Opinion: Why social sourcing is the key to attracting millennial talent

Ruth Postle outlines why the 'tried and true' methods of recruitment simply will not cut it for the millennial workforce.

Ruth Postle outlines why the 'tried and true' methods of recruitment simply will not cut it for the millennial workforce.

The millennial generation has changed the face of recruitment. Millennials now make up more than half of the workforce, and by 2025 this number will have grown to 75%, according to Deloitte. For recruiters, attracting millennials presents a significant challenge, because the way they approach the job hunt and a long-term career is different to previous generations. Despite this, many companies are still using the same old strategies they’ve always used – wait until a position opens up, publish job ads and wait for applications. In doing so, they usually have to wade through hundreds of unsuitable candidates who haven’t even read the job description. Social media has changed the way candidates search and apply for jobs

This won’t cut it when it comes to attracting millennials. Social media has changed the way candidates search and apply for jobs. It’s crucial to rethink your recruitment strategies as well. The latest generation of workers is always online, looking to be engaged. To get the attention of the best and brightest millennial candidates, you need to proactively interact with them across the social media platforms they’re using daily.
Recruitment and review site Glassdoor has found that 86% of people in the first 10 years of their career are using social media in their job search. Yet nearly three in four people say that their employer doesn’t promote the company on social media. This means that a huge majority of businesses are missing out on a powerful opportunity to engage candidates who might be the perfect fit for their company.

Changing priorities

Millennials also represent a significant shift in the way today’s employees approach their careers. Simply advertising salary packages and job perks isn’t enough. According to Glassdoor, nearly 80 percent of millennials see cultural fit as a top priority, followed by career potential. Embracing this change is critical if your business is to gain a competitive edge. Social media presents a great opportunity to build a brand personality and highlight company culture. You should be sharing engaging content and openly celebrating the achievements of your employees.

This online community is powerful, because even when they have a job, millennials are always on the lookout for new opportunities. Deloitte says the average millennial will have 17 employers spanning five careers in their lifetime. The notion of a defined career trajectory is foreign to this age group, who are comfortable bouncing between roles and testing out their skills in different areas. It’s important to engage potential candidates long before you have an opening. You need to be proactive, not reactive.
With social media, you can build an online community of prospective employees who are interested in your brand. By continuing to share valuable content and relevant information about the business, you’ll have a pool of potential candidates next time you have an open role. But it’s not enough to just have a social media page. Almost half of millennials say a prospective employers online reputation is equally as important as the job on offer, according to Spherion Staffing Services. You need to actively foster a positive community and get current employees involved in showcasing your culture.

Targeting millennials

The social channel you choose will depend on your business and the type of roles you’re hiring. LinkedIn is best for senior corporate roles, while Facebook is great to reach graduates. If you’re looking for writers or designers, there are whole networking websites dedicated to creatives. Review sites like Glassdoor get your employees on board and develop a positive online reputation.
Whatever channel you use, the key is to develop tailored, relevant content for your target audience. If you’re hiring for technical roles, like programmers, you want to use different messaging than you would for sales professionals or arts graduates. Remember social media shouldn’t be all about you, either. Create and share great content for the millennial market that helps them in their job search and positions your brand in a positive light. Your content could be focused on company culture, the best things about working in your industry or the characteristics of leaders in today’s business world. This will help keep your brand top of mind, whether they’re actively looking for a role or would be a good fit for your business in the future.


Ignoring the millennial generation is detrimental. Neither is a reactive strategy, because the majority of the workforce will now be made up of digital natives who are applying for jobs online. They want to work for a company that provides professional development and the right cultural fit. They’re less interested in traditional salary packages and career arcs, so you need to find new ways of attracting (and retaining) them. Social sourcing is the best way to attract the talent your business needs today and into the future.

Read next: Oracle cloud HCM Review

About the author
Ruth Postle is Oracle Cloud HCM Practice Lead, Presence of IT

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