I find that the way we recruit employees has changed dramatically in recent years. More and more jobs are filled through networking, which is of course old news; however, the way in which young candidates seek knowledge about companies is changing.
Female millennials' expectations for their careers have changed. They operate in a fusion between interests and work, and they have a much clearer understanding and opinion of where they want to work. To a larger extent than previously seen, they seek companies with a profile, culture, and set of values that match their own. Before, focus was more on the actual content of the job as well as on the company's financial profile.
I often meet millennial candidates who already, through online research, know the names of several of our employees. This is definitely a new thing. In some cases, they have even contacted our employees via social media to be able to better relate to and understand our company culture and a given position. Candidates want more insight into the daily life and culture of the companies where they are applying, and their approach to finding this information is largely relationship-based. The same actually occurs the other way around as well. Companies are also looking for information about the employees in their network via social media.
But what does this new behavior mean for the companies?
If we want to grow our businesses, then highly skilled employees are obviously a must. So, we need to embrace this development. We have to understand the new generation of workers (the millennials) who have grown up with a different relational view of the world. Therefore, we need to be better at revealing these sides of ourselves - both as a company, but also on an individual level, as business owners and managers. Most importantly, and obviously, we must be present on the social media platforms where future employees engage. Secondly, we need to tap into the potential of encouraging our current employees to strengthen the company's reputation as an employer. At Queue-it, we encourage all employees to be active on social media and share relevant content in their own networks. We also make an effort to motivate our developers to write blog posts documenting their work and development. This helps future employees understand what it is like to be a developer at Queue-it, and it puts faces on the relationships that new employees can look forward to.
From a recruiting perspective, it is more important than ever to market your company to potential employees. We can no longer afford to look at recruitment as something we focus on when the need arises if we want to be the preferred choice. Large companies have worked with 'employer branding' for many years, but small companies need to step up their game as well. Recruitment should play an important role in the business strategy. This should be seen in light of a new generation of workers whose behavior is value-driven and who are constantly seeking new challenges and opportunities. They are constantly on the lookout in the market and in their field of interest for the next exciting job.
As a recruiter or manager, it can be difficult to let go of control and observe how your employees to a large, not verifiable, degree, engage in the recruiting process through various social networks. So far, in most companies, new hires have been a relatively confidential matter, handled in a small group consisting of the hiring manager, the HR department and the candidate.
This is no longer how things work.
In my opinion, it makes no sense to fight this trend. If your business has a strong culture and a high degree of employee loyalty, then embracing relation-based recruitment will be a strong asset in the fight for the best candidates. We try to embrace the trend by making it clear to our employees that we appreciate them taking the time to engage in these dialogues with potential new co-workers, as long as it does not cross anyone's personal boundaries. We expect no reporting on the interactions; however, we often receive valuable input to the overall assessment on the employees' initiative.
Naturally, this approach affects how we handle employee retention, but that is a different story.
The new generation of workers are network-based and constantly on the move; this is of course something our company can also benefit from. It means that our employees have access to numerous contacts from whom they can seek knowledge and input, which is a great asset for the business, and it also creates access to an extensive network of potential future employees. We are trying to understand and apply this in a meaningful way, as we seek new and talented colleagues.