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Generation Y is undeniably making its mark in the Canadian workforce. As a vast number of tech-happy, smartphone-wielding millennials enter the job market every day, they are quickly superseding baby boomers as the largest group in the country’s offices.

By 2030, millennials are expected to comprise almost 75% of the workforce, making it increasingly important for small businesses to effectively communicate with and understand this burgeoning pool of workers.

Here are four ways that small businesses can attract top millennial talent.

Moving to mobile

Small businesses with mobile-enabled websites will attract more millennial candidates than less digitally savvy competitors. Millennials are attracted to the convenience and ease of use that a mobile-enabled website offers. They want to receive job alerts, check on the progress of an application and look at additional job postings on their phones.

Employers can take advantage of this by providing web responsive case studies, infographics highlighting employee benefits, as well as video testimonials to further increase prospective employee engagement on their mobile sites.

Innovative workspaces

As exciting as the job description might be, millennials put a strong emphasis on the type of work environment they are being asked to spend their time in. You can’t cater to their expectations with just mean a splash of new paint. Doing so requires a variety of seating options—couches, lounge spaces, and seats with a view—as well as the flexibility for millennials to unplug with a provided laptop and work in their own homes.

Flexible working arrangement are already a major trend with tech and entertainment employers looking to attract top talent right out of school like Google, LinkedIn, and Corus.

Ditch the old training manuals

Millennials recognize that career development requires more than a one-day training program, so small businesses should move away from the one-size-fits-all career development model.

The days of click-heavy computer-based training modules are gone. The appetite for traditional, classroom-based training is declining as the popularity of more innovative, interactive media formats rises. Videos, mobile apps, gamification, and online Q&As are more in-line with the changing media consumption habits of a millennial workforce.

A Monster client in the telecommunications space created a “Collaboration House,” where employees can create an online presence or avatar and go to different virtual rooms for training. Users can interact with other employees, discuss training programs, and ask questions in these virtual rooms. It’s a natural draw for millennials accustomed to entirely separate online worlds in the forms of social networks or massive multi-player online games (MMOGs).

Enhanced social presence

Social media is an indispensable tool in recruiting millennials, and a well-defined social media brand can help attract the best passive candidates.

One of Monster’s clients in the insurance industry thought of themselves as social-averse two years ago. Now, thanks to a focused and committed effort to adapt to online recruiting, they are successfully using a variety of social media channels to find both passive and active job seekers.

If you’re looking to attract and engage a millennial workforce, a comprehensive social recruiting strategy that links to your career page is imperative. In many ways, successful recruiting has become a marketing exercise, with a focus on the employer brand. To attract a millennial audience, build a presence on the social channels used by your target: designers and visually creative people may gravitate towards Pinterest, Vine and YouTube, while techies will find you via hashtags on Twitter and tech-focused discussion boards.

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Millennials have already pushed the market to implement radical changes from product development, to marketing and beyond, disrupting traditional ways of doing business. Organizations that actively embrace these new strategies and examine their company culture stand to attract and retain a better-educated, more engaged workforce for future growth.

As Director of Marketing for Monster Canada, Sheryl Boswell focuses on both employer- and seeker-centric strategies to fulfill one simple mission: connect people to jobs. Her goal is to impart knowledge of the ever-evolving recruitment landscape in which to help SMBs source, attract and retain top talent.


What have you done to attract and maintain millennial talent? Share your strategies and tactics using the comments section below.

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