What does our current job market look like? 

Did the war for talent ever end?  I would argue no – there may have been a cease fire for a few years, but it is about to bubble up even more.  Today’s labor market is causing an interesting twist. The effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had on today’s labor market are pushing companies to make the necessary changes to get ahead of the game if they are going to compete and thrive in today’s market. People are still the major differentiation when it comes to how successful an organization can be.  Read on to find out why hiring millennials is important, and how hiring and developing them is changing. 

We’ve all heard about the demographic shift in the workplace; yes, the baby boomers are finally getting to retire, and Millennials and Generation Z individuals will be the ones filling the gap in the labor force.   

To compete companies must do two things:  First, companies must make sure that all hiring decisions are as good as possible. With unemployment being high and there are more applicants to fill positions, it is more important than ever to make the right hiring decision.  On top of today’s labor market, recruiting and hiring millennials must be different than it has been in the past.  Those companies that do not change will lose.  So, it’s not a matter of if your company will change, it’s a matter of when and how. 

Hiring Millennials: 

So, what is involved in recruiting and hiring Millennials?  Here are just a few of many suggestions. 

1. Treat the candidate like a customer  versus an “applicant.”

The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) out there today benefit the organization and the recruiter, not the candidates.  Companies need to start catering to the needs of their candidates over the needs of the recruiters.  Simply making the recruiter’s job easier will not work.

2. Interactivity and communication throughout the hiring process is key.

To many processes leave the candidate in limbo. When people send text messages to their friends, they expect answers back right away.  To be left not knowing whether there is a match (in a very timely manner) will not be acceptable to candidates anymore. 

3. Text is old and outdated – video is King. 

As with mainstream Internet, today’s millennial candidates are used to seeing video for everything they do. The job application and hiring process should be no different.  Those companies that use video applications and video assessments will have the upper hand. 

4. Short steps in the process versus one long application is necessary.

The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) process of registering, filling out a lengthy application and then taking an assessment, all before hearing whether there is a potential fit will no longer work. 

5. Creating and communicating your employee value proposition early in the recruiting process goes a long way.

Today’s candidates will care less about pay and more about a company that aligns with their own values. They will have choices and those companies that can show and prove they have a mission statement and values that align with the candidates will win the battle.


Second, companies need to develop their existing employees, at all levels in the organization.  Selecting the right people will only get you so far.  A company cannot afford to not develop their employees.  The obvious reason is that better employees lead to better operations and profits.  But the less obvious reason is that the new generation of employees expects it, and if those expectations are not met then the employee will leave.  And development needs to change as well.  It is not as simple as setting up courses and offering them to everyone.  Development needs to meet the needs of the individual and if you follow the 70/20/10 model of development then 70% needs to happen on the job. 


Developing Millennials 

So, what is involved in developing the younger generation at all levels in the organization?  Here are just a few of many suggestions. 

1. Equip the manager

Equip the manager with tools that make development an easy process.  Managers need a “cookbook” to get this done.  It needs to be easy and prescriptive based on good data. 

2. Use assessments to drive development.  

A prescription without a diagnosis will get a doctor in big trouble. Development is no different. Make sure you know where the employee needs to develop. Assessment and diagnostic data give you that information.  But make sure the assessment is easy to administer, uses video, and gives good development information that makes it easy for manager and employee to understand and utilize. 

3. Leverage Video 

Leveraging video will help tremendously with developing the younger generation. Even development cannot be text-based.  And if you are using an assessment to get the information to drive development, make sure you use video as well. 

4. Develop your managers as well.  

Use a 360 survey to make sure your managers are getting the development they need.  The managers’ buy-in for conducting development with their employees is a lot easier if the organization is also asking them to develop themselves. 

5. Make sure there is a topdown message that shows how important development is to the organization. 

In addition to the message, make sure there is time allocated to development and reward those that participate. 

So, if you assume the war for talent will continue these are all some simple things to implement that will impact whether you win or lose this war.  As I said the war will be fought differently.  The strategy must change from what was done a few years ago to hire and develop employees.  To succeed in this next war where the applicant pool is over 50% millennials you better start changing your strategies now. 

Related Resource: Best Hiring Practices- Top Questions Answered 

Related Blog Post: Candidate Application Experience: How to Treat Your Candidates Like Your Customers

Updated from January 30, 2018