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The structure of the workforce today prevents companies from being able to easily connect with the most compatible millennials.

The gap between companies and Millennials

With new cohorts of students graduating from post-secondary institutions each year, HR departments are more challenged than ever to filter through available candidates for work opportunities.

There are a number of challenges that companies face when attracting the best millennials, and these challenges have created a gap between them and their prospective employees.

1. The incoming crowd

One challenge that companies face in the millennial recruitment stage is that there are so many to choose from.

According to Statistics Canada, between 1992 and 2007, the number of female graduates from university increased from 95,202 to 146,721 and the number of male graduates increased from 73,671 to 94,830.

According to Universities Canada, there were 1.7 million students enrolled in Canadian universities in 2015-2016. Soon, all of these students will also be knocking on the door of the workforce.

While the number of students graduating from university remains higher than previous decades, there is not necessarily proportional opportunity available.

According to a survey referenced by The Atlantic, 81% of respondents aged 30+ (and respondents aged 25-29, but no longer consider themselves to be ‘starting out’) believe it is harder now for young people to find a well-paying, stable job than previous generations.

So, in essence, what we see happening today is more students competing for fewer opportunities.

This makes it extremely hard for companies to recruit the best millennials because for the few positions that become available that millennials are qualified for, there are too many candidates to sift through and connect with effectively.

2. Too many communication methods

Actually contacting and connecting with students once you find a compatible candidate is also very difficult.

There are more methods of communication now than ever, and with that comes the demand for companies to research what methods of communication are most prevalent when targeting prospective employees.

And since, according to Inc., nearly 2 in 3 employees say their employer does not — or does not know how to — use social media to promote job openings, the process of researching what sites to use and how to use them effectively is a task in and of itself.

With so many communication networks in use today it is very easy to miss your mark by using the wrong communication tool.

3. Reactive recruitment and its risks

The frequent practice of reactive recruitment makes it difficult for companies to thoroughly determine the compatibility of candidates. Almost 90% of companies use a staffing service for recruitment to save time and money when hiring candidates.

There are a few issues with this that create a problem when finding brand-compatible millennials:

  • The background check recruitment agencies do is based on their interpretation of what their client needs, which may not be correct.
  • When you wait to build relationships until you desperately need someone to fill a role, the process to find someone is rushed, meaning the candidate chosen is usually the most convenient at the time to satisfy the short-term need of a client, not necessarily someone who can help the company long-term.
  • In sending a general posting for a job online, a company actually limits its options for good candidates because the job posting has been made available to everyone rather than those most suited for the job. By over-exposing opportunities, there is the danger of attracting candidates who just want a job to support their lifestyles and who possibly do not have an aligned set of values to the company, a desire to learn the business or a desire to help the company grow.

Between the number of students coming into the workforce, and the number of communications methods to master, companies have a greater challenge than ever to find brand-compatible entry-level employees, which is why a reactive recruitment strategy is so dangerous.

In hiring someone to meet a short-term client need, rather than for long-term growth within the company, turnover costs can become very prevalent when candidates are let go for not having aligned values with the company.

With the number of challenges that exist for companies in the recruitment process, and with the massive gap that exists preventing companies from finding compatible millennials easily, there is great opportunity for companies to differentiate and build lasting relationships with their target demographic in unique ways in comparison to their competition.

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