Want to Recruit Millennials? Company Website, E-Mails Are Key

By Kathy Gurchiek Jun 24, 2015
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Employers looking to hire Millennials should focus on their company websites and e-mail communication as the primary way to connect with these potential employees.

That was among the findings of the eighth annual career survey from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), an international honors organization in Atlanta that advances the goals and aspirations of high-achieving students. The survey was conducted April 2015 with more than 18,000 NSHSS members ages 15-29—high school and college students and young professionals who are NSHSS alumni.

Corporations and governments whose cultures are still focused on snail mail may lose out, observed James W. Lewis, NSHSS president. Ninety percent of respondents said e-mail is the best way for companies to pass along information about job opportunities.

“Students may not check their [traditional] mail as often as they do their e-mail,” Lewis told SHRM Online. “The fact they can communicate 24/7... points to how significantly that factor has risen over the years and the criticalness of instant information.”

Company Website as Important Tool

A company’s website also is crucial as a recruitment tool—more than two-thirds of survey respondents indicated it’s their preferred resource for seeking employment. A company website should reflect a company’s culture, and be user- and mobile-friendly and interactive, according to Lewis.

Additionally, respondents to the survey indicated “they’re looking for a company that’s got a culture of openness, [that is] caring, [and displays] corporate social responsibility.” They want to see company values in action and 72 percent said they want an employer that treats its workers fairly.

“It’s important to put forward that kind of image through their website,” Lewis advised employers. Employers can do this, he noted, through their connections with alumni associations, community and volunteer groups, and by having Millennials within the organization.

This demographic values their peers’ opinions, and organizations would do well to include images and audio of Millennial workers on their website talking about their experiences at the organization.

“Millennials value experiences,” said Beth Pann, vice president of NSHSS. “When students are checking all these sites, they’re looking for those stories and testimonials.”

They also want to feel valued themselves, she pointed out.

“They’re really looking at how are people treated—Are they valued for their skills? Are they valued for their time?” she noted. “They want to gain the skills to advance their careers and they want to know there are opportunities for advancement, for skill development and training. In their minds, that’s first and foremost,” followed by whether an organization demonstrates corporate responsibility.

Flexible work hours are important, too, especially among females in this age group. While males and college graduates tended to prioritize base salary, performance bonuses and teamwork opportunities, females and high school students reported valuing flexible hours, international experiences and a welcoming work environment.

“They remember ... not seeing their moms and dads because they were working constantly,” Lewis said.

Other survey highlights:

  • Technology-related companies are popular with this demographic. Of this group’s preferred employers, five of the top 25 cited were technology companies.
  • Google, Walt Disney Co. and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital were the top three employers of choice from a list of 200.
  • 40 percent of respondents said they are interested in careers in medicine or health-related fields. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the most preferred health-related employer, followed by Health Care Service Corp. (No. 9) and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (No. 10).
  • Gender and age were found to influence choice of preferred employers and the field of work. For example, 44.5 percent of females indicated medicine/health-related careers as their top choice vs. 25.8 percent of males.
  • 80 percent of high school members and 82 percent of college members expect to participate in an internship during college.
  • 96 percent of high school members and 96 percent of college members expect to gain skill development and training from an internship.
  • 62 percent of high school members and 68.5 percent of college members expect to gain an employer reference from an internship.
  • Among high school members, nearly 43 percent expect to land a job in their field as soon as they graduate from college; the same is true for almost 40 percent of college members.

Kathy Gurchiek is the associate editor at HR News.

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