept Your Offers.
Keep New Hires Happy
After accepting a job offer, almost all of us begin to wonder a million things about the first day on the job. Instead of leaving new hires in the dark, communicate! Give them a list of answers to first day FAQs and, if available, the itinerary for their first week.
If the new hire won’t be starting the job for a month or longer, maintain sincere and consistent communication until they begin. Find out if their supervisor would be available to get lunch or coffee with them, or invite them to an upcoming company event.
To encourage more meaningful conversations, tell your team to be honest and open with the new hire. Once the new hire begins, ensure that their trainer or team lead understands the importance of being transparent as well.
According to UNC Kenan-Flager Business School, nearly half of U.S. workers will be millennials by 2020. So if recruiters want to win over more job seekers, they must learn how to best attract and engage with this generation. Because we know that timely, meaningful and honest communication is important to millennials, this is a great first place to start. By effectively and genuinely communicating with millennial candidates throughout every step of the recruiting process, you can keep them engaged and interested in joining the team. And even more importantly, you will cultivate a work environment where clear and honest communication is expected and valued.