A few weeks ago we organized a workshop on millennials called Generation Y with speakers such as book author Steffi Burkhart („The Y-Mindset“) and Generation Y speaker Simon Schnetzer. (there is a picture gallery on our website)
Both Steffi Burkhart and Simon Schnetzer emphasized that millennials were literally everywhere – not only in media, blogs and the like. More than that, millennials are likely to make up have of all employees by 2020 and rising.
This is more than paying with numbers. Let’s think about what it means for the recruiting process.
Professional services companies have always known that people are the sources of their competitive advantage. That is the reason why they invest heavily in them. Millennials have an entirely different approach to job searching, using mobile phones and social media platforms at the expense of desktops and job boards.
The question is: how can employers reach out to millennials? The answer is as simple as challenging: a compelling employer brand is essential.
Employer brand strategies are increasingly multi-channel to appeal to digital natives. Career sites must lead with a highly visual brand message. Disruptive recruitment marketing campaigns and gamified elements challenge conventions. And finally, real people stories shed light on life inside the company and give the company a human face.
A leading example for a millennial employer branding strategy is the german SAP.
Over the past two years, the company has increased its appeal to millennials by changing its communication style, pushing out a strong brand message and increasing their visibility and transparency.
As a tech company that doesn’t have a public-facing product, SAP knew they had to improve the way they communicate, increase their visibility, and up their transparency to appeal to the younger millennial. Here’s in brief how they got there:
They merged the branding department with the global sourcing team. By merging the two divisions, SAP was able to communicate better with the talents they were trying to attract by addressing their concerns, challenges and needs ahead of the game.
They redesigned their careers website and changed the model to a much more visual one with a tailored approach and pushed new brand messaging out on social media.
They democratized their college recruiting process and started using big data to inform the process. Now with upwards of half a million active members in their talent community, SAP has a big talent base to build from going forward.
Some may complain about these developments and think with nostalgic memories of the ‚good old days’ where people were hired with a printed job advertisement and the telephone. In such I case I to refer to Charles Dickens who wrote in the „Tale of two Cities“ ‚It was the best of times, it was the worst of times‘. That’s why I say: it depends on us whether times are the best or the worst. Also when it comes to recruiting millennials.