Nancy Ahlrichsby Nancy S. Ahlrichs, SPHR

Organizations are turning to the best and the brightest Millennials to fill their entry-level customer-facing positions, project specialist positions and supervisory training programs. But the technology gap between small and medium-size employers and potential young hires could easily be enough to stop the hiring process even before it gets started. This same gap could increase new-hire turnover in any organization if the new hire is less than 30 years old. It therefore behooves Human Resources to team up with IT to make their companies more Millennial-friendly.

If you’re in charge of hiring and retaining talent, here are ten ways you can work with IT to make your organization a Millennial magnet:

  1. Upgrade your website navigation and speed, with a direct link to your careers page. More than half the visitors to your organization’s website go straight to the careers page—if it is one click from the homepage. If not, it’s adios! Nothing relevant to job seekers should be more than one click away. They must have a way to easily apply for positions online—and quickly.
  2. Upgrade your website content. Assuming that you have speed and ease of navigation, then content is king—with photos and videos, of course! Showcase your culture with photos of work and fun. Feature 30-to-60-second clips of long-term and short-term employees speaking about “Why I work for the Best Corp.” Be sure to list benefits, including healthcare coverage, flexible work arrangements, partner benefits, training opportunities, career development methodologies, average training hours, and more.
  3. Showcase your culture on the website and on flat-screen TVs in the lobby. Show your diversity through photos of real employees (not models) doing their jobs and also enjoying employee picnics, sporting events, holiday parties, etc. Showcase your employee recognition efforts so that job seekers are able to tell in advance what is valued.
  4. Enable mobile job applications. According to an April 2013 Wall Street Journal article, 33 percent of Fortune 500 companies already have career portals optimized for smart phones. This is good because by 2015 smart phones and tablets will take the place of laptops as the preferred technology for accessing the internet. Since 2008, McDonald’s has enabled 25-to-30-minute smart phone and tablet job applications. Mobile versions have dropdown boxes instead of free-text boxes. In 2012 alone, McDonald’s received 2 million applications via this technology. HR staff is happier to have less inputting.
  5. Teach the CEO to tweet about “what matters.” Twenty-five-year-old job seekers are tweeting and finding job openings through Twitter. “What matters” includes examples of being a good corporate citizen (including your employees’ involvement in the community), stories about happy client outcomes, family-friendly benefits, quality services and products—and job openings.
  6. Teach the organization to text, tweet, use Facebook and Instagram, and take advantage of other forms of social media. Use lunch and learns and other small group gatherings to introduce social media and get everyone on the same page.
  7. Support flexible work arrangements with technology. Make it easy for employees to work from home—or anywhere!
  8. Install collaboration technology to unite far-flung members of cross-functional teams. Nothing says “Millennial” like technology that enables them to communicate and contribute remotely!
  9. Convert training content to YouTube and mobile devices. Training needs to be just-in-time, just enough, and just where needed (which might be on a plane, train or automobile).
  10. Help the workplace to go paperless. This goal has been around for 25 years. Millennials have been operating in a paperless environment all through school. They do not want to start deforesting now!

Millennials are the next wave of top talent for our organizations. The employers who make them feel welcome and who offer leading-edge technology and approaches will have their pick of the “best of the best.”

Nancy S. Ahlrichs, SPHR, is Consultant, Business Development at FlashPoint, an Indianapolis-based talent management consulting firm. She is the author of Competing for Talent: Key Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Becoming an Employer of Choice and is also a contributing author for On Staffing.