Given millennials now form the largest group in the US workforce, and will only comprise a bigger proportion as more and more baby boomers retire, it is imperative that sales teams understand how to hire them, retain them, and get the most out of them. Five observations based on CEB surveys of hundreds of thousands employees can help here.
Millennials spend less time learning about organizations before deciding whether to apply: Although they apply to the same number of companies as their elders, millennials spend less than half as much time learning about potential employers compared to other generations.
Implication: Your company as a whole, and your sales department’s job posting, needs to stand out with a compelling brand message that emphasizes things millennials care about, such as professional development opportunities and growth potential.
Millennials are more attracted by the chance to advance their career or develop skills and experience: The most important attribute of the employee value proposition (EVP) – the benefits employees look for in exchange for the skills and experience they offer to a company – for millennials is the level of compensation, just like all other generations.
What’s interesting though, is that millennials are more interested in career and individual development than other generations. Millennials are 11% more likely to say “future career opportunity” is one of the most important attributes they look for when selecting a job (see chart 1).
Implication: Millennials are more concerned with opportunities and skill development than any other generation. Attract millennials to sales roles by developing an EVP that shows how the skills they will learn can help them succeed professionally and personally, and clearly outlines the potential career paths offered by your firm.
Chart 1: Extent to which millennials’ EVP preferences differ from other generations’ Percentage point change in likelihood of selecting attribute in in top five most important attributes; n=17,971 Source: CEB Global Labor Market Survey
Click chart to expand
Millennial interviewees are more likely to receive offers: Millennials participate in the same number of interviews as other generations but are 12.5% more likely to receive an offer. Sales teams can improve their acceptance rate by dedicating extra attention to the candidate experience.
Implication: In addition to making the application and hiring process seamless, sales teams should spend part of the interview time discussing why the candidate should be excited about working for the company. Again, ensure you highlight professional development and career advancement opportunities.
Millennials are more likely to use social media to learn about employers — but remain skeptical of what they see: Millennials spend less time learning about potential employers than other generations, and are most likely to use social media when doing so. Maybe as a result only 29% of them trust the information they receive.
Implication: Social media channels will help your company increase its brand awareness, but be ready to back up what you’ve already conveyed later in the hiring process.
Millennials are more likely to learn about organizations on mobile devices, but few firms optimize content for mobile users: Millennials are 7% more likely to research companies on mobile devices. Unfortunately only 33% of companies’ career websites are optimized for mobile use. Ensuring your site is accessible via mobile devices can help you stand out during millennials’ research.
Implication: Recruiting and employment branding content needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Luckily most sales functions have experience creating content targeted at mobile devices, since field reps often need to be able to access information via their phone or tablet. You can use this familiarity to optimize recruiting content for mobile platforms as well.