Get Into the Millennial Mindset

by Katie Appleby, Senior Marketing Executive, Inspiring Interns

Katie Appleby, Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns, explains why employers need to meet millennial demands in order to hire the cream of the graduate crop.

A significant amount of time and resources is spent analysing the thought processes and decision-making of millenials, also known as Gen-Y. (Gen-Z are right around the recruitment corner.) Why? By 2020, these ambitious graduates are set to make up 50 per cent of the workforce. As an employer, you’re hiring future business leaders in entry-level roles and internships. It’s essential to get it right.

A recent LinkedIn study asked students what they value most when considering career choices. Despite a reputation for high salary expectations without wanting to put the work in, money was not the biggest concern. Work/life balance scored the highest, financial incentives came in at number two and company culture third. Clearly laid out career progression opportunities ranked fourth in order of preference, with pride fifth. This is a generation aware of their competition in an oversubscribed graduate job market, determined to join a company that matches their personality and meets their needs.

Spending over two hours a day online on smartphones is the latest statistic associated with the next generation of business leaders. Should we be surprised that work/life balance and pride scored highly on LinkedIn’s aforementioned list when the constant digital communication enjoyed by Gen-Y and Gen-Z revolves around social media? See #wanderlust for an apt example of the online battle to impress. Company culture was another high scorer, reflecting the importance of making accurate employment choices to ensure longevity and good investment.

Employers who actively address millennial demands for flexibility, fast-track progression and regular feedback, such as Google and Apple, are able to handpick the cream of the graduate crop. Startups, SMEs and bigger brands should consider using specialist recruiters who have a firm grip (social following and candidate database to match) on the graduate job market. It’s their job to nurture talent, manage expectations and market unexplored opportunities like sales and business development, where available jobs outnumber applicants.

Encouraging employees to try new roles can help keep talent in your ranks and benefit a business by bringing a fresh perspective to different departments. When hiring at entry level, the options include graduate jobs, graduate schemes and internships (fixed term or with a view to go full time). Internships may still be shaking off a stigma, but graduate recruitment agencies are succeeding in educating and ensuring internships are valuable for employer and candidate.

For a business, internships offer a three-month window of opportunity to teach, train and test whether a person is right for the role and company. Around 70 per cent of internships at Inspiring Interns result in an offer of full-time employment at the host company, proving the experience works as well for long-term employment prospects as it does short-term.

Whatever generation you’re hiring, consider the concerns and ambitions of candidate and company and ultimately, how they fit and can work together.