Gen Y Recruiting Tips: The Candidate Perspective.

Job ads for recruiters and HR Generalists are on the rise. I’ve seen many open roles in government recently as well. This is a good sign that the economy is starting to improve in both the public and private sector. As Gen Y are an ever growing part of the applicant pool organizations and agencies may need to reevaluate
their Gen Y recruiting strategies to meet workforce demands.

Recruiting today seems to be a rush job and a one size fits all approach. Recruiters, HR, or PMs get a position description and scour the internet for a match or often outsource recruitment to firms. They find a CV that matches the position description and send an often canned, cold and generic email. Recruiting has become
less and less personalized.

Many organizations do not embrace a diverse recruiting strategy that mirrors
the current diverse pool of applicants. This approach is not always the
best means to attract certain qualified talent, particularly Gen Y
talent. I’ve seen minimal use of cross generational recruiting; meaning
lack of adapting the recruiting strategy and approach based on different
demographics. A Baby Boomer will not respond to the same style and
approach of recruiting as a Gen-Y’er.

Generations view things differently and thus expect different
ways of being recruited. With an ever changing and more diverse
workforce, recruiting must become more unique and customized if
organizations wish to attract the best possible Gen Y talent.

First Contact:
Gen Y values a personalized touch. A canned and
generic email will often turn them off immediately to a potential new
position. If sending an email inquiry to a potential Gen Y candidate,
use their name, not “dear candidate.” Take the time to discuss why you
think they may be a fit for the role as it relates to their own
experience. This lets them know you have actually reviewed their CV and
job goals and not just mass emailed based on a keyword search. Gen Y
also values details, so for the quickest possible response, include the
job description, and why you see them as a fit in the first

Response: Gen Y is a tech savvy generation. If first contact
regarding a possible new role peaks their interest, they waste no time
in responding. They utilize the technology at their finger tips (Wifi,
Blackberry email etc.) to promptly express interest. They expect the
same in return. If your organization has high interest in the candidate,
then don’t let communication lapse. Respond proactively, promptly, and
personalized with establish next steps.

Once the time for the first conversation has been set,
use that time to set clear expectations with the potential Gen Y
candidate. Take the time to explain in detail what they can expect in
the new role and from the organization, and what would be expected of
them. Be congruent, honest, and transparent about everything from salary
and work life balance, to culture and roles and responsibilities. Gen Y
is very tuned into organizational culture. One of the main reasons Gen Y
talent tends to leave an organization within the first year is because
what they were told they can expect is not the reality. Try and prevent
this from the first conversation.

Be prepared for Gen Y to ask detailed questions
regarding not just the potential role but the organization overall. Gen Y
views interviewing as a two way process. Often recruiters don’t have
the specific information required to answer certain questions. If this
is the case, make sure the people the candidate interviews with are
knowledgeable of the various parts of the organization and can answer
specific questions.

Offer: If the process leads to making a job offer, then do not
only do so in writing, but also make the personalized phone call. This
call should come from the person who will be the candidate’s direct
supervisor. Often disconnects exist between recruiting and the actual
departments and managers who the employee will be working with. Gen Y
values open and honest communication in all directions. Having the
opportunity to speak directly with the individual they will be reporting
to offers them the opportunity to begin to build a relationship
immediately and get any last minute questions and concerns addressed.

After the offer is accepted, the next step is on boarding, but it
doesn’t end there. Recruitment is phase one, once the employee joins the
organization focus must be placed on engagement and retention. I will
discuss more about these topics in future posts.

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Scott Span

Thanks Andrea. Good question…and I believe in the cliche of no stupid questions. The years do vary a bit depending on the research and data, however I go by:

-Gen Y are those born 1979-2000
-Millennials are those born from 2000-?

Many people do not break out Millennials from Gen Y as since no true Millennials have entered the workforce yet, thus they tend to still be grouped with Gen Y. As a Gen Y’er myself I do find distinct difference between the early half of Gen Y and the Millennials, thus I separate them when I can.