Long gone are the days when filling a position was merely a matter of posting a job description and waiting for people to apply. Today, the best person for a role may be someone who's employed somewhere else and not even reading job boards. How do you attract the attention of these people, and get them passionate about joining your team? If smart Millennials are your target several strategies can help. That's according to Leela Srinivasan, CMO at  Lever, a San Francisco-based company helping companies identify and hire talent via its applicant tracking system. Here's how she says you can reel in these younger workers.

1. Craft an employer brand that really stands out.

It comes down to people's understanding of what your company is like as a place to work. Millennials, in particular, tend to engage most heavily with visual but authentic messages. To create them, use real employees, not stock images or high-end videos. "Video can be a very scrappy medium," she says. "It doesn't have to be overproduced and expensive, and in fact it's amazing what you can shoot on an iPhone."

2. Fire up your social channels.

Millennials tend to use Instagram and Snapchat more than LinkedIn and Twitter. Not sure how to use these newer platforms to find talent? Check out "How to Hire Through Snapchat."

3. Turn employees into brand ambassadors.

Do you have loyal team members who would be willing to blog about issues they care about? At Lever, one employee posted on LinkedIn about the need for women in tech sales which garnered more than 12,000 views and inspired the company to organize a San Francisco meetup. Whatever they say, however, must be organic, authentic and help Millennials understand your organization as a place where they might fit in and where they can see themselves working. "It really helps to give your own employees a microphone and help them tell their stories," she says.

4. Help a candidate understand the impact he or she will make.

Millennials tend to want to do work that matters. Lever helps them envision this through "impact descriptions"--not job descriptions--which outline what a candidate can expect to accomplish in one month, three months, six months and a year. "What we're trying to do with that is really give people this tangible sense of what their day-to-day will look like and how they will make a difference," she says.

5. Encourage the Millennials on your team to help shape the culture.

The result will be a culture that is welcoming to the next round of Millennials who choose to join your organization. "When a Millennial joins the team they should feel empowered to actually contribute to that culture, make it better, and make it more meaningful," she says.

6. Develop shorter and more succinct messages.

Researchers have found that more than half of Millennials prefer to consume email via a mobile device, compared with only 21 percent of Baby Boomers. Since no one wants to read a magnum opus on a phone or tablet, make sure to communicate in a way that's optimized for mobile.

7. Develop a shared sense of belonging or identification.

Find out what makes a person tick instead of focusing purely on his or her skills. A recruiter who's passionate about a sport or hobby is well positioned to reach out to passive candidates who share the same interests. "Establishing that bond is particularly compelling for Millennials because they crave that sense of belonging and joining something that's meaningful," she says. "The meaning comes from human relationships, collaboration and commonality."

8. Be careful with generalizations.

The term "Millennial" encompasses a broad swath of human beings at different stages of career, maturity and capability. "As you're reaching out to candidates think through the human angle first," she says. "Ask 'Who is this person and why is my opportunity something that would interest them?'"

Published on: Jul 19, 2016
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