Talent Maximization

3 Proven Ways to Recruit New Generations: And One Essential Caveat

Freelance millennials working together in a shared workspace suggesting the efficiency of virtual talent and the ​benefit of recruiting a younger generation of virtual workers for a small business.

Freelance work continues to comprise the majority of work opportunities. Experts say that trend will continue to grow, particularly as Millennials are now the largest generation in the workplace and the even-younger Generation Z is expected to comprise 36 percent of the global workplace by next year.

Finding and recruiting the best new virtual candidates requires engaging with workers in the ways that matter to them.

Paige Brubacher, Operations Director at ResultsResourcing, discusses three proven ways to recruit Millennials and shares how to support small business owners’ need for top-notch talent by attracting, curating, and hand-picking the preeminent workers within these generations.

1. Appreciate Who They Are.

Millennials often get stereotyped as being disloyal job-hoppers, but as Gallup reports, they’re actually just as likely as anyone else to stick around when they find the right workplace.

“At ResultsResourcing, the number one thing that guides our search [for talent] is what our client needs. This may mean we recruit Millennials because the candidates in this generation often want the same things as our clients — virtual, freelance, collaborative work engagements.”

This makes them an excellent source of talent for small business owners seeking flexible arrangements that can offer the things that Millennials value.  

2. Know What Drives Them.

Millennials and Gen Z workers are not driven by the same motivating factors as those from previous generations, said Brubacher. “Millennials have questioned the old ‘norms’ of the work marketplace and what should be expected out of a job.”

“In general, freedom is the biggest motivating factor for Millennials,” she added, “but that freedom is expressed in a variety of ways. It’s primarily reflected by the increase in virtual/remote and freelance/contract work — as this often can provide the ability to work when and how this generation works best.”

But it isn’t just freedom with their own hours and work habits that drives them. Instead, Brubacher said, “this age group also is interested in working for brands that are making a social impact.”

Data from the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey supports her statement. According to the survey, a majority of Millennials across the world report believing that most companies are in business simply to make money and fewer than half think corporations are committed to behaving ethically and/or helping society improve. Small business owners who want to engage with and motivate these younger generations should make it a point to focus on their positive mission statements and societal impact.

3. Understand How They Communicate.

“It’s a misconception that Millennials are 100 percent dedicated to being digital,” said Brubacher. “At ResultsResourcing, we use the same tactics to find talent in this generation as we would any other generation. In reality, many of them crave personal connections with team members. We understand that this generation responds to us as recruiters because we reach out individually. We take the time to get to know them and have real conversations about what they want and whether that aligns with our clients’ wants and needs.”

This generational desire for communication and connection doesn’t stop at recruiting though, explained Brubacher. It also branches into management. Strong and frequent communication from management is crucial to retaining curated and recruited talent — especially virtual talent.

“Be clear and communicative about wants, needs, timelines, priorities and expectations,” she advised. “This is not necessarily about the age of the worker but the flexibility of the work. At ResultsResourcing, we focus on virtual work arrangements, and working digitally requires good organization and communication skills. Create a culture where people are not afraid to ask questions and where people feel good about offering suggestions. Listen to their input and create a collaborative environment. Organization and clarity are key.”

The Caveat … Branch Out

While Millennials may be the largest generation in the labor force, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they aren’t the only skilled workers available. Don’t be afraid to recruit and hire workers from older generations, advised Brubacher. “The key to hiring in this day and age is looking at candidates objectively. Everyone has their own strengths, experiences and perspective to bring to the table. At ResultsResourcing, our focus is on multigenerational hiring, because a successful team will be diverse in age. A collaboration of multiple generations has way more to offer than a team of Millennials alone.”

Unfortunately, not many platforms or agencies are skilled at recruiting a multi-generational workforce in a virtual world.

“Millennials are digital natives so they’re more familiar with web-based recruiting and virtual work arrangements,” said Brubacher. This can make it easier to engage with them and get them excited about a new opportunity. “Older generations, however, can be skeptical about being approached online regarding a job opportunity. The benefit of working with ResultsResourcing is that our approach is very hands-on. This can be comforting to candidates who are new to freelance work and online platforms. We certainly wouldn’t want to lose out on amazing talent just because they are new to virtual work models.”

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