Hiring Managers

Tips on Interviewing Millennials -Part III-


There are any number of things that companies should be doing on all professional interviews if they are serious in competing for the top available talent, so this is not a comprehensive discussion, but rather a few tips to help specifically with landing the Millennials.

Tip #1 – Let everyone involved in the interview process know that you are trying to attract this candidate. In the end you may choose not to make them an offer, but you want the decision to be yours, so conduct the process as though this is your chance to potentially get Tom Brady on your team. These guys and gals all went to college, and every college they visited started them with a personal and video presentation of the college. It was fun and exciting and set the tone for the campus visit. Think about starting your interviews with a presentation on why they might want to join your company.

Tip #2 – According to several studies, when employers are asked what is important to Millennials, their answers are usually way off. Prestige, power, and salary, the things that are important to baby boomers, rank near the bottom of the list for Millennials. They are looking for things like flexibility, relationships with colleagues, the company’s use of technology, and interesting work. Emphasize those things to land your candidate, and they will be more likely to accept a fair offer. Conversely if they don’t see your company as offering a compatible environment, you probably won’t land them with a higher salary.

Tip #3 – Unlike the baby boomers, who grew up with trust in institutions like the government, big corporations, schools, and organized religion, Millennials don’t see a reason to trust anyone. Don’t take it personally but they don’t trust you. But here is the tip – they WANT to trust you. Be transparent, tout your involvement in any community, industry, or social issues. Consider letting them meet with some of their peers without you, either as a peer interview or maybe lunch.

Tip #4 –Some consider the Millennials spoiled, entitled, lazy, coddled, and narcissistic. Whatever your view on that, they want to know that they will have a mentor who they can go to with questions, and a support system. They grew up playing team sports and like the idea of being part of something larger. The direct supervisor must spend a significant amount of time with the candidate during the interview process to assure them that they will have what they need to succeed, and also to start building the bond based on trust that will keep them with the company longer term.

Tip #5 – If the person needs to fly in for an interview, book the flight and hotel and pay for them directly. It might seem like a small thing, but if someone has significant college loan debt and not a lot of money in the bank it can be a hardship to float $1,000 or more. Since most companies do not do this it differentiates you right up front, and I might point out at no cost.

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