Learn How to Recruit Millennials

In part one of our millennial blog post with Deloitte we debunked millennial myths in government. In part two, we look at how to actually bring those millennials into government.

With every new generation government must find new ways to attract and recruit the next group of employees. This time around, government needs to hire millennials – those individuals born after 1980.

Sean Morris, Human Capital Lead at Deloitte, and William Eggers, Public Sector Research Director at Deloitte, sat down with Christopher Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program to discuss some new ways agencies should and have begun to alter their recruitment styles.

“Millennials are a much smaller percentage of the federal workforce than they are of the overall workforce. In time, if we don’t fix this, we’ll lose a chance at new energy and will end up with a chunk of huge problems in terms of succession planning,” Eggers said.

Understanding millennials is the first step. “One of the things we absolutely do know is millennials love numbers. They’re very analytically oriented,” Morris pointed out. He advised agencies to start publishing more data around recruitment, retention, and developmental aspects of their talent models. These data points could answer a variety of questions from how long does it take to hire an individual by occupation to how often are govies promoted.

Open data isn’t the only way to exhibit transparency to millennials. Government can also tailor the information they share to resonate specifically with millennials. “We know that milliennials are holding a higher level of debt from student loans than any previous generation. An advantage over the private sector in the types of benefits, and richness of benefits they offer, comes in the form of student loan repayment programs,” Morris stated. Using the fact that most organizations offer such a benefit is great when trying to attract millennials.

One agency that is leading the millennial recruitment effort is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). CFPB established tailored recruitment mechanisms to attract millennials. The CFPB wanted to become one of the most technologically sophisticated, digital-friendly, agencies in government. In order to fulfill this goal, they needed to recruit the best technologists out there. Therefore, they streamlined the hiring process, they got CIOs and deputy CIOs involved in the recruitment process, and they hid some of their job announcements in source codes. All of these steps appealed to a tech-savvy, fast-paced user group and helped to successfully gather the desired team together.

In another attempt to appeal to millennials (and growing interests), Deloitte founded the idea of GovCloud a few years ago. “We know that millennials want a lot of different experiences,” Eggers said. The program allows incoming federal employees to be staffed for a variety of positions-across different agencies. Currently, the Canadian Government has adopted this in a pilot project and 18F and GSA teamed up to have a GovCloud offering as well.

Understanding how to reach millennials is vital. Taking the necessary steps thereafter, to appropriately attract and recruit millennials, is essential for the upcoming governmental workforce transition.

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